Jayanthi Kumaresh

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Jayanthi Kumaresh’s Saraswati veena is an ancient instrument, named after the Hindu goddess of arts and learning. But her gently electrified version produces a strikingly guitaristic tone, igniting Carnatic classical melodies with sweeping bends.

She started playing aged three, and learned under her mother Lalgudi Rajalakshmi, before leaving home aged 13 to study with her aunt Padmavathy Ananthagopalan. She also received instruction from her great-uncle, violinist Lalgudi Jayaraman, and noted veena player S Balachander.

A few years later she became one of the youngest artists to receive an All India Radio ‘A’ grading, earned a doctorate in veena history, and founded the Indian National Orchestra, uniting musicians from India’s classical traditions in a large ensemble. On recent recordings she has experimented with recording seven layers of veena on top of each other, and continues to write for dance and film.

"The history of the Saraswati Veena runs parallel with the history of the Indian Music scene. It has been existent in different forms, sizes and shapes through many thousands of years. The current Saraswati Veena is a piece of art."

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