Anoushka Shankar | Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Northwestern University | International | Chicago Reader

Anoushka Shankar All Ages Early Warnings (Music) Recommended Soundboard

When: Wed., March 28, 7:30 p.m. 2012

Sitarist Anoushka Shankar established her bona fides as a star of Indian classical music while she was still a teenager—though she didn't attain the mastery of her famous father, Ravi. Then in her 20s she started exploring, and she hasn't stopped yet. Over the years she's worked with chart toppers from Sting to Lenny Kravitz to Herbie Hancock, and on her own she's attempted some thoughtful if not exactly successful fusions with electronica and pop. On her new album, Traveller (Deutsche Grammophon), she's finally found a style she can marry to Indian classical music without insulting its traditions or squandering her skills: flamenco. She dabbled in it on "Solea," one of the highlights from her first crossover album, 2005's Rise, and now she's picked up the thread and run with it, finding a fertile common ground—flamenco is, of course, a Romani style of music, and the Rom are widely believed to have originated in India. The songs zero in on elements the two traditions share: frenetic beats (played on cajon or tabla) accented with hand claps, richly ornamented improvisations (on sitar or guitar), and melismatic singing. Producer Javier Limón, who's made his name pushing flamenco in new directions, adds another notch to his belt with Traveller. For this show Shankar will be joined by two players from her own tradition (Sanjeev Shankar on shehnai and Pirashanna Thevararajah on percussion) and two from the world of flamenco (singer Sandra Carrasco and guitarist Melón Jimenez). —Peter Margasak

Price: $26, $10 students

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