Norah Jones and George Harrison's Widow Honor Ravi Shankar at Memorial Service
Family and friends got together to pay their final respect to Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar. His daughter from his previous marriage, Grammy-winning jazz singer Norah Jones, was among the mourners along with the widow of George Harrison, Olivia.
Norah sat in the front row with her father's wife Sukanya Rajan and her half sister Anoushka Shankar. The "Come Away With Me" hitmaker did not speak at the service, but she did join the other family members when they took the stage to address the crowd at the end of the service.
Although she was not one of the speakers, Norah had spoken lovingly of her father. "My Dad's music touched millions of people. He will be greatly missed by me and music lovers everywhere," the Grammy-winning jazz singer said in a statement shortly after his death.
Calling him a "genius," she also said in an interview, "I remember when I found out that John Coltrane had come to him once to study....That impressed me at the time, more than the George Harrison thing just because I was such a jazz nerd. But you know it's all amazing. He's inspired a lot of musicians."
Olivia Harrison, meanwhile, called Ravi "one of the great citizens of the world" in her eulogy at the Thursday event. "I cannot think of a more illustrious or elegant person," she said, before proceeding to describe her late husband's unique bond with the sitar player.
"They were like father and son, as well as brothers," Olivia gushed. "They made each other laugh, as if the shared a secret -- and I'm sure they did! Their common bond was music." The pandit was credited as George's sitar mentor who influenced The Beatles' music.
The service took place at the Self-Realization Fellowship in his adopted home of Encinitas, Calif. on December 20. Famed jazz player Herbie Hancock and conductor Zubin Mehta joined more than 1,000 people flooding the venue decorated with garlands of white flowers.
Herbie gushed, "He was such an amazing human being. I'm so grateful for what he's given to the world." Zubin added when it was his turn to speak, "I always felt like a little crumb in his presence." Another male attendee was "Anna Karenina" director Joe Wright, who's also Anoushka's husband.
Ravi died on December 11 in San Diego after undergoing heart-valve replacement surgery. Already earning three Grammys, he got a 2013 Grammy nomination for Best World Music Album, thanks to "The Living Room Sessions, Part 1". His daughter Anoushka also got a nod in the same category for "Traveller".
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