Vani Sateesh - Carnatic Vocal
Arun Ramamurthy - Violin
Swaminathan - Kanjeera
Akshay Anantapadmanabhan - mridangam
Hailing from a glorious lineage of five generations, Vani Sateesh has been critically acclaimed as an outstanding vocalist of the present time. Vani graduated from the University of Mysore with a Master’s Degree in Music, in which he was ranked first and was awarded gold medals. Aside from being a recipient of the National Scholarship for Young Artists and a winner of a National award by the All India Radio, Vani is an ‘A’ graded artist in the categories of classical vocal, devotional and sugama Sangeetha, She is also a graded composer of the All India Radio.
Vani’s inception into Carnatic classical music was by her uncle Vid. Bellary M. Sheshagiri Achar, an illustrious musician and a Vaggeyakara of extraordinary merit. She furthered her grooming under her brother Vid. Bellary M. Raghavendra and father Sangeetha Kalarantna Vid. Bellary M. Venkateshachar. In the later years, Vani pursued her advanced training under the tutelage of Padma Bhushana, Sangeetha Kalacharya Vid. P. S. Narayana Swamy, an eminent Guru of Carnatic Music and a direct disciple of Sangeetha Kalanidhi Vid. Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer.
Vani Sateesh’s concert performances are endowed with her deeply resonant, melodious voice and her astute sense of Laya. She instinctively communicates the essence of her art to the audience with grace, poise and effortless ease in a manner that is powerful yet soul-stirring. In her performances, a listener can readily cherish the aesthetics and clarity of diction, which celebrate the Carnatic style in its pristine purity.
Vani has been performing since the age of 10. She has presented concerts in many major festivals throughout South India and abroad. She has also been featured in programs hosted by Indian national radio and television as well as other private TV channels. She has presented several thematic concerts, such as Mysore Sadashiva Rao Compositions concert at The Music Academy, Chennai, Dikshitar Compositions concert in New Jersey, USA, Vid. Bellary M. Sheshagiri Achar’s compositions, Meera Bhajans at Tyagaraja Sangeetha Sabha, Kannada poet Pu Ti Narasimhachar’s compositions, Bhavageethe (Kannada poetry) and compositions rooted in the epic Mahabharata are among many such presentations. An ensemble presentation of Saint Purandara Dasa’s Devaranamas that Vani led as part of Navarasa Sageetotsava organized by Bharatiya Samagana Sabha, was televised live on the National channels. She has also performed Jugalbandi concerts with eminent Hindustani musicians.
Vani Sateesh has been conducting workshops and lecture demonstrations in different parts of Karnataka. The topics include Pedagogy and Practice aspects of Carnatic music, composers and voice culture. Vani has also recorded a few albums of Carnatic Kritis, Devaranamas, Bhavageethe, compositions by Vid. Bellary M. Sheshagiri Achar.
Vani Sateesh was on the distinguished three-member jury for the first national level Classical Music competition jointly hosted by Doordarshan and SPICMACAY titled Naad Bhed - Naada Vismaya. Recently, she was on the panel of select musicians who helped design and draft the music curriculum for the Chinmaya Nada Bindu Gurukul for Indian Performing Arts, Pune. She has also been associated with SPICMACAY in their outreach, featuring in concerts, workshops and presentations.
During her stay in the USA for 15 years, Vani fulfilled an important role in the Indian community as a Carnatic music Guru. Through her teaching, she was able to provide a vital cord to Indian music and culture to over hundred Indian children born in US. Since her return to India in 2007 Vani has continued to be a respected and affectionate Guru among her several students in Bangalore. Many among Vani’s senior students have reached proficiency and a few have pursued to become concert artists.
Vani has also been serving the music fraternity as an organizer. Vani and her husband Vid. Mysore Sateesh have founded an institution named ‘Vishesha Fine Arts’ in 2010. Functioning from Bangalore, Vishesha Fine Arts has organized numerous concerts, lecture-demonstrations and workshops, apart from the music education it is providing to its students. Since 2012, this trust has conferred annual awards to recognize and felicitate significant individuals who have served this art form as a music Guru, as a patron and organizer of music events and as an individual committed to spread the joy of art — with the titles Vishesha Acharya, Vishesha Kala Poshaka and Vishesha Kala Chetana respectively.
Arun Ramamurthy is an exciting, young violinist who excels in several genres of music. Arun is equally at home whether he is playing a chaste Thodi raga in a temple concert before knowledgeable Carnatic music lovers, or at a trendy concert in midtown Manhattan trading solos with jazz guitarists. Arun was able to attain this versatility because of the solid grounding he received in Carnatic music, one of the most ancient and highly intricate forms of classical music.
His very first violin lessons were in western classical music under distinguished violinist Jim Mate. It was that initial training in western music that gave Arun his precise bowing and fingering techniques. Influenced by his family surroundings, Arun developed an interest in the soulful classical style of South India. His first guru, Ananthakrishnan, a much esteemed teacher and performer, taught Arun from age 10 not only Carnatic music but instilled in him a sense of tradition and a musical culture based on rigorous discipline. Later Arun, while still in his teens, got the good fortune to be taken as a pupil by the celebrated violinist brothers, Mysore Nagaraj and Mysore Manjunath. Nagaraj & Manjunath, generally acknowledged as the foremost violinists in Carnatic music today, made a profound impression. Arun came under their spell; he learnt from them, he listened to their music constantly, and even lived with them in India for 8 months learning day in and day out in the age-old, gurukula fashion.
Arun started playing in local organizations early on and soon was getting awards in music competitions conducted by CMANA, Cleveland State Thyagaraja Aradhana, etc. Notable musicians such as N. Ramani, Raja Rao, and T. Govinda Rao recognized Arun‘s talent and gave advice and encouragement. Arun progressed quickly and started playing solo concerts as well as accompanying local and touring artists such as Shashank, Trichur Ramachandran, Ramprasad, Sikkil Gurucharan, Flute Raman, and many others. In 2005, he joined his guru Mysore Manjunath on a concert tour and played concerts all over the US. Parallel to his career in Carnatic music, he’s kept up his involvement in light and fusion music also. He's performed with such well-known artists as the Dhananjayans, Falu, Downriver, Meetu Chilana, Joshua Geisler, Parijat Desai, Sunny Jain, and others. Early training, encouragement from parents who created a music environment all through his childhood into adulthood, and coming in close contact with two of the greatest violinists of this generation, all helped Arun to attain a high level of proficiency.
Swaminathan is the grandson of Padhmasri T. H. Vinayakram and son of V.Selvaganesh. He was born on 25th april 1993. Being born in a family devoted to traditional music, Swaminathan started learning kanjeera when he was 4 years old under the guidance of his grandfather and father. He gave his first performance in a concert at the age of 12 accompanying his grandfather .
He started his carrier with Iissai Mazhalai an initiative by Abhaswaram RAMJI, who gave opportunities for young talents to showcase their expertise . He takes pride in playing alongside his grandfather Vikku ji for several concerts across the globe. He feels blessed to explore and experience rhythm with his guru, mentor and role model Vikku ji who introduced him into world fusion group MYNTA. His father Shri V. Selvaganesh and Swaminathan started doing duo concerts and the very first performance with both of them together was held at Goa festival of music in KALA ACADEMY which was followed by several musical tours in India.
Along with his musical friends and his uncle V. Umashankar, he played during the Chennai Super Kings’ match held at Chennai. And he also performed in zee TV’s Saregamapa and many television shows. Swaminathan had a opportunity to share stage with legends like Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Balamurali Krishna, Ustad Zakir Hussain and many leading artists.
Vikku ji started the group named 3G with V. Selvaganesh and S. Swaminathan, where three generations (grandfather, father and son) playing together in stage. 3G gave its first performance at Idea Jalsa an initiative by Durga Jasraj and followed by various successful performances.
Akshay Anantapadmanabhan is one of the leading young mridangam artists based in Chennai. He has accompanied and toured with several legends and senior artists in the Carnatic music field such as Sangeetha Kalanadhi R.K. Srikantan, Sangeetha Kalanadhi Sudha Raghunathan, Sri. Unni Krishnan, Sri. O.S. Thiagarajan and Sri. Chitravina Ravikiran to name a few. Akshay has toured extensively through North America, Europe and Asia. He is a graded artist of All India Radio. He has also given solo as well as collaborative performances with Hindustani, Latin jazz, American jazz, rock and Brazilian musicians in unique showcases of mridangam, kanjira and konnokol.
Along with his musicianship, Akshay holds a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering
from The Cooper Union, New York. He moved to Chennai to pursue music full-time since 2012, under the mentorship of Sangeetha Kala Acharaya T.H. Subash Chandran. Since 2013, he has been one of the key organizing members of the annual international rhythm workshop held at NYU Abu Dhabi: “Musical Rhythm: Cross-Disciplinary and Multicultural Perspectives”. Akshay has published several academic papers on the mridangam and kanjira in international Music technology journals in the areas of music information retrieval and automated music generation. In April 2012, he gave a TED talk using the mridangam as the medium to communicate the parallel between language and percussion.
Akshay is the recipient of national awards in India and America including the “Best Mridangist” award from the Music Academy Madras, the C.S. Murugaboopathy award from Krishna Gana Sabha, the 2015 North America Young
Musician Award, Dr. Vasantrao Deshpande Yuva Sangeet Pratiyogita Puraskar, and many others.
He is also an educator of Carnatic percussion teaching both classical and multi-genre musicians.
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