Thanya Iyer Live at WKCR – Podcast 223

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Montreal based Thanya Iyer, creates a compelling mix of Carnatic influenced vocals, impressionist classical composition and electronica.  She brought her voice and keys to WKCR for a live set with Daniel Gelinas on Drums/Synths and  Alex Kasirer-Smibert on bass/synths.   The new album is called “Do you Dream”

Roopa Mahadevan – Ragas Live Festival #9 Podcast 213

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itunes-button1The ninth set of the historic, Ragas Live Festival 2016, live at Pioneer Works.  Roopa Mahadevan (vocal) Anjna Swaminathan (violin), Bala Skandan (mridangam), Kabilan Jeginathan (kanjira).

Roopa Mahadevan is a versatile vocalist rooted in the South Indian (Carnatic) classical tradition.  Born and raised in San Jose, California, Roopa underwent her major formative training in Carnatic vocal music in under Asha Ramesh, disciple of the late Sangeetha Kalanidhi D.K. Jayaraman and Sri Nanganallur Ramanathan. In 2007, Roopa was awarded the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship by the U.S. Department of State to receive advanced Carnatic vocal training in Chennai, India under Suguna Varadachari, a senior guru of the Musiri Subramania Iyer tradition.

 Roopa has been a regular performer of Carnatic vocal concerts in the U.S. and India. She has been performing in all of the major “sabhas” in Chennai, India during the December music season, including the prestigious Music Academy. She has received praise from the Carnatic music fraternity and notable press, including The Hindu. She has also performed at the well-known Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, which awarded her the title ‘Kala Ratna’ for her commitment to the pursuit of Carnatic music as a young American. Roopa is also an accomplished Bharathanatyam dancer who has performed her arangetram under the training of the Indumathy Ganesh, disciple of Padmashri Chitra Visweswaran. Roopa is a regular vocal peformer for several of the leading Bharathanatyam and contemporary dancers of the South Asian Diaspora.

Roopa is the artistic director of the NYC-based Navatman Music Collective, an Indian Classical Vocal ensemble. Roopa received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology and Master’s degree in Cognitive Science from Stanford University. She is based in New York City, where she balances a career in public health policy with the passionate pursuit of her art

Recorded by James Clark mixed by Sameer Gupta.

Ragas Live Festival 2016 is produced with the support of The Rubin Museum of Art

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T. H. Vikku Vinayakram: Master of the Ghatam – Podcast 207

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This was an amazing experience!  We sit down with one of the great families of rhythm for a live performance and interview.  TH Vikku Vanyakram and family will be back in NYC, starting Oct. 24th teaching an incredible workshop on rhythm.   Recorded at the East Indian Music Academy, this is a legendary lineup:

TH Vikku Vanyakram,  Uma Shankar -ghatam

Selva GaneshSwaminathan – khanjira, konnakol.

A. Ganesan – morsing

Avirodh Sharma, tabla

Left to Right: A. Ganesan, Avirodh Sharma, Swaminathan, TH Vikku Vanyakram, Selva Ganesh, David Ellenbogen, Uma Shankar

Special thanks to Avorodh Sharma for expertly mixing and hosting us.

TH Vikku Vanyakram 

Rhythm has always been a quintessential facet of Carnatic music, and in the modern generation of percussionists, perhaps no other individual has mastered the intricacies and the laya endowments of the ghatam to such a great degree as Sri Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram. T.H. Vinayakram, affectionately known as Vikku, has transformed himself into an international celebrity with his imaginative and beautiful drumming on the ghatam.

Well known as a Carnatic artiste, Vikku came to international prominence as part of the famous fusion group Shakti, and went on to participate in many other international fusion music projects.


V. Selvaganesh

Selvaganesh Vinyakaram is the world’s premiere performer on the kanjira, the South Indian frame drum. The T.H. Vinayakram,  he is also a veteran of the fusion group ‘Remember Shakti’ with John McLaughlin. His solo album Soukha (2006) featured all of the members of Remember Shakti, as well as his father and Masters of Percussion sitarist Niladri Kumar.

Selvaganesh is also a major force in Tamil film making circles, composing songs in a beguiling mixture of genres, from folk to hip-hop to romantic ballads, and backed by a wide array of players from all over the world.
Avirodh Sharma is one of the leading Tabla Players from the West Indies and the United States. He is featured on Zee TV, TV Asia, NPR radio on the leonard lopatte show, NY Daily News, and at the end of 2015 making an appearance on the Starz Network Season Premiere, “flesh and bone”..

Arun Ramamurthy Trio -Ragas Live Festival # 3 Podcast 198

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itunes-button1The thrid set of the historic, Ragas Live Festival 2016, live at Pioneer Works. Arun Ramamurthy (violin), Sameer Gupta (tabla), Perry Wortman (bass).

The Arun Ramamurthy Trio (ART) performs Jazz Carnatica. Rooted in the style of the virtuoso violinist Dr. Mysore Manjunath, Arun brings a fresh approach to the age-old South Indian classical repertoire. The trio’s collaborative sound is driven by the propulsive rhythm section of drummer Sameer Gupta & and bassist Perry Wortman. The Carnatic canon is remixed in this seamless integration of styles as the group expands on the traditional compositions in explosive, improvisational flights of fancy. Arun’s original compositions pay homage to Carnatic rhythmic structures and rich tonalities while expanding the music with a modern jazz backbeat.

Ragas Live Festival 2016 is produced with the support of The Rubin Museum of Art

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Rhythm Master: V. Selvaganesh – Podcast 185

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itunes-button1As a lifelong fan of Shakti, hanging with  V. Selvaganesh was a dream come true.  Here the master percussionist V. Selvaganesh talks about his music and shares his experience with John McLaughlin’s Remember Shakti and other great collaborations.   He breaks down the South Indian rhythmic system and we hear selections from his album Souhka.   Our friend Arun Ramamuthy joins the discussion.

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At our home studio with Selvaganesh

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Born in Chennai to Grammy-winning musician Vikku Vinayakram, a former member of the original Shakti, he is the grandson of T. R. Harihara Sarma, who founded the Sri Jaya Ganesh Tala Vadya Vidyalaya (Sri JGTV school) in Chenna

Selvaganesh first gained world fame through tours with John McLaughlin’s group,Remember Shakti. His debut international solo album, Soukha, was released in 2006 featuring all other regular members of Remember Shakti including John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain, U. Srinivas and Shankar Mahadevan, as well as sitar player Niladri Kumar and Selvaganesh’s father T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram. He has also formed a new group called dr JSM, with the UK-based Goan songwriter/producer dr.Joel and the young Carnatic singer Mahesh.[citation needed]Their Indo-Celtic album entitled Turn on the dreams was released in the UK in 2005.

In 2012, Selvaganesh made his film directorial debut with Bodhai, a short film in Tamil. He also composed the soundtrack which was released in digital format by Saregama.

Here he is with Remember Shakti