avi Shankar, the Indian sitar virtuoso introduced to Western audiences by The Beatles in the 1960s, died at age 92. Shankar played traditional Indian ragas, but his association with George Harrison led him to play a number of big festivals catering to the U.S. counterculture, including Woodstock and the Monterey Pop Festival. He enjoyed watching Otis Redding and the Mamas and the Papas perform, but when Jimi Hendrix lit his guitar on fire, "that was too much for me," Shankar told Rolling Stone. "In our culture, we have such respect for musical instruments, they are like part of God." In 1971, he pioneered the benefit concert by organizing the Concert for Bangladesh. Shankar died at his home in Southern California. Among his survivors are the singer Norah Jones and sitar player Anoushka Shankar.
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