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An exciting journey for Carnatic Music buffs tonight

Meena Venki

Meena Venki

Auckland, June 9, 2023

A group of four highly talented young artists of carnatic music are going to perform at the Southern Swaras event to be held on this Friday 09/06/23 at Freemans Bay Community Centre. This is a free programme. This programme brings out some of the best talent in our community. All music lovers are invited to attend this programme and encourage these young artists. 

Details of each artist are given below.

“Kanjira Virtuoso”  Ganesh Kumar

Ganesh Kumar is among the world’s leading exponent of Kanjira. Disciple of Sri T R Hari HaraSharma and Sri T H Subash Chandran, Ganesh is one of the Senior Kanjira artist and has been mainly instrumental in expanding the scope of this instrument beyond Carnatic Music. Ganesh Kumar frequently performs with many western musicians in USA and Europe. He has accompanied leading  carnatic singers. Ganesh Kumar has actively participated in the creation of a new form of music, a fusion of Jazz, pop and traditional Carnatic music that critics have recognized as signalling the growth of what a news article in The Hindu called “a whole new genre of Indo-Western Classical Music”.

Ganesh received the Fulbright Fellowship from US Department of State and he taught Kanjira and other percussion instruments in various Universities in North America through his workshops and master classes. Received Maryland State Arts Council Fellowship for Folk Arts and released his signature series Kanjira from the Cooperman Drums Company in Vermont under the Artists Innovation Series. To reach out all the students of percussion, he has also released a two volume instructional DVD titled The Art of Kanjira.

Vignesh Shankar

Vignesh is one of the few artists playing the South Indian Carnatic Classical music professionally on the guitar. He is now studying Carnatic Music with vidwan Sri. Delhi P Sunderrajen. Vignesh comes from the musical lineage of renowned Ghatam Vidwan, Sri. T H Subash Chandran.

Vignesh has performed extensively in India and in the US and has also released his Carnatic guitar albums “Soulful Strings”, “Bagayanayya”, where he got accompanied by the senior-most musicians in the Carnatic music field. He is also a serious performer of Jazz, Blues, and Fusion, and has performed with many renowned jazz musicians like Jose Valentino, Frank Greene, Artis Orubs, to name a few. Vignesh now devotes his full time to music and is on a scholarship studying jazz music at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA.

Sarvesh Shankar

Sarvesh Shankar is talented young Ghatam artist from the family of renowned musicians in carnatic music. He initially learnt from Vidwan Shri T H Subash Chandran and now taking advanced lessons from Vidwan Shri Ganesh Kumar.

Sarvesh has performed with many leading musicians and performed in the various sabhas during the December music festival in Chennai. He has travelled widely in India and abroad. He is now studying Computer Application at DG Vaishnav College, Chennai.

Avinash Jeyashankar

Avinash’s journey in the classical art form of Mridhangam began at the age of 6 under the tutelage of Sri Suresh Ramachandra of New Zealand. At present, he is undergoing advanced training from Sri. S J Arjun Ganesh, from Chennai, India.

He was awarded the title “Vadya Visharad” in 2017, from the New Zealand Carnatic Music Society, after successful completion of the Diploma in Carnatic Instrumental Music.

In March 2018, Avinash completed his Mridhangam Arangetram in Auckland, accompanying well-renowned artists from India, and was awarded the title of “Layaanjali” from the Temple of Fine Arts, NZ

Avinash has been regularly accompanying local artists in Auckland, Hamilton & Wellington, New Zealand, as well as in Sydney, Australia and Chennai, India, alongside multiple online concerts, broadcasted across the globe such as Ragamalika TV. Recently, he has also performed as Mirudhangamist in few Bharatha Natyam Arangetrams in Wellington.

Avinash has also learned Carnatic Vocal Music under Kalaimamani S. Rajeswari and has obtained teachers diploma Carnatic Vocal Music. Avinash is a recent graduate from the University of Auckland, with a Bachelors in Health Sciences and is currently working towards a Doctor of Medicine (MD).

Seyorn Arunagrinathan

Seyorn began his musical journey in Carnatic violin at the age of 8 in 2011 under the guidance of his guru Smt. Sita Raghu from Abu Dhabi and is currently a disciple of Padmashree, Kalaimaamani, Sangeetha Kalaanidhi A. Kanyakumari. Seyorn, both an accompanist and a soloist, has performed in several countries including the United Arab Emirates, Sri Lanka and New Zealand as well as several platforms including Mani Krishnaswamy academy and Ragamalika TV and is currently an active member of the band Moksha Base where he is both their violinist and flutist. In 2015 and 2017, Seyorn was awarded the title of Sangeet Samrat for both junior and senior categories, in competitions organized in the United Arab Emirates.

Seyorn has also completed ABRSM (Associate Board of the Royal Schools of Music) Western piano grade 7 and diploma in Western flute with distinction, making him an Associate of the Royal Schools of Music in London. He has performed many solos on both piano and flute and has also received high-scorer’s awards on a number of occasions across all of his grades for both. Seyorn is currently a second-year student at the University of Auckland studying engineering science and commerce.

Meenakshi Iyer (Meena Venki) is a teacher, with unquenchable interest in the performing of arts of India and reviews music, dance and other programmes of the Indian community. She lives with her husband in Auckland.

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