Recap: Carnatic concerts at San Diego and Irvine, California

I hope you are all doing well. I just thought I would start recapping some of the concerts. I am waiting on pics from UNC, and I will post those as soon as I get them.

The concert at the San Diego IFAASD Festival on April 4 went well. Thanks to the organizers including Shekar Viswanathan, V.V. Sundaram, Mr. Venkatachalam and others. Thanks to those of you who made it to the concert. It was a very warm audience of mostly Carnatic music listeners. The hall was very nice, and they attracted more people this year.

The artists included Nishanth Chandran on Violin, Kalyan Vaidyanathan on mridangam and Cleveland Balu on Kanjira. Mr. Balu has been heavily involved in the Cleveland Aradhana and has seen me since I first performed in Cleveland more than ten years ago. He graciously filled in for T.V. Vasan (ghatam) who was billed to play the concert, but could not make it due to a flight cancellation in New York.

The main raga was Saaramathi for Thyagaraja’s Mokshamu. Here is a brief clip of some swara exchanges in an unusual ragam: Kantamani. A listener from the audience sent this in. Other ragams from the concert included, Gowrimanohari, Jaganmohini, Ananda Bhairavi, Kambodhi and a few more.

It was also a pleasure to meet Thiravarur Krishnan and his wife there. They shared some fun anecdotes about traveling with Vikku Vinayakaram, V.V. Subramaniam and Trichy Shankaran in the old days. Upon receiving the special award, veena artist Geetha Bennett gave a moving speech about her father, the great S. Ramanathan and also her husband, Frank Bennett. To be honest, I was almost moved to tears. It reminded everyone that the concert stage is just the tip of a much larger mass of deep relationships and interactions that creates the music we cherish.

Here are some photos from the concert, more on flickr.




The Irvine concert the next day on April 5 was also very nice, with Ektaa Center’s extremely intimate setting to contrast a larger hall setting. It was not only a concert, but also an interactive event. Basically that means I talked more than usual and took questions after the concert. The artists included Nishanth Chandran again on Violin and Shubha Chandramouli on mridangam, one of Poovalur Sriji’s disciples. All performed admirably. It was a pleasure to play at Ektaa Center, and I will be returning there often for other such events.

I was glad to see a good crowd of listeners despite the last minute arrangement of the event, and the listeners were from a mix of backgrounds. They had some very good questions, and it made me think that I should do more events like this. Thanks to Mr. Murthy for arranging the event. More photos on flickr.





Nishanth, Me and Shubha.

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