It was a beautiful evening in Calcutta. The guys had just finished a series of shows in town and were about to head to North East India for another series of shows. I had already set up a time to talk to Selvaganesh who played kanjeera with Jonas Hellborg a couple of nights previous. As I knocked on the door, he politely asked us to come inside. It seems that he and Jonas were working on something new. The informal conversation lasted for about 30 minutes where he talked about his instrument, his father, Vikku Vinayakram, his friends and brothers and what he felt about music in general. I was in awe of his humility, respect and simplicity. His music is just a mirror of his personality. We hope that you enjoy the interview as much as we did…
SELVA GANESH – BIO SELVAGANESH represents the new breed of percussionist emerging from India. They are young, cosmopolitan and adventurous. The son of T H Vikku Vinayakram, Selvaganesh emerges also from a disciplic tradition. Gaining instruction at his grandfather’s institution, the Sri Jaya Ganesh Thala Vadya Vidyala, Selvaganesh gave his first performance at the age of ten. Now in his twenties, he has already gained renowned respect among leading musicians of the Carnatic tradition. Among those he has accompanied are Smt M S Subbalakshmi, Smt M Vasanthakumari, Smt Gayathri, Lalgudi Sri Jayaraman, Mandolin Sri Srinivas, Sri Ganesh and Sri Kumeresh, Sri D K Jayaraman, Sri T N Seshagopalan, Kadri Sri Gopalnath and Trichur Sri Ramachandran. He has performed in major concerts since 1986 accompanying singers and musicians from Delhi and Madras and even as diverse as the Andaman and Nicobar islands. In 1993, he traveled across Europe together with tabla maestro’s Ustad Zakir Hussain and Ustad Alla Rakha and Sri T H Vinayakram. His spirit of adventure has also led to forays into the world of jazz where he has played in the jazz group conducted by Sri Ganesh and Sri Kumeresh as well as Sri Maha Perijava Groups Swara Laya Mela. He has gained most recognition in the west for his work with guitar maestro John McLaughlin in the group Shakti.
John McLaughlin, Shankar Mahadevan and Zakir Hussain Six years in the making, “Is that So?” is one of John McLaughlin‘s