Dr.Jayanthi Kumaresh is India’s torch bearer worldwide for Saraswathi Veena, the National Instrument of India. An artiste, collaborator, composer, researcher, creator, pioneer, and educator, her life achievements over 35 years, truly embodies the rich musical heritage of India, making her one of the legendary Veena masters that India has ever produced.
Apart from several prestigious venues and festivals in India, Jayanthi has performed at many international festivals, including the San Francisco Jazz Festival, Darbar Festival London, Celtic Connections in Scotland, Queensland Music Festival, Darwin Music Festival, and Adelaide Music Festival, BBC Proms London and at prestigious venues such as United Nations in New York, the Palladium, Indiana, Théåtre de la Ville, Paris, and Northwest Folklife Festival, Seattle.
She has received many awards in India such “Sangeetha Choodamani”, “Kalaimamani” by the Government of Tamil Nadu, “Veena Naada Mani”, “Kala Ratna”, “Sathyashree”, “Gaana Varidhi”, is an ten-time recipient of The Music Academy, Chennai’s “Award for Veena”, “Sangeet Shikar Samman”, “Indira Sivasailam Endowment Medal”, to name a few. As a pioneer in her field, Jayanthi has presented Veena to audiences in every corner of the world in different formats.
Apart from her solo concerts, she has performed with legends such as Ustad Zakir Hussain and has presented duets and north-south jugalbandhis with several other maestros. Her 45 Ragas is one of the first ever one-artist, one-instrument live concert non-stop for 124 minutes. Her Story in Concert is an integration of different art forms in one production where story-telling, music and painting all come under one umbrella. She is the founder of the Indian National Orchestra, featuring 21 star musicians from all over India – first of its kind orchestra for Indian Classical Music. Her album Mysterious duality is a path- breaker where one artist, one instrument have created a philharmonic effect. Her web series, Cup O’ Carnatic, which popularizes Carnatic music in general and Veena in particular has more than 2 million views on social media.
A researcher, she holds a Doctorate for her works on “styles and playing techniques of the Saraswathi Veena”. Her series of talks and lecture-demonstrations in various Universities and schools and several TEDx talks have made her a sought-after ambassador of Indian Music among the younger generation. As a composer, she has composed and created music for many musicals, dance productions and documentaries.
Her rich lineage of music can be traced back six generations and her prodigious musical journey began at age 3 under her mother Vidushi Lalgudi. R. Rajalakshmi. She then left home to live with her guru Vidushi Padmavathi Ananthagopalan for 22 years and learnt the intricate science and art of playing the Veena. Her playing technique was further enhanced under the tutelage of Veena Virtuoso Dr.S.Balachander.
Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh has dedicated her life to the Saraswathi Veena. Her playing style truly brings out the voice of the Veena, in terms of originality in content, technique, virtuosity and expression that transcends the boundaries of language and region.