"Dad always wanted me to play in India"
Norah Jones, daughter of sitar maestro late Pandit Ravi Shankar, a critically acclaimed and commercially successful artiste, is set to cast a magic spell as she embarks on her maiden Indian tour. The Grammy Award winning artiste will headline at A Summer's Day � a one-day festival in Mumbai in March, which will feature two stages � the Main Stage and the Think Pink stage, to create awareness about breast cancer. In an email interview with Ruchika Kher, the 33-year-old gets ca
Finally, you will be in for a tour. What took you so long and what prompted you to give your nod to this music festival?
I’m excited. It’s also bittersweet because my dad just passed away. I've never played in India, so that’s one reason to do it, and also my dad always wanted me to play there. It’s always just been a matter of timing, and adding on to tours. It’s never worked out in the past. I’m usually so tired by the end of the tour that I never want to add the far away places because I’d be tired. This time, I planned it a while ago and my dad was asking me to do it, and I thought it would be nice for him, and nice for me. So, it’s very sad that he’s gone now, but I know he was very excited that I was going to be playing in India — so that’s a nice thing.
What can people expect from your performance? Will there be any special songs for India?
Well, I do a lot of old songs and new songs, and usually, we throw in a cover or two. It’s a really fun show. Since my first album, I have a lot of different kinds of songs — it makes for a really good variety in the show, and they all fit together in interesting ways. I have a great new band, and I’ll be playing some piano and guitar. It’ll be really fun, I think. If people don’t know the new stuff, we’ll do a lot of old stuff, if they don’t know the old stuff, we’ll do the new stuff.
Are you looking at collaborations with Indian artistes?
At this point in the tour, there’s not going to be a lot of room for anything apart from the shows, but I’m open to things, always.
Has your father ever influenced your music in any way?
I don’t know, really. I’m sure he’s (Pandit Ravi Shankar) had a lot of influence, subconsciously because I’ve seen him play so much, and it's an inspiration to see someone playing great music. I don’t know if could put it into words. I know that the kind of music I make doesn’t sound very Indian, so there’s that, but there are all kinds of little things — the phrasing, and melodies that I’m sure, has influenced me along the way.
Could you tell us a bit about your future plans?
I am going to be doing this tour, which will be long and fun, and in the middle of it, I’m going to come back to Los Angeles, and sing at the Oscars, which is going to be totally crazy and fun, and random. After the tour in India, I’m going to have some time off. I’m not sure what I’m going to do, and I’m excited to have no plans, for a while.
Norah Jones will perform on March 3 at Turf Club, Mahalaxmi; Delhi: March 5, Bangalore: March 8.
Remembering the legend
The late Ravi Shankar’s family, including daughter Norah Jones (4th from Left), wife Sukanya (5th from Left) and Anushka (6th from Left) offer a gesture in appreciation and thanks to those in attendance for the Ravi Shankar Memorial at the Self Realization Fellowship grounds in Encinitas, California on December 20, 2012. PIC/AFP