The Swyer Theatre at The Egg played host to a sold out afternoon performance on Sunday, April 10 by Triveni, featuring three of the greatest musicians in Indian classical music – Zakir Hussain, Kala Ramnath, and Dr. Jayanthi Kumaresh. The three musicians have been honored in India and abroad with numerous awards, and have collaborated for Triveni’s initial tour in North America.
The mixed crowd drew from the large South Asian population in the Capital Region, all captivated by the sonic experience the trio had to offer this afternoon.
All three performers walked out shortly after 3pm, taking their seats behind their respective instruments. Hussain wished the crowd a happy Palm Sunday, and said that they were all very glad to finally be performing, which was greeted by loud applause from the audience. Ramnath and Kumaresh – wearing traditional saris – flanked Hussain on each side, with Ramnath playing violin to Hussain’s right and Kumaresh the Saraswati Veena.
Hussain noted they would treat the performance as a train on a journey, stopping at different stations. Noting the North Indian raga tradition background of Ramnath, and the South Indian veena of Kumaresh, Hussain served as the bridge for the two to meet, culminating in hypnotic interplay between all three and, at times, duets between them.
The combination of sounds from each of the stringed instruments joined with the tabla made for a consistent musical conversation, one with no breaks in between, just a constant flow from song to song. With the group’s name of Triveni derived from the mythical site of the union of three sacred rivers in India, the name was on point as a perfect one for this concert of musicians.
In one segment, after 20 minutes of continuous interplay between Ramnath and Kumaresh, Zakir joined in after quietly observed the pair. As the collaboration progressed, Hussain used the rapid drumming of his fingers on the tabla to drive the tempo of the “train” quickly uphill. After taking a lengthy solo, Hussain was joined by once again by Ramnath and Kumaresh, bringing the performance to a ferocious close.
After a slightly more than 90-minute set, the trio went out in front of their instruments to bow in appreciation to the audience. At this time, Hussain stepped back, allowing the women to soak in the appreciation from the Swyer Theatre audience.
Triveni Tour Dates
4/12/2022 Pittsburgh Cultural Arts Pittsburgh, PA
4/14/2022 Sixth&i Washington, DC
4/17/2022 Global Arts Live Somerville, MA
4/19/2022 Davidson Theatre Columbus, OH
4/20/2022 Cleveland Museum of Art Cleveland, OH
4/23/2022 Indian Classical Music Circle Austin, TX
4/24/2022 Wortham Center Houston TX