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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

The Margazi music season, popularly referred to as the “season” in Chennai, is the time when artists and art connoisseurs gather from across the globe at the southern coastal city every December to entertain and be entertained.

Why are we talking about Chennai? Now, thanks to South India Fine Arts (SIFA), artists from Chennai are traveling 14,000 miles to entertain the rasikas of the Bay Area. Some of the finest vocalists and instrumentalists in Karnatik music will arrive in San Jose in April.


So, take a break from the recorded music on your CDs, iPods, and websites. Come listen to the real stuff live. Immerse yourself in N. Ravikiran’s mano dharma from his innovative chitra veena, the astounding ragam-tanam-pallavis of veteran musician O.S. Tyagarajan, thani avartanams of Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, S. Sowmya’s raaga alapanais.
The great mridangam legend Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman will be felicitated, and you will get a chance to interact with him in a lecture-demonstration.

“We have sufficiently spaced the sessions to enable the artists to interact with the audience,” says K.S. Srinivasan, president of SIFA, a premier organization in the San Francisco Bay Area dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and presentation of South Indian fine arts.

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It is time to take out those grand kancheepuram sarees, silk kurtas, and dhotis. Find your way to the music and dance kutcheris (concerts) of SIFA’s two-day Spring Music Festival. —Deepa Mahadevan

April 1-2, 10 a.m. CET, 701 Vine St., San Jose. (408) 644-9751, (408) 666-9343.