Umayalpuram Sivaraman and troupe IMSOM and Cedar Cultural Center
jointly present an evening of
Carnatic Percussion and Instrumental Music

"A Musical Odyssey in Rhythm Fantasies"

Maestro Sri Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman (Mridangam)
Nemani Somayajulu (Jalatharangam)
Nagai Sriram (Violin)
E. M. Subramaniam (Ghatam)
Mattanur Sankaran Kutty Nair (Chenda)
Unnikrishnan (Thimila & Edakka)

Saturday, October 2, 2004, 7:30 pm


Cedar Cultural Center
416 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, Mn 55454

For a map and parking information please see link above.


Advance: Students/Seniors/IMSOM Members: $15.00, General $18.00

Day of concert:
All $20.00
(No discounts on the day of concert)

Purchase tickets in advance at the IMSOM website OR at the Cedar website.

IMSOM members can make use of their passes at this concert. Please email or call Kari Askeland ( or 612-879-9695) to reserve your seats if using IMSOM members passes.

About the Artists and the Instruments:

Sri Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman
, one of the leading Mridangam artists of today, is considered to be in a class of his own, winning critical acclaim from fellow musicians and audiences worldwide. He has received great approbation for his new techniques, innovations and creative ability in accompaniment, solo renditions, and jugalbandhi performances with his North Indian counterparts.

Sivaraman pursued his musical studies through the gurukula discipline under four great and illustrious masters: Sri Arupathi Natesa Iyer, Sri Tanjavoor Vaidyanatha Iyer, Sri Palghat Mani Iyer, Sri Kumbakonam Rangu Iyengar. Having made his debut at the tender age of ten in 1945, Sivaraman has performed for more than half a century, accompanying a prestigious array of vocal and instrumental maestros. In addition to playing traditional South Indian Carnatic concerts and Jugalbandhi's (duets) with North Indian counterparts, Sivaraman has traveled all over the world and performed with non-Indian percussionists and musicians, and has also composed original musical scores. He has shared the stage with great musicians like Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustad Alla Rakha, Pandit Kishen Maharaj, and Ustad Zakir Hussain.

Sivaraman has also undertaken the laudable task of conducting original research on the art of Mridangam. He has introduced the fiber glass Mridangam to Carnatic music, improvised a mechanical jig to eliminate human error in the molding of skins for both sides of the instrument, and has done research work on tanned and untanned skins for the Mridangam. His analysis of the ingredients of the black patch has given much insight on the overtones produced by different strokes on the Mridangam. He has also toured India, Australia, and the USA promoting the Mridangam and South Indian music by conducting workshops and performing at various universities and prestigious venues like Kennedy Center Millenium Stage, Lotus World Music Festival, Percussive Arts Society International Convention, Drummers Collective, NY, KOSA International Percussion Workshop, and Chicago World Music Festival.

Sivaraman was awarded the prestigious "Sangeetha Kalanidhi" title in Chennai, India in January 2002 and the "Padma Bhushan" award (the third highest civilian award in India) in January 2003.

Nemani Somayajulu (Jalatharangam) hails from a musical family and learned this unique art from Jalatharangam Maestro Anayampatti Dhandapani. Jalatharangam consists of several porcelain cups of distinct sonorousness, arranged in a semicircle before the performer.  They are filled with different amounts of water which gives sustained notes in various pitches, stability to the cups and to enable grace notes to be played. The cups are struck with two wooden sticks. 

Nagai Sriram (Violin)
was born into a family of musicians.  He started learning violin from his grandmother Smt. R. Komalavalli and underwent advanced training from his uncle Sri Nagai Muralidharan.  He has accompanied several top musicians from South India and has traveled abroad many times.  He has won many prizes and awards, namely "Yuva Kala Bharathy" during the year 2003.  He is a B-high artist of All India Radio and Doordarshan Television in Chennai.

E. M. Subramaniam (Ghatam) trained under his father and started playing Ghatam at the age of 8. He has accompanied almost all of the senior stalwart musicians of South India along with top Mridangam maestros including Palghat Mani Iyer, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, and T. K. Murthy, as well as top Tabla artists like Alla Rakha, Kishen Maharaj, and Zakir Hussain. He accompanied Sri Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman during the Festival of Indian Consulate in Paris and New York in 1985. He has toured in many countries including the USA, Australia, Europe, Middle East, Far East, etc. He has been an approved top grade Ghatam artist of All India Radio for the past 39 years. He was awarded the title of "Kalaimamani" by the Government of Tamil Nadu in the year 2000.

Mattanur Sankaran Kutty Nair (Chenda) and Unnikrishnan (Thimila & Edakka) are leading multipercussionists from the state of Kerala. Chenda is a hollow cylindrical instrument made of soft wood with both ends covered with cowhide. The musical notes emitted by the instrument are altered by adjusting the strings and small bamboo rings appended to it. Chenda is played by beating the upper end with two sticks. Thimila is an hourglass shaped drum made from polished Jack wood. Leather braces holding the drumheads are twined around the waist of the drum and their tension is adjusted to control the sound of the instrument. Edakka is made of wood. The drumheads are held in position by cotton strings. Music is created with this instrument by simultaneously using one hand to beat the drum with a stick and the other to manipulate the strings. These three instruments are part of the characteristic orchestra of Kerala, and are an essential accompaniment in many traditional festivals and rituals of that state. Nair and Unnikrsihnan have both performed worldwide in traditional Kerala percussion ensembles.

Directions and parking:

Please visit the Cedar Cultural Center website for all information.


Shivanthi Sathanandan         (651) 698-0774
Ameeta Kelekar                  (
651) 787-0497


This activity is made possible, in part, by funds provided by, the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council (MRAC) "Arts Activities Grant" through an appropriation by the Minnesota state legislature, the General Mills Foundation "Celebrating Communities of Color" Grant, and IMSOM members. This concert is co-sponsored by KFAI Radio (90.3FM Minneapolis / 106.7FM St. Paul).

The National tour of this ensemble is sponsored by Rhythm Fantasies, Inc., Maryland - a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization for the promotion of Mridangam and South Indian Music.


Copyright 2004 Indian Music Society of Minnesota