L. Shankar

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Lakshminarayana Shankar, (April 26, 1950, Madras, India) is an Indian composer, musician and violinist.


He moved to America in 1969, earned a doctorate in ethnomusicology at Wesleyan University, and began playing with jazz musicians like Ornette Coleman, Jimmy Garrison, and John McLaughlin - while working as a Teaching Assistant and Concert Master of the Wesleyan University Chamber Orchestra. He studied with McLaughlin in 1973 and - two years later - they cofounded the group Shakti.

Some of his music has been used in Hollywood movies, such as "The Last Temptation of Christ" (1988), "Jacob's Ladder" (1990), "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves" (1991), "Ali" (2001) and "The Passion of the Christ" (2004).

In 2016 he moved back to India.


L. Shankar's first contact with FZ was at the Berlin show on 7 September 1978, where the bill was shared with Peter Gabriel, Brand X, and the Mahavishnu Orchestra. He was a guest performer on several other of Zappa's concerts that followed. Shankar can be heard playing (electric) violin on You Can't Do That On Stage Anymore Vol. 6, EIHN (Everything Is Healing Nicely), and Halloween.

Zappa produced Shankar's fourth album, Touch Me There (1979).

Shankar was present at (at least) one of the "soirees" at Zappa's house in '93, that included The Chieftains, Johnny "Guitar" Watson, and the Tuvan Throat Singers, as mentioned in the A&E Biography on Zappa. [1]


"I think Shankar's probably the best violinist in the world.". - Frank Zappa, BAM Magazine. 5 October 1979. [2]


See also

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