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|Born||26 April 1950|
Madras, Madras State, India
|Genres||Pop, Rock, Indian classical, World music, Soundtrack|
|Vocalist, Violinist, Composer, Producer|
|Shakti, Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins|
Lakshminarayana Shankar (born 26 April 1950), also known as L. Shankar and Shenkar, (aka L.Shankar, Shankar) is an Indian violinist, vocalist, composer and record producer.
Shenkar created and designed his own invention, the first of its kind 10 string stereophonic Double Violin, built by Ken Parker. The Double Violin covers the entire range of the orchestra. He formed the groundbreaking band Shakti with the British guitarist John Mclaughlin, Zakir Hussain and Vikku Vinayakram and toured the world. He also performed extensively his Indian classical tours with Zakir Hussain and Vinayakram. He recorded 8 world music albums for the reputed German label ECM and toured extensively featuring the renowned Sax Player Jan Garbarek, Kenny Wheeler, Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell, Trilok Gurtu in many Jazz and world music festivals organized by his label ECM featuring other ECM artists such as Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette etc.
Shenkar's pop DVD, "One in a Million", became the number 1 DVD in the US spending 4 weeks on top of the U.S. Soundscan/Billboard charts. Shenkar has also collaborated with Frank Zappa (who produced Shenkar's solo record for Zappa Records), Talking Heads, Pete Townsend, Lou Reed, Marianne Faithful, Sting, Jeff Beck, U2, The Pretenders, Echo & The Bunnymen, John Lydon (Public Image Ltd.), George Harrison, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Dave Stewart, Pete Townsend (The Who), Peter Gabriel, Jonathan Davis (Korn), Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction) and many more.
Shenkar has worked on numerous soundtracks, including the Grammy award winning and controversial "The Last Temptation of Christ" by the legendary film maker Martin Scorsese. He co-wrote many tracks with Peter Gabriel and his vocals are featured in the movie. In 2004 Shenkar, composed and performed vocals on Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ". His unmistakable haunting voice is heard throughout the film.
Additional special projects have included The Princess Trust Rock Concerts with Princess Diana in England, The United Nations Peace Day Festivals, and Nelson Mandela's 80th Birthday celebrations. The rock extravaganza Human Rights Now World Tour in 1988 featured Shenkar's own group, who were joined in performance by Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel, in addition to several other musicians.
Shenkar collaborated with the gifted duo Wendy & Lisa (Prince) on their original score for the NBC smash hit TV series "Heroes". Shenkar is the featured lead vocalist on the theme and all episodes of "Heroes". He can also be heard in the Heroes - Reborn TV series. His voice is featured on the recent hit TV show Fear the Walking Dead.
Shenkar moved to India in January 2016 following the invitation from Sri Thirumeni Guruji at Chepleeri Siva Temple in Kattukulam, Punchapadam, 30 km from Pallakad. Sri Thirumeni Guruji and Shankar started Shiva Conservatory 3 1/2 years ago, headquartered at Chepleeri Shiva Temple and other branches, including at Palakkad Public Library in Palakkad headed by T.R.Ajayan, Chennai, Hosur, Los Angeles. There, several prominent musicians take master classes under Shankar and many other students from different genres of music. Since then he has been living there and touring extensively in India and abroad. He has been conducting Master Classes jointly presented by Swaralaya & Shiva Conservatory at the Palakkad Public Library organized by Sri T.R.Ajayan. During his stay in Kerala he has recently completed his new upcoming album "Chepleeri Dream" to be released world wide by Cleopatra Records from Hollywood, which features Sri Thirumeni Guruji's mesmerizing vedic chants and also internationally renowned superstars who have sold all together over 1000 million records. Through this album Shankar wishes to put Kerala on the highest horizon for musical fans all over the world from different genres of music. The album features artists such as Jonathan Davis (Korn), Scott Page (Pink Floyd), Stephen Perkins (Jane's Addiction), Norwood Fisher (Fishbone), Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel), Chester Thompson (Phil Collins, Genesis), Josh Lopez (will.i.am, Black Eyed Peas), Dileep Palakkad, Zack Baird (Korn, Beyonce, Jay-Z), and Neel Agrawal.