School of Music Visiting Artist Series
Music: A child prodigy, born into a renowned family of musicians, Shenkar studied vocal from the age of two, violin from the age of five, and performed his first concert at the age of seven. His 1980 release, "Who's To Know", and Phil Collins' solo debut, "Face Value", introduced the unique sound of Shenkar's own invention, the 10 string stereophonic Double Violin, to listeners around the world. The Double Violin, designed by Shenkar and built by Ken Parker, covers the entire range of the orchestra's double bass, cello, viola and violin. The combination of Shenkar's mesmerizing vocals, double violin and also as a composer has brought him worldwide acclaim as a musical innovator. He is a virtuoso vocalist/violinist (with a five and a half octave vocal range), composer and record producer who has sold over 35 million on his recordings and his guest appearances throughout his career have put him in the highest esteem among his peers.
In between working on his solo record, Shenkar has also collaborated with the duo Wendy & Lisa (Prince) on their original score for the NBC smash hit TV series, "Heroes". Shenkar is the featured vocalist on the theme song and is the vocalist on all "Heroes" episodes. Shenkar's vocals are also featured on two songs on the new Toto album, "Falling in Between". In 2004, Shenkar composed and performed vocals and double violin on Mel Gibson's "The Passion Of The Christ", along with composers John Debney and Jack Lenz. Shenkar has also worked on other movie soundtracks including the Grammy award winning and controversial "The Last Temptation of Christ" by the legendary film maker Martin Scorsese, in which he co-wrote 13 of the tracks with Peter Gabriel. Shenkar's work as also been included in the following films; "Ali", "Queen of The Damned", "Jennifer 8", "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves", and "Jacobs Ladder."
Shenkar has also worked as a composer, arranger, producer, singer, violinist and performer with Frank Zappa (who produced Shenkar's solo record for Zappa Records), Phil Collins, Talking Heads, Lou Reed, Marianne Faithful, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Peter Gabriel, Van Morrison, U2, The Pretenders, Echo & The Bunnymen, John Lydon (Public Image Ltd.), and Dave Stewart. Shenkar co-found and co-wrote all the materials for the group Shakti with John McLaughlin