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For art and artistes

Jayaraj aims at promoting music and fine arts


A FAMILIAR face to music lovers in the city, G. Jayaraj has been organising cultural programmes for the past 18 years. In September 1986, he set up Navarasam Sangeetha Sabha, a cultural forum to pursue his artistic ambitions. During its early years, Navarasam Sangeetha Sabha's activities were aimed at children. It organised Kathakali, dance programmes, music sessions, and photo exhibitions for children.

Later, the sabha started bringing in noted poets, actresses and musicians. Among them are personalities such as P. Bhaskaran, ONV Kurup, Chunakkara Ramankutty, Perumpuzha Gopalakrishnan, Sugathakumari, Urvasi Saradha, Naushad, Pandit Ravishankar, M.G. Radhakrishnan, Kalamandalam Krishnan Nair, to name a few.

Most of the Sabha's programmes resemble family-get-togethers.

Special programmes

The Sabha chooses certain special occasions to conduct programmes. It might be to commemorate the 75th birth anniversary of the late music director Baburaj, or to celebrate the 50th year of P. Bhasakaran's entry into Malayalam filmdom as a lyricist.

Last march, the sabha organised a musical function to invoke nature's blessings for rain and `Amrithavarshini' (raga, believed to have the power to cause rain) was the main raga sung. And in October, it hosted a function to pay tributes to Semmangudi Sreenivasa Iyer on his death anniversary.

Before the start of the Sabha's concerts in the evening, children are requested to recite `sandhya nama japam' (traditional evening prayer). "This is just an attempt to revive a vanishing custom in our homes," says Jayaraj.

Activities

He also edits a cultural magazine named `Roopavathi'.

He writes articles on art and music for a couple of Malayalam magazines in the city.

A directory containing whereabouts of the musicians in Kerala is another project that is close to his heart.

In the late 1970s Jayaraj shot a 8mm, 32-minute film, which he titled `Atmakahalam.'

In order to honour artists, the sabha has instituted three honorary awards - V. Sarasamma Memorial Award for the best musician, Govind Award for the author of the best music-related book and Youngster's Award.

K.C. ASOK

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