Rest In Peace, Ravi Shankar

 

Indian sitar legend Ravi Shankar passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Heralded for popularizing Indian classical music throughout the world, the three time Grammy winner also taught close friend George Harrison of The Beatles how to play sitar, with whom he also collaborated. He helped make history at the iconic 1969 Woodstock gathering with Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix, yet still shunned Western standards of celebrity, stating that he preferred to focus on his music and spirituality.

He leaves behind his wife, and his two daughters sitar player Anoushka Shankar and jazz singer Norah Jones. Shankar played his last show on November 4 in Long Beach, California alongside Anoushka, who often joined him.

His latest album, The Living Room Sessions, Part 1, is currently nominated for a 2013 Grammy Award. Here’s to a true great in music and a life well lived.

February Next Step Contest Honorary Mentions

 

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As the submissions for our March Next Step contest come to a close tomorrow, we want to share some of our favorite submissions from February in this “honorary mentions” post. Y’all made it rough last month – here’s to another great month!

Our February Next Step Contest Honorary Mentions:

DC based “soul garage” band Black Alley. In the video above, the young group rips covers of Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Nirvana in their poignant dedication to “Club 27.”

Psaul, a collaboration between Swedish singer/songwriter Paul Mac Innes and producer Stray. The sound is pop sensible electro-soul with a retro vibe. Below, you can get down to the sunny “Change” and on Soundcloud catch a super funky cover of Chaka Khan and Rick James’ “Slow Dancin’” featuring the dynamic Karma Stewart.

New York based singer, songwriter, and producer Cilla K. has certainly got something special. With a darling lilting character to her voice that makes you feel at home and a jazzy soul sound that’s playfully offbeat, her vocal style is airy and refreshing like Amel Larrieux, her production hinges on that ever-nostalgic Esthero vibe, and her left-field play with music touches on Sonnymoon. Her most recent release, New World Lullabies, feels just like it sounds. Listen to “You Know Me Better” below and let your worries fall away.

And again, you can still submit to be considered for March!

Don’t miss Backpack Jax and Kimberly Nichole after the jump!