A Double Violin, a Rocking Film Score and Mos Def

Question: What do Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, Smashing Pumpkin’s 20th Anniversary Tour and Sundance Film Festival’s 2011 Audience Award Winning film Circumstance have in common?

Answer: Gingger Shankar.

She defies categorization – a musician who deftly swings between classical Indian, Hip-Hop, Punk, and recently, traditional Iranian music. She sings, composes and is one the few people in the world who plays the double violin.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Shankar grew up in a one of India’s most acclaimed musical families. She learned singing, violin, dance, and piano and attended the prestigious dance and music school, Kalakshetra, in India as a child.

Her roster of performances is dizzying. She’s collaborated with artistes like Zakir Hussain , Steve Vai, Black Eyed Peas, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel and Tony Levin.

She’s a consummate professional – she committed to add an Eastern sound to the Smashing Pumpkins 20th anniversary tour. When they rescheduled a tour date she found herself double booked with Carnegie Hall.  So, she did what any superhero singer/musician/composer would do – post her performance at Carnegie Hall she boarded her (invisible) plane, changed into a rocker chick outfit and flew to Chicago where she popped up on stage mid concert to play with the Pumpkins.

Most recently Shankar completed the score for the critically acclaimed Iranian film Circumstance.  The film gives audiences an unseen look into Iranian youth culture and its music ranges from punk to hip hop to traditional Iranian songs, all with the imprint Shankar brings – that music is music. It need not be categorized.

She’s currently at work on her own album and hopes to collaborate with people from every musical genre. We asked her who was top of her wish list and she came back with Mos Def.

A girl’s gotta dream. And this is one dream we think, that just might come true.

Here’s a taste of her music.

A ballad composed and sung by Gingger Shankar.

Gingger Shankar Goes Punk for the soundtrack of Circumstance.

For more on Gingger Shankar see http://www.ginggershankar.com

Tags from the story
Written By
More from Geetanjali

Rocking the Salwar

Chances are you haven’t worn a salwar in quite some time.  However,...
Read More