Dr. Umayalpuram Sivaraman

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A dual degrees holder from the University of Madras, Sivaraman performed his first concert at the age of ten in a temple and would still be drumming half a century later. He accompanied and recorded with many illustrious musicians including Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, Hariprasad Chaurasiya, Ustad Allah Rakha, and Zakir Hussain and recorded for ECM with violinist L. Shankar in a contemporary new age jazz direction with heavy Indian overtones, of course. A top-notch artist for All India Radio and Doordarshan Television, he took over as director for the Tanjore Vaidyanatha Iyer School for Percussion at the Madras Music Academy. He received a series of honorary titles and awards, including the Padmashri from the Government of India in 1988 and the Sangeet Natak Akademi award in 1992. He continues to make instruction, increasingly of foreign students, one of his central activities. In 1996, he released the album Garland of Rythm on the Magnasound label. His work was also included on compilations organized by Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart and he certainly holds his own as part of an all-star cast of percussion greats from around the world.