VOCALIST, VIOLINIST

COMPOSER, PRODUCER

L. Shankar

Shenkar (aka L.Shankar, Shankar—there are three versions to his name as a result of some record company requests) is world renowned and widely considered a pioneer and a musical genius by his peers who hold him in the highest esteem. Shenker has enthralled audiences and critics alike all over the world.

A child prodigy who has gone on to sell over 100 million albums, he is a virtuoso vocalist, violinist, composer and record producer. His solo projects and collaborations with other superstar musicians have led the way and garnered Shenkar a very large fan base around the world.

ABOUT

In 2020 Shenkar released his critically acclaimed solo album “Chepleeri Dream” featuring star – studded guest appearances by Korn’s Jonathan Davis, Tony Levin (King Crimson, Peter Gabriel), Chester Thompson (Zappa, Phil Collins), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction), Scott Page (Pink Floyd, Supertramp), Norwood Fisher (Fishbone), Josh Lopez (Black Eyed Peas, Will.I.am), Zac Baird(Korn), Dileep (Shenkar Band) and more.

Due to the Covid pandemic there were no live shows to present the album, so a video was produced for ” In My Heart ” ft. Jonathan Davis and Stephen Perkins. As Shenkar put it, “It’s a gorgeously animated music video directed by Balazs Grof and captures the song’s essence perfectly.”

In 2021 Shankar released his first ever holiday album ” Christmas From India ” a brand new set of recordings where he recreated some of the most treasured holiday classics with the sounds of tablas, sitar, veena , santoor and many Indian instruments to craft a Christmas album like no other. The album included two original compositions written by Shankar,

“Christmas Time ” and “Saviour”. More recently he has been working on a new album featuring most of the artists from Chepleeri Dream and more new guest stars with an expected release in 2023.

In his upcoming North American tour in the Spring of 2023, Shenkar will be covering materials from Chepleeri Dream and from many of his past albums including from the soundtrack of “Last Temptation of Christ” and “Passion of Christ” and songs from his upcoming album.


New Music

Legendary Vocalist and Electric Violinist L. SHANKAR Debuts New Single & Video from His Star-Studded New Album!

Album features guest appearances by Korn’s Jonathan Davis, Tony Levin, Chester Thompson, Scott Page of Supertramp & Pink Floyd, Jane’s Addiction drummer Stephen Perkins, Norwood Fisher of Fishbone, and others!

Working Projects

Jonathan Davis ( Korn )

My friend Shenkar ( L. Shankar ) is a legendary musician. An extraordinary vocalist, violinist and composer. I always had a great time working with him on Queen of the Damned, my 2 solo albums, my solo world  tours and his solo albums. Don’t forget to check out “Chepleeri Dream”. I highly recommend it.  It’s awesome! 

“My friend Shankar is an exceptional musician, and it’s been a pleasure to work with him both on his own music and Peter Gabriel’s.” – Tony Levin


“Working with L. Shankar on this project has been a great experience. His compositions are very enjoyable to play, and his arrangements are always very interesting. I am very grateful and humbled to be part of this.” – Chester Thompson


Shenkar is one of a kind musician venturing in different genres of music. Besides his classical albums he has released several pop, rock, electronic dance music hit albums and videos Including the musical composition of the 2005 Oscar winning documentary, “Born Into Brothels”.

In 1990, Shenkar co-produced a one-hour BBC film directed by award winning director H.O. Nazareth. It was nominated as one of the best documentaries at the Cannes Film Festival.

His work has been featured in the following films: “Queen of The Damned”, “Ali”, “Jennifer 8ʺ, “Robin Hood”, “Jacobs Ladder” and more. His pop, rock, electronic dance music albums have featured guest artists such as Frank Zappa, Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, Bruce Springsteen, Van Morrison, John Waite, Stewart Copeland (The Police), Ginger Baker, Toto, Johnathon Davis (Korn), Natasha Bedingfield, Pat Monahan (Train), Randy Jackson (American Idol) and Patrick Leonard (Madonna) amongst others.

Shankar’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.

He 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, Jonathan Davis, Robert Trujillo (Metallica), Stephen Perkins (Jane’s Addiction) and many more.

The Grammy award winning soundtrack for the controversial film “The Last Temptation of Christ” by the legendary film maker Martin Scorsese features Shenkar’s talents as a composer (he co- wrote many tracks with Peter Gabriel) and his vocals were featured in the movie. In 2004 Shenkar,

composed and performed vocals on Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of the Christ” with his unmistakable haunting voice heard all through 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 was joined in performance by Bruce Springsteen and Peter Gabriel in addition to several other noted musicians.

Shenkar collaborated with the gifted duo Wendy & Lisa (Prince) on their original score for the NBC smash hit TV series “Heroes”. He is the featured lead vocalist on the theme and all episodes of “Heroes” and “Heroes- Reborn” TV series. In addition, his voice is featured on the hit TV show “Fear the Walking Dead.”

In addition to his musical accomplishments, Shenkar invented and designed the 10 string Stereophonic Double Violin, built by Ken Parker. “It covers the entire range of the orchestra”, he said. Another highlight of Shenkar’s career is forming the ground-breaking band Shakti where he wrote all the music with the famed British guitarist John Mclaughlin. The group included the exceptional musicians Zakir Hussain and Vikku Vinayakram and toured the world.

Displaying his virtuosity in various musical genres, he performed extensively featuring his Indian music with Zakir Hussain and Vinayakram, and recorded eight world music albums for the reputed German label ECM. This called for extensive touring which featured the renowned sax player Jan Garbarek, along with Kenny Wheeler, Don Cherry, Ed Blackwell, Trilok Gurtu at many Jazz and world music festivals organized by his label ECM featuring other ECM artists such as Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette etc.

Shenkar was born in Madras, his parents were from Kerala, and he grew up in Jaffna, Sri Lanka where his father V. Lakshminarayana was a professor at the Jaffna College of Music. Shankar was exposed to South Indian music and other styles from an early age. He started studying the vocals at the age of two then violin at five then percussion at seven. His father was an esteemed violinist, vocalist, his mother L. Seethalakshmi played the veena and sang. At the age of seven, Shankar gave his first public concert, at a Ceylonese temple, Nallur Kandaswarmy. He gained a large following performing with some of the most eminent names in Carnatic music, playing all through India, such as Chembai

Vaithyanatha Baghavatar, Palghat Mani Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, Alathur Srinivasa Iyer and many other leading musicians. Following the ethnic riots in Sri Lanka, his family escaped to India.

On top of all his accomplishments, and possibly because of them, Shankar started Shiva Conservatory in India in 2016 which has several prominent musicians taking master classes under him from various parts of the world in different genres of music.

He resides in Los Angeles, California in between his tours.