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”..

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