It has been almost 16 years since Anoushka Shankar made her Australian solo debut, emerging from beneath the giant shadow of her father Ravi and signalling to the music world that she was “queen of the sitar”. Like him, she merged the rigid traditions of Indian classical music with a keen eye and ear to Western culture – in her case jazz, rock, hip-hop and electronic music.

She has been back here a few times, notably playing alongside her father at his 2010 farewell concert in Sydney Opera House, and six years ago when she featured songs from her Land of Gold album inspired by the plight of refugees flooding into Europe and other parts of the world.

That concert was a highlight of the year for any world music fan like me lucky enough to have been there, so the news that the 42-year-old was to feature in the same venue as part of Sydney Festival set this reviewer’s tastebuds tingling.

Anoushka Shankar, Sydney Festival 2024. Photo © Jacqui Manning

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