Hindustani musicians Jayateerth Mevundi and Satyajit S. Talwalkar, recipients of the Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar, gave a good account of themselves

Since 2006, the Sangeet Natak Akademi has been conferring Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar on young talents. This is a good move, because sometimes even very accomplished musicians could be ignored for the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award. The name of the late Ustad Chand Khan of the Delhi gharana comes to mind in this context. Therefore, if young talents can be encouraged by such awards, it will augur well for the future of our music.

Last Tuesday, one got the opportunity to listen to Jayateerth Mevundi, a recipient of the Yuva Puraskar for 2011. Born in 1972 in Hubli, Karnataka, he was initiated into music by Arjunsa Nakod of the Gwalior gharana and learnt from him for 10 years. He was later given advanced training by Shripati Padagar who was a disciple of Bhimsen Joshi. Little wonder that Jayateerth has modelled himself largely after the great Kirana maestro by incorporating many salient features of his style into his singing.

He chose Bhimsen Joshi’s favourite evening raga Puriya Kalyan, a Marwa thaat sampoorna raga that combines Puriya and Kalyan in the poorvang and uttarang respectively. Pancham and Shadaj are the two most important notes of this raga. Jayateerth sang the vilambit Teen tala composition “Aaj so bana” and reminded one of Bhimsen Joshi who on most occasions chose the very same bandish to render this raga. One has been listening to him for some years now and during this while his singing has acquired a lot of polish and finesse. His alap, though short due to paucity of time, was charming and full of emotive content. The way he handled bol-alaps and bol-taans was noteworthy. He impressed with the clarity of notes in his well-constructed taan patterns, especially in the drut Teen tala bandish “Bahut din beete”. Jayateerth concluded his concert with a bhajan-like composition, “Baaje muraliya baaje”. He was ably accompanied by Vinod Lele on tabla and Vinay Mishra on harmonium.

Also featured on the same evening was Satyajit S. Talwalkar, son and disciple of the famous tabla maestro Suresh Talwalkar. He offered a solo recital in Teen tala and displayed his dexterity by creating complex rhythmic patterns. His eclectic style of playing had elements of the Punjab, Delhi, Ajrada and Farrukhabad schools and some of his chhandas were reminiscent of his guru Suresh Talwalkar’s erudition. He came through as a very competent tabla player. Tanmay accompanied him on harmonium.