Bombay Jayashri Ramnath
Wealth, more wealth and still more wealth. That may be Adam Smith's theory of wealth creation. Music, more music and still more music. That is the philosophy that defines this classical vocal musician. After receiving the "Kalki Award" at Bharthya Vidya Bhavan in Chennai in 2002, she said she knew nothing other than music.
She breathes it. She lives by it. And, life revolves around just the music. She is a Mom's girl and a Mother's dream. More than anybody else, mother Seetha Subramaniam is the one who shaped the musician in Bombay Jayashri. Today, Seetha should be a happy mother. Jayashri is not just among leading vocalists of the present time. She has also a voice that has civilizing influence on the listener.
Jayashri, as a young girl, was always fond of cultural activities. And, she never missed an opportunity to participate in such activities. Never mind, it meant skipping classes. Though she was going to college, her mind was always drawn to music. It was naturally no surprise when she joined an orchestra group "Rainbow" and got fully engaged with it. A vibrant young girl, she was exposed to all forms of art. In one of her interviews, Jayashri asserted that "youngsters who wished to take music as their career need not go for commerce but, on the contrary, can devote their full time for music.'' Drowned fully into music, Jayashri dreams of an ideal situation where over 20 acres of land is developed and dedicated only for imparting/learning music.
Jayashri did her schooling and college in Mumbai. She is a commerce graduate from Podar College, Mumbai. She took her early music lessons under the guidance of T.R.Balamani of Mumbai. Jayashri was exposed to all form of arts like veena, dance and music since her childhood. Her mother Seetha was her guru, philosopher and the guide. It was she who encouraged her to devote full time to Carnatic music. At a tender age of three years, Jayashri was able to render the varnams with ease while her mother was teaching older students.
The year 1989 marked a watershed in her music life. That was the year in which Jayashri shifted her base to Chennai at the request of Shri.Lalgudi Jayaraman (Violin maestro). And after this, the entire course of her life changed. She slowly and steadily started to scale new peaks under Jayaraman's guidance. Sooner than later, Jayashri has become one of the top artistes. Music has taken her to countries like the U.S., Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, the U.K., France, Germany, Switzerland, Finland, Sri Lanka, South Africa and Botswana.
She has also composed music for Silappadhikaram, a dance drama in the year 2004, produced by Cleveland's Cultural Alliance. Being Lalgudi Jayaraman's disciple she has brought out her prowess in scoring music for Silappadhikaram verses. Jayashri was to a large extent responsible for its tremendous success.
Jayashri presents her concerts in an unique manner. She chooses rare and vivadi ragas for exploration in select sabhas and enthralls the audience with her spellbound music. Jayashri's approach to music is steady and unhurried. There is a touch of divinity in her rendition of music. The melody in her voice has the ability to force one to be rooted to his/her chair while listening to her concerts. What stands her out is the crystal clear clarity in the way she pronounces the phrases in a Sahitya. This makes her an absorbing vocalist. She has even made the Finnish and French audiences - who may not understand the nuances of the Carnatic classical music - stay riveted to their seats at her concerts abroad.
Jayashri is also well known for her albums. She has a unique style of presenting her albums. Each and every album is creative and captivating. Vatsalyam, Brindavan, Listners Choice, Shyama, Radha Madhavam,Chiselled Aesthetics, Classical Melodies, Dikshitar Kritis, Atma, Carnatic Classical, Your Favourites, Shravanam, Amritham and Anubhavam - the list is quite long and are like pearls embedded in a garland . Jayashri has recently released an album titled "Panchabhutams," comprising songs composed by Muthuswamy Dikshitar. It is an effort well appreciated for the combination of orchestration and rendition of pure Carnatic music. Jayashri has won many an accolade like `Isai Peroli', `Yuva Kala Bharathi' and "Kalaimamani" . She has won the Film Fare award for the song "Vassegara".
Jayashri is very soft spoken. She is not demonstrative in spite of having a command over the music. She pines to learn more. She treasures even a small bit of information related to music and knowledge. Jayashri is a book-reader and nature-loving personality. She also made a mark as a writer by publishing her maiden book titled "Voices Within" based on seven great musicians from carnatic music. She co-authored this book with T.M.Krishna and Mythili Chandrasekhar.