SATURDAY, OCTOBER 17, 2009
VENUE: SANATHANA DHARMA KENDRA
LOTUS GURU-SISHYA CONCERT SERIES - 2PM
SMT. ASHA RAMESH &
Nagaraj Mandya - Violin
Ravindra Bharathi - Mrudangam
A. Mahadevan - Mohrsing
Asha Ramesh is a performer, composer and guru. She is a versatile artist who has performed Carnatic Classical music since 1984. She has been teaching Carnatic music since 1990 and has composing music since 1992.
Asha trained under the world renown Carnatic maestro Sangeetha Kalanidhi D.K. Jayaraman. Under his tutelage, she learned to sing with bhava and sruthi sudham and the intricacies of manodharmam. She also learned a number of rare krithis, including the Navavarna Krithis, which she specializes in. After the demise of D.K. Jayaraman, she contend her advanced training under Nanganallur V. Ramanadhan.
Asha’s slick, strong delivery of raga alapana, niraval and kalpanaswaram have earned her many accolades from the orthodox institutions of Carnatic Music in Chennai and many critics in India and other countries. To expand her repertoire, she learned Hindustani bhajans and abhangs. She is known for multi-lingual thukadas including tumris, abhangs, and ghazals. Her linguistic skills enable her to sing in almost a dozen Indian languages with ease and with perfect pronunciation.
Asha has composed 10 thillanas, including one in English on Surya in the ragam Surya. She has set over 50 abhangs and bhajans to music. Asha composed and rendered all the songs for a CD titled Thenum Thinaiyum, a collection of Tamil songs. She has composed music for several dance productions for leading dance schools in California. She also composed music for a documentary film, The Visitor.
A Gold Medalist in the Bachelor's and Master's programs in Music from the University of Chennai, Asha won the prestigious Rajaji Memorial Tambura Award, instituted by Tamil Isai Sangam in Chennai. In 1987, she received the Sangeeta Kalanidhi Thiruppamburam N. Swaminatha Pillai Memorial Gold Medal based on her stellar academic performance at the University of Chennai. Asha received the title of Gana Kala Bhushani from the Sankarabaranam Trust of Chennai in 1997, the title of Gana Kala Ratnam from Sri Saraswathy Gana Nilayam in 1998 and the title of Mathura Isai Vani from Nadaraja Center for Performing Arts, USA, in 1999. She has performed in music organizations (sabhas) throughout India, on the All India Radio and on Indian Television. She has sung on three full-length Bharatanatyam audio cassettes, Lalitha Vandanam, Bharatha Geetham, and Nrithya Geetham released by Sri Saraswathy Gana Nilayam, a leading dance institution in Chennai. She has also sung in Guru Vandanam, and Jyothi Swaroopini released by Sangeetha Cassettes in Chennai. In early 2005, she rendered all the songs for the CD titled Sri Rama Bhakti Mala II, released by the Hindu Cultural and Community Center, Livermore Temple, California.
Asha moved to California in 1992 and has been teaching vocal music in San Jose since then. Asha was a visiting professor of Carnatic Music at the University of California in Berkeley for a number of years and has served as a panelist for the California Arts Council. Her students have received the master/apprentice scholarship for advanced music studies from the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA). In 2004, she presented Kadambari, with world-renowned musician Smt. Lakshmi Shankar. Asha contributes to the society by performing for a number of fund raiser events such as Tsunami Relief, Sankara Nethralaya, Nanadalala Mission and many more.
Nalini Keshav - Sishya
Nagaraj Mandya - Violin
Nagaraj started his music education more than 15 years ago at the Vijaya College of Music, Bangalore, India. He continued his advanced music education under Sangeetha Kalarathna Prof.H.V.Krishnamurthy, Principal of the Vijaya College of Music and his son, Ganakalashree Sri.H.K.Venkatram. Nagaraj is currently furthering his musical interests with the bay area’s leading musician Smt.Asha Ramesh. Nagaraj has accompanied many renowned and accomplished artistes both in India and in the USA and has played at many prestigious sabhas.
Alongwith his guru, Sri.H.K.Venkatram, Nagaraj has developed multi-media presentations on the “Life and Times of Sri Muthuswami Dikshithar”, “Panchabhutha krithis of Sri Muthuswami Dikshithar” and “Navagraha krithis of Sri Muthuswami Dikshithar”. He has also developed a multi-media CD on Saint Thyagaraja’s Pancharathna krithis. Recently, he also co-authored a multi-media presentation on Sangeetha Kalanidhi Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer on the occasion of Semmangudi’s birth centenary celebrations.
Ravindra Bharathi - Mrudangam
Ravi hails from a family deeply involved in Music and Spirituality for decades. He had his mrudangam initiation under Sri M.A.Krishnamurthy in Mysore in 1980. He then continued to learn under Sri M.K.Venugopal, in Bangalore . In the bay area he received training under Sri Shriram Brahmanandam. Currently he is furthering his knowledge under Sri Neyveli Narayanan, a prime disciple of both Sri Late Thanjavur Upendran and Sri Umayalpuram K Sivaraman.
A. Mahadevan has been involved in practicing and promoting Indian music and arts in the Bay Area for several years. He learned Mridangam under Sri. N. Narayanan. He was introduced to the art of playing Mohrsing by Mridangam Maestro Srimushnam Raja Rao. Mahadevan has provided percussion accompaniment on Mridangam and Mohrsing for several concerts, musical events, and dance productions. He has accompanied visiting artists from India as well as leading Bay Area musicians.
In various capacities, Mahadevan has been a patron of the Bay Area community organization, South India Fine Arts (SIFA) for several years. In 2004, Mahadevan was awarded the title of "Kala Seva Mani" by the Cleveland Thyagaraja Aaraadhana Committee.