Asha Ramesh, artistic director of Ragamalika School of Music, will present a Karnatik music program, “Shakthi, Shree, Sharadha: the Divine,” to raise funds for the construction of a Hindu temple. This program is being sponsored by the South Bay Hindu Center, which is in the process of acquiring land in San Jose to build a temple and auditorium complex. The program focuses on extolling female divinity through Karnatik music. Thirty senior students of the Ragamalika School of Music will participate in this fundraising effort along with their teacher.
“When I heard about the need to raise funds for temple construction, I felt compelled to help,” she says. “The temple complex will have a theater and adequate space to support all Bay Area artists invested in keeping traditional Indian arts alive.
“For this concert, I have picked songs of ten composers belonging to various time periods, including contemporary composers,” she says. “The repertoire will be pan-Indian with several Indian languages being sung through the evening”.
Asha Ramesh trained under the renowned maestro D.K. Jayaraman in Chennai, India, for several years. She is adept at perfect tonal alignment, deep emotional involvement, and creative improvisation on stage. She won recognition for her inimitable talent from a young age, winning the gold medal in the classical music program at the undergraduate and graduate levels at the University of Chennai, India. She has continued her successful musical endeavors after moving to the Bay Area and has won critical acclaim for her expertise.
Asha Ramesh recalls that she has enjoyed singing amidst the ambience within renowned South Indian temples like the Kamakshi Amman temple in Kanchipuram, Brihadeeswarar temple in Thanjavur, and the Kapaleeswarar temple in Chennai. Until the middle of the 20th century, temples such as these nurtured and helped musicians hone their art, while audiences connected to this divine form of music. It was this patronage that helped our classical art forms survive the force of colonialism.
In the 21st century, a similar symbiotic relationship emerges within our immigrant community as Karnatik musicians and rasikas come together to raise money for a worthy cause.
The accompanists for the evening are Shanti Narayan (violin), Srikanth Chary (veena), Raghavan Manian (flute), N. Narayan (mridangam), Ravi Gutala (tabla), and A. Mahadevan (morsing).
Saturday, Feb. 13, 4 p.m.. McAfee Theater, Saratoga High School, 20300 Herriman Ave., Saratoga. Tickets: $15, $25, $50, 100. (408) 997-2185, (408) 741-5849, (510) 770-9331.