Shankar Biography (Wikipedia)
Lakshminarayana Shankar (born 26 April 1950), also known as L. Shankar and Shenkar, is an Indian violinist, singer, and composer. In the 1970s he formed the band Shakti with British guitarist John McLaughlin. His style combines jazz and Indian classical music, though he also worked in pop and rock, as with Peter Gabriel. Shenkar (aka Shankar, L.Shankar) is widely considered a living legend, a pioneer and a musical genius by his peers who hold him in the highest esteem. Shenkar has enthralled audiences and critics alike all over the world. A child prodigy who is a virtuoso violinist, vocalist (with 5 1/2 octaves range), composer and record producer who has sold over 50 million albums through his solo projects and collaborations with other artists throughout the world.Shenkar was born in Madras, India and grew up in Jaffna, Sri Lanka where his father V. Lakshminarayana Iyer was a professor at the Jaffna College of Music. He was exposed to Carnatic music and other styles from an early age.He started studying the vocal at the age of two then violin at five then mrdangam at seven. His father was an esteemed violinist, vocalist, his mother L Seethalakshmi played the veena and all his five older siblings were also proficient in music. At the age of seven, Shenkar gave his first public concert,at a Ceylonese temple, Nallur Kandaswarmy. He gained considerable reputation performing and recording with some of the most eminent names in Carnatic music, playing all through India, such as Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Chembai Vaithyanatha Baghavatar, Palghat Mani Iyer, Alathur Srinivasa Iyer and many other leading musicians besides his own solo concerts which he performed with the great Palghat Mani Iyer all over India and USA.