Tag Archives: Carnatic

Carnatic Vocal Debut Concert by Sahana Narayanan

Sahana Narayanan will take the stage on August 25 to present her Carnatic Vocal Arangetram. For the last 15 years, Sahana has studied under Srimathi Jayashree Varadarajan, Founder and Artistic Director of Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandir School of Fine Art. During the course of her training Sahana participated in numerous music school productions around the country often a part of award winning team efforts. Some of her performance highlights include participating in a critically acclaimed SRLKM school concert on Purandara Dasa at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana and singing in a television performance of Narayana Teerta compositions.

Sahana steadfastly maintained her commitment to this art form even after she moved to New York City to pursue undergraduate degree at Columbia where she is a rising senior, majoring in Comparative Literature and minoring in Jazz. As part of the Louis Armstrong Jazz Performance Program, she regularly performs at venues in New York. Sahana is also an accomplished western classical violinist and continues to study under Professor Li Lin at The Julliard School. Prior to college, Sahana attended The Harker School, where she fronted the jazz band as the lead singer, won numerous individual prizes for jazz, musical theater, poetry and creative writing, and was awarded a humanities grant to conduct original research on jazz.

Sahana will present a traditional Carnatic vocal concert which will features songs rendered in numerous languages from a variety of composers and will highlight her improvisational skills Sahana’s delightful Carnatic vocal renditions are a result of the rigorous training steeped in tradition from her Guru. At the same time, Sahana possesses a lovely fluid voice and a musical and lyrical sensibility that is informed by her exposure to Sanskrit and her expertise in a wide variety of musical genres. She will be accompanied by Sahana Srinivasan on violin and Amit Ranganathan on Mridangam.


Title of Event:  “Carnatic Vocal Debut Concert by Sahana Narayanan”
School: “Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandir School of Fine Arts”
Guru: “Smt. Jayashree Varadarajan”
Date: August 25, 2019
Time: 4:00PM
Place:  “Heritage Theatre, 1 West Campbell Avenue, Campbell, CA  95008”
Ticket Price: Free
Other info:  Dinner after the concert
Contact Phone: 408-390-5493
Contact Email: unarayanan@yahoo.com
Contact Person: Unni Narayanan

Carnatic Vocal Debut: Kaushik Shivakumar

Kaushik Shivakumar has been learning Carnatic vocal music for the last 13 years under the tutelage of Sangeetha Vidushi Srimathi Jayashree Varadarajan, Founder and Artistic Director of Sri Rama Lalitha Kala Mandir School of Fine Arts based in Sunnyvale, CA.

Kaushik is very passionate about his singing  and has participated in many of the school’s music productions at various venues across the Bay Area and in Cleveland. He has won prizes at various music competitions that include the first prize in the Manodharma category at Silicon Andhra Annamaya Jayanthi and the 2nd prize in the Ragam Tanam Pallavi Category at the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana in 2016. He was also a first prize winner in the group category of the Carnatic music Idol USA in 2013 and his group was invited to perform at the 2014 Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana. Kaushik has also presented solo vocal concerts under the banner of Nandalala Mission,  LOTUS and Swara Lahari.

Don’t miss your chance to experience Carnatic Music Vocal Debut Concert. Kaushik Shivakumar (Vocal), will be accompanied by Vignesh Thiagarajan on the violin and Vignesh Venkataraman on the mridangam.

August 3, 2019 4:00 pm. Campbell Heritage Theatre 1 W. Campbell Ave.Campbell, CA 95008. (408) 507-4680. shanthi.shivakumar@gmail.com, http://srirama.net/ .Admission free.

Sudha Raghunathan’s Daughter’s Marriage Being Trolled

Carnatic musician Sudha Raghunathan is facing criticism online for her daughter’s decision to marry an African-American. When I first read the email in my Inbox earlier today, I could not believe that there were Twitter users who were imploring organizations to stop giving her opportunities based on unfounded rumors that the wedding was going to be solemnized in a church. But, here is a message that says exactly that.


Finally the Cat jumped on the wall. Famous Carnatic singer Sudha Ragunathan daughter’s marriage reception card. Sure wedding may solamaniosed in a church. Hope In feature all the music Shabas dump her for season, churchs may offer chance for Kachery. @shakkuiyer @ShefVaidya

Replying to   and 

S. Sudha Raghunathan‘s daughter marrying a Christian( African American), sad girls leaving their roots

Here is one tweet that supports the decision and tries to confront the trolls.

Sudha Raghunathan daughter seems to be marrying a foreigner.. She is not converted to Christianity.. Don’t understand where these rumours start.. Many in my family too have married foreigners..outrage factory is in full outrage mode

Reading Twitter messages on this topic was enough to make me realize how tribalism is alive and well –  racism, colorism, Brahmanism – along with high-minded attitudes justifying these hateful opinions.
IC condemns this set of attitudes most forcefully, and the only reason that I am writing this story is to convey my shock while reaching out to Indians and Indian-Americans to examine our personal attitudes and behaviors in fighting these deeply held prejudices.
Nirupama Vaidhyanathan is the Managing editor of India Currents.

A New Bird Calls

Rudresh Mahanthappa has been named “Alto Saxophonist of the Year,” many times over, by DownBeat’s International Critics Poll and by the Jazz Journalists Association. He is also the recipient of a Doris Duke Performing Artist Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship.


A great way to get to know him is through his latest album Bird Calls. Though the press release claims that “Rudresh Mahanthappa has explored the music of his South Indian heritage and translated it through the vocabulary of his own distinctive approach to modern jazz,” his album has no discernible South Indian flavor, in a good way. Unlike jazz violinist Arun Ramamoorthy, whose sounds are directly relatable to Karnatik music, Mahanthappa has channeled instead, jazz master Charlie Parker into his sounds.

Most of the 13 tracks are inspired by specific Parker numbers. Mahanthappa’s “Gopuram,” for example, is attributed to Parker’s “Steeplechase.” Both comprise a repeated pattern of notes. However, Mahanthappa has the refrain echoing one instrument following the other, and shadowing the sequence till it settles in to your senses. Parker, on the other hand, had a less subtle approach in “SteepleChase” with all the instruments playing it at once. The album’s “Talin is Thinking” is based on “Parker’s Mood” but is more frenetic. (Incidentally, the entire album is dedicated to Mahanthappa’s toddler son, Talin.)

It is said that Parker’s music was both fluid and harsh but the ethos of Bird Calls is not conflicted. It is simply an ode to Parker’s music. Admits Mahanthappa, “This album is not a tribute to Charlie Parker. It is a blissful devotion to a man who made so much possible.” He is referring to the fact that Parker is considered a father of Bebop, the complex jazz music from the 1940s.

There are parallels to Parker and Mahanthappa’s lives as well. Each was around 12 when they were captivated by the sound of jazz; the former by the “new music” idols of his time such as Louis Armstrong. Of his own first introduction to Parker’s music, Mahanthappa recalls, “I was blown away. I couldn’t believe the way he was playing, gorgeous with so much charisma and flying all over the horn. I think hearing Charlie Parker was what planted the first seeds of wanting to do this for the rest of my life. It was very powerful.”

Bird Calls also features a 20-year-old trumpet prodigy called Adam O’Farrill. The effortless virtuosity reverberating between O’Farrill and Mahanthappa can be heard in “On The DL” inspired by Parker’s “Donna Lee.” The CD is interspersed by a series of shorter birdcalls, solo, duo and group ruminative interpretations of the inspiration music.

You might wonder, “Why the title Bird Calls?” It is a play on Parker’s nickname, “Bird,” or “Yardbird,” and of course the fact that he is calling out to jazz lovers of the world, in his 95th birthday year.

Bird Calls is available on February 10, 2015 on ACT Music. More info on
rudreshm.com and actmusic.com

Priya Das is an enthusiastic follower of world music and avidly tracks intersecting points between folk, classical, jazz, and other genres.