Ravi Shankar, sitar legend and cultural force, dies at 92

Posted at 1:23 AM, Dec 12, 2012
and last updated 2012-12-12 03:18:33-05

ravishankar(CNN) — His music transcended trends and cultural barriers. Pandit Ravi Shankar‘s life, which traversed nearly a century, ended Tuesday.

The legendary sitar player, who taught Beatle George Harrison how to play the stringed instrument and brought Indian music to the West, passed away at age 92 near his home in southern California, according to his wife Sukanya and daughter Anoushka Shankar, who were by his side.

Shankar was also the father of jazz singer Norah Jones. He is also survived by three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, according to his record label East Meets West Music

His health had lagged over the past year, according to a statement from his record label, and he underwent heart-valve replacement surgery last Thursday.

“Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of the surgeons and doctors taking care of him, his body was not able to withstand the strain of the surgery,” his wife and daughter said.

In the 1960’s he took Eastern music mainstream in the West, lending ethereal, spiritual sounds to the Fab Four through his friendship with Harrison. Virtuoso performances at Monterey in 1967 and Woodstock in 1969 helped cement his place in Western musical history as an ambassador of Eastern wisdom to a generation looking for new values.