Kevin Winter/Getty ImagesA memorial service was held on Thursday in Encinitas, California, for Indian sitar master Ravi Shankar, who **** last week at age 92 after complications from heart surgery. Among the many people paying tribute to the acclaimed musician at the event was ex-Beatles guitarist George Harrison's widow, Olivia, whose husband was close friends with Shankar, and was greatly inspired by his music.
"They were like father and son as well as brothers," Olivia said, according to France's AFP agency. "They made each other laugh as if they shared a secret."
She added that Shankar "laid the stepping stones from West to East, that led George to new concepts, alternative philosophies and completely transformed his musical sensibilities."
Others in attendance included Shankar's two daughters, pop-jazz star Norah Jones and sitarist Anoushka Shankar.
Meanwhile, Peter Gabriel sent a message paying homage to Shankar that was read during the service. He wrote, "Ravi Shankar opened the door to non-Western music for millions of people around the world."
One of the most esteemed musicians in India, Shankar is perhaps best known in the U.S. for his historic performances at the 1967 Monterey Pop festival and the 1969 Woodstock festival. He taught Harrison how to play the sitar, and helped him organize 1971's star-studded Concert for Bangladesh benefit.
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