Gautam Tejas Ganeshan
Carnatic music with distinction and an inimitable style
$20.50 advance / $22.50 at door
Purchase tickets online
April 07 8:00 pm
For Guatam Tejas Ganeshan, the essence of music is the gathering – the shared experience of people gathered together to make and hear music, in concert. Gautam performs new compositions rooted in an old tradition, the classical music of South India known as Carnatic music, which emphasizes the vocal element. He sings, accompanied by Mohan Rangan Govindaraj on bamboo flute, Rajna Swaminathan on mridangam, a double-headed wooden drum, and Christina Boyd on tambura, a long-necked, fretless stringed instrument plucked to produces a harmonic drone. The website San Francisco Classical Voice has called Gautam a “local treasure” and praised his voice as “eminently lyrical and supple, its dramatic impact bolstered by the singer’s expressive use of his arms and hands as he asked, in song, ‘Where shall I, your singer, go?’ and affirmed that, ‘Despite nostalgia for paradise, the memory will suffice.’” Gautam sings mostly in English, opening up this classic Indian form to new audiences.
He grew up in a family of music lovers in a suburb of Houston, Texas, and studied mridingam, piano, and violin as child, adding drums in high school and guitar in college at the University of Texas. He spent a year in Tamil Nadu, adapting his violin technique to the demands of Carnatic music. After moving to San Francisco, he played violin in a South Indian jazz band and then, in 2008, he made the leap to singing. “I put down the violin once and for all, cold turkey,” he says. “I graduated. I finally faced the music. What had been whispering all along, but at that point became a shout, was that the violin was so difficult for me compared with the voice.” He started the group New Directions in Indian Classical Music and founded the Sangati Center, which has hosted more than 300 public chamber concerts of Indian classical music. The San Francisco Chronicle has called him “a magnet for local Indian classical musicians.” Tonight at the Freight, he and a few talented musician friends perform music that will only be heard once. Come and be part of the gathering.
Listen to sample tracks from upcoming artists.