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Venkateshkumar Honoured

Tuesday, June 11, 2019
By Amarendra Dhaneshwar

Although there are scores of present generation singers who try to imitate or emulate the singing style of Kumar Gandharva, none of them have started an organization in his name.

Perhaps,the one and only one foundation proudly bearing the great singer's name was started by Paramanand Yadav who had a chance to learn from the maestro for only a few years. Yadav is a dedicated teacher and singer who specializes in songs written by saint poets like Kabir and Tulsi. Yadav has been orgnizing a yearly event in which he felicitates a senior artiste and decorates him or her with an award which bears Kumar Gandharva's name.

This year the function was held in the P L Deshpande Mini Auditorium  at Pabhadevi in the last week of May. The event attracted a full house. Sulagna Roy Bhattacharya, Odissi dance exponent from Calcutta presented a splendid dance item which was appreciated by the audience.Venkatesh Kumar, now a front ranking vocalist of our generation sang the night raga 'Bihag'.

He was in a fine voice from the beginning. His singing style bears close resemblance to maestros like Basavraj Rajguru and Bhimsen Joshi, both great contemporaries of Kumar Gandharva. It is mixture of the Gwalior and Kirana gharana.Since it accords central importance to melody his singing appeals even to the lay persons. He also sang a ;prakar' of 'Kanada' and also a devotional Kannada song which he sang with fervour. Mandar Puranik on the tabla and Siddhesh Bicholkar on the harmonium provided superb support.

The award function was presided over by the famous Bhajan singer Anup Jalota who heaped praise of Kumar Gandharva as well as Venkatesh Kumar.Interestingly, Venkatesh hails from the same soil which also produced Kumar Gandharva, Bhimsen Joshi, Basavraj Rajguru, Mallikarjun Mansur, Gangubai Hangal and many others. Venkatesh has been carrying on the great tradition.

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