Pt. Ramesh Narayan receiving Indian Music Academy Award from the Honarable President of India, with the presence of parampoojya guruji Pt. Jasraj Ji
Pt. Ramesh Narayan receiving ‘Sangeet Mahayogi’ title from UTHRADAM THIRUNAL MARTHANDA VARMA FOUNDATION on July 28th 2012, by H. H. Uthradam Thirunnal Marthanda Varma, Maharaja of the erstwhile state of Travancore.
Pandit Ramesh Narayan has the unique distinction of being the only disciple of parampoojya guruji Pt. Jasrajji from Kerala and, one among the very few Hindustani vocalists from India. He has enthralled audiences in several parts of India and abroad.
Blessed with vigorous and expressive voice, his renditions are noted for their memorable felicity, depth of imagination and power to touch the listener’s heart. Be it a weighty Khayal or a moving Bhajan, his renditions take the connoisseurs and masses alike to ecstatic heights. Years of untiring hard work, determination and ultimate dedication, together with his inborn genius have helped him scale the formidable heights of this art, and become the torch bearer of Mewati Gharana.
Born and brought up in Koothuparambu, a village in the district of Kannur in Kerala, in a family of Carnatic musicians, Ramesh Narayan had his early lessons in music from his parents. His father Narayan Bhagavathar was a well-known musician of those days and his mother Narayani Amma was blessed with priceless Swarashuddhi (Purity of Swar). The musical ambience in Rameshji’s family during his early childhood left a lasting impression on him and he, as a child, yearned to learn more and continued his training in Carnatic music up to the age of twenty years. audiences in several parts of India and abroad.
It was while he was a student of Government Music College, Chitoor, that he was deeply drawn to Hindustani music. While listening to the Tumris of great singers like Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Begam Akhtar and Pandita Girija Devi on All India Radio, he realized that Hindustani music had the power to take him to a level of ultimate bliss and, decided to dedicate himself to mastering it. Nevertheless, his desire to learn Hindustani music would not have had this kind of fulfillment, but, for the profound interest and initiative taken by his Pune-based elder brother Sri. Ramdas to introduce Rameshji to the city of Pune, the seat of performing arts, pure music and culture.
In Pune, Rameshji learned sitar and tabla for four years under Pt. Sachidananda Phadke, disciple of the great Sitar Maestro Pandit Ravi Shankar. He was first introduced to Hindustani vocal music under the tutelage of Ustad Khan Saheb Mohammad Hussain in Pune and, later he mastered rare ragas and taals from Pandit Vittal Ksheerasagarji who presented him with a tanpura.
It was during this period that there came a turning point in his life when he met Sri. Mukul Shivputra, son of Pandit Kumar Gandharva. He, not only was a great influence on Rameshji during his early stages of learning Hindustani music, but his association also led Rameshji to have a darshan of the paramguru of his dreams, the one and only mahaguru he desperately sought to have: Pt. Jasrajji, during the Sawai Gandharv Music Festival, Pune.
Pt. Ramesh Narayan being honoured by Parampoojya Guruji, Pandit Jasraj ji, at the Pandit Motiram Maniram Musical Festival, Hyderabad, November, 1994.
After listening to guruji’s heavenly music in the early hours of the morning, Rameshji was totally transformed. He had only one wish in his life:sacrifice everything to have Panditji’s shishyathwa, which he finally managed to aquire after several attempts. Pandit Jasrajji gave him rigorous training for more than seven years in the subtler aspects of music, in traditional Gurukula style. Rameshji accompanied Pandit Jasrajji during several of his concerts. It was Pandit Jasrajji’s wish that Rameshji would go back to Kerala, and popularize this style of music in Kerala, which Rameshji could successfully carry out.