January 30, 2022 6:00 PM EST
Venkatesh Kumar – vocals
Raghunath Nakod – tabla
Guruprasad Hegde – harmonium
Aishwarya Desai and Arjun Vathar – tanpura and backup vocals
Venkatesh Kumar (1953-) was born in the Bellary district of Karnataka to a father who was a folk musician and leather puppeteer. As a young boy, he was taken to the Veereshwara Punyashrama in Gadag where the great saint and musician Puttaraj Gawai lived. The next 12 years were spent with his Guru who was trained in Hindustani as well as Carnatic music. Venkatesh Kumar is one of the foremost Hindustani vocalists of our times and is a fine example of the Kiran Gharana with its melodic purity inflected with the majestic intricacies of the Gwalior Gharana vocalism. Venkatesh Kumar is a consummate classical musician of our times who is able to use his foundational training in Hindustani music with personal aesthetic choices to create a robust, individual vocalism that appeals to connoisseurs and new listeners alike. Although fame came comparatively late to him, in the last 2 decades he has grown in stature and is a greatly loved and admired musician with a wide following.