Fusion is not a very old trend in Indian music. Fusion trend is said to have begun with Ali Akbar Khan's 1955 performance in the United States. Indian fusion music came into being with rock and roll fusions with Indian music in the 1960s and 1970s. But it was limited to Europe and Europe and North America. For some time the stage of Indian fusion music was taken by Pt Ravi Shankar, the Sitar maestro.
Pt Ravi Shankar began fusing jazz with Indian traditions along with Bud
Shank, a jazz musician. Soon the trend was imitated by many popular
European and American music exponents. In the year 1965, George Harrison
played the song, "Norwegian wood" on the Sitar. Another famous
Jazz expert, Miles Davis recorded and performed with the likes of Khalil
Bal Krishna, Bihari Sharma, and Badal Roy. Some other prominent Western
artists like the Grateful Dead, Incredible String Band, the Rolling
Stones, the Move and Traffic soon integrated Indian influences and
instruments and developed the trend of fusion.
The Mahavishnu Orchestra of John McLaughlin pursued fusion with great
integrity and authenticity in the mid-1970s. In the process John joined
forces with L. Shankar, Zakir Hussain and others. The trend of fusion
took over the Indian-British artists in the late 1980s, who fused Indian
and Western traditions. In the new millennium, a new trend of fusing
Indian Film and Bhangra music has started in America. Many of the
mainstream artists have taken inspiration from Bollywood movies and have
worked with Indian artists.
This essay on Indian fusion music traces the evolution of Indian fusion music.