Veena artiste Jayanthi Kumaresh’s musical legacy is enviable while Kumaresh is a well-known violinist. They may be celebrities in their niche, but in their apartment in J.P. Nagar 6th Phase, the couple gets on with their domestic chores.
Jayanthi is amused that her apartment happens to be in the midst of a musical milieu. “Would you believe it, when we go for our walks we often hear people practising music — nothing is more welcome!” Kumaresh is happy that his apartment is tucked away from the noisy bustle of the area’s notorious traffic.
Kumaresh had stepped on stage as a five-year-old with elder brother Ganesh, and before he was 10, he had already made his 100th stage appearance. The young violinist-duo became State Artistes of Tamil Nadu when M.G. Ramachandran was the Chief Minister. The siblings released Ragapravaham, a new-age album, which Kumaresh describes as “the first-of-its-kind researched work highlighting the outstanding violin-receptive ragas.”
Jayanthi, a student of maestro Veena S. Balachander, is legendary violinist Lalgudi G. Jayaraman’s niece. She is the youngest veena player to receive ‘A Top’ from All India Radio and her performances are resonant with Balachander’s style and stamped with remarkable intellectual value.
The couple’s decade-old experimentation has them coming together often for violin and veena tête-à-têtes — ‘Strings Attached’. “Strings Attached happened after a western musician asked us in Switzerland if we are going to be playing together. And, it is paying off, as you see it,” declares Kumaresh.
Just as Jayanthi is self-made with her approach fashioned in a way that “people understand the divine characteristics of the instrument too”, Kumaresh presents classical compositions in all ways the instrument can make inroads and talk for itself.
Bangalore has been a boon to the couple as the city showcases different genres of music. “J.P. Nagar itself is a hub for culture and arts, be it serious cutcheris, Tyagaraja Aradhane or theatre at Ranga Shankara,” says Jayanthi.