Two Indian origin musicians — New York-based businesswoman Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon and pianist-composer Vijay Iyer — have been nominated for this year’s Grammy awards.
While Tandon’s Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul Call, featuring Sanskrit chants, has been nominated in the Best Contemporary World Music Album category, Iyer’s Historicity has been shortlisted for the Best Jazz Instrumental Album award.
Soul Call takes the listener on a healing journey with Sanskrit slokas and an important chant from ancient Indian texts — eight phonemes, Om Na Mo Na Ra Ya Na Ya. While the vocals and the composition are by Tandon, the complex orchestral arrangements are by Tejendra Narayan Majumdar assisted by Snehasish Majumdar.
Tandon, who hails from Chennai, is the chairman of Tandon Capital Associates.
Historicity is a trio album combining Iyer’s searing originals with a surprising batch of covers — Bernstein’s Somewhere, Andrew Hill’s Smoke Stack, MIA’s Galang and others. Featuring his long time collaborators, Marcus Gilmore (drums) and Stephan Crump (bass), this album became one of the most acclaimed jazz works of the decade.
Iyer, the U.S.-born son of Indian immigrants, is a self-taught creative musician grounded in American jazz and popular forms and drawing from a wide range of Western and non-Western traditions.
Most recently, in the Jazz Journalists Association Jazz Awards, he was named the 2010 Musician of the Year, an honour previously given to greats like Herbie Hancock, Ornette Coleman, Wayne Shorter and Dave Holland.