Famous Sitar Players

A "Who’s Who" of Famous Sitar Players

As any musician or fan will tell you, the music of the sitar is truly unique. Quite simply, sitar music can enrich any tune or piece. But while sitar music is easy to enjoy, it’s not so easy to master. In fact, sitar playing can stump even the most skilled musicians. If someone can play the sitar, they’ve accomplished a valuable musical feat!

An Overview of Famous Sitar Players

When it comes to influential and famous sitar players, most are of Indian and Middle Eastern descent.

famous player

This is only natural, as sitar music is a hallmark of these regions. One of the most famous sitar players is Ravi Shankar. A noted classical musician, Shankar even made appearances at non-classical events, such as the original Woodstock and 1967’s Monterey Pop Festival! However, it was his close friendship with the “Quiet Beatle,” George Harrison and his bandmates that really helped to popularize sitar music

Such memorable tunes as “The Inner Light,” “Love You To,” Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown),” as well as much of the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album, prominently spotlight sitar music. To get a real flavor for the world of sitar music, click on Sitars.net. Here, you’ll find a wide array of famous sitar players that have achieved respect, success and fame among their musical peers and music fans. Here are just a few:


Vilayat Khan

Pandit Nikhil Banerjee

Pandit Nikhil Banerjee

Anoushka Shankar

Anoushka Shankar

As you can see, the sultry, exotic and melodic sounds of the sitar beckon a wide variety of male and female musicians, regardless of their background or musical genre. But this is just a sampler of the famous sitar players who have graced the world’s stages.
  • Pandit Nikhil Banerjee – a child prodigy revered as one of the 20th Century’s greatest traditional sitarists.
  • Anjan Chattopadhyay – a leader in India’s classical music community.
  • Annapurna Devi- one of the most accomplished and famous sitar players, she became a renowned sitar instructor. She was also Ravi Shankar’s wife.
  • Lowell George- the lead vocalist in the band Little Feat, he was a highly skilled guitarist and famous sitar player.
  • Al Gromer Khan – a famous sitar player from Germany. He plays world, ambient, new age and electronic music.
  • George Harrison – lead guitarist for the Beatles and Traveling Wilburys, as well as a best-selling solo artist. He was one of the world’s most famous sitar players, and was a devoted to Indian music and culture, in general.
  • Justin Hayward – the singer, guitarist and composer for the Moody Blues
  • Brian Jones – Rolling Stones co-founder, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist. Inspired by George Harrison, he was an accomplished, famous sitar player.. His sitar playing appeared on “Paint It Black” and “Street Fighting Man.”
  • The Khan Family – this multi-talented musical family comprises some of the most exceptional and famous sitar players in the world. They include: Kirit Khan, Chhote Rahimat Khan, Enayat Khan, Hidayat Khan, Imdad Khan, Imrat Khan, Irshad Khan, Nishat Khan, Shafaatullah Khan, Shujaat Husain Khan, Vilayat Khan, and Wahid Khan.
  • Gabby La La – a vocalist and famous sitar player, this talented multi-instrumentalist is equally skilled on the ukulele, accordion and theremin. A popular solo artist, she’s played with Les Claypool and other artists, as well.
  • Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan – a member of the Khan family of famous sitar players, he is renowned for pushing the boundaries of sitar music.
  • Prem Joshua – a German sitarist, this multi-instrumentalist blends Eastern and Western musical influences.
  • Reenat Fauzia – considered one of the best female sitarists. This famous sitar player is a renowned sitar instructor and Bangladeshi celebrity. She’s released several critically hailed albums, as well.
  • Emily Robison – founding member, vocalist, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with the Dixie Chicks. Robinson is skilled on many stringed instruments, including the sitar, banjo, dobro, guitar, and mandolin.
  • Anoushka Shankar – the daughter of Ravi, she’s a talented and famous sitar player and composer.
  • Ronnie Wood – guitarist and bassist for the Rolling Stones, Wood’s also an accomplished and famous sitar player.