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Kumar Gandharva (real name Shivaputra Siddramayya Komkali) (April 8, 1924 – January 1992) was a famous Hindustani classical singer, famous for his unique vocal style, refusal to be bound by the tradition of any gharana, and his innovative genius. The name "Kumar" is a title given to child prodigies, while Gandharva was the god of music in Hindu mythology.Read More...
Shivaputra was born in Dharwad (Karnataka, India). As a child, he was stricken with tuberculosis, and left with only one functioning lung. This greatly affected his singing – he was to be known for powerful short phrases and his very high voice. He may not have reached the same heights of popularity as contemporaries like Bhimsen Joshi, but Gandharva always enjoyed the love and support of dedicated and connoisseur enthusiasts. His singing was also true to the Indian Classical Music tradition of dialogue with the listeners, of impromptu creation and interactivity.
Kumarji also experimented with other forms of singing such as Bhajans (Devotional songs), folk songs, and with both ragas and presentation, often going from fast to slow compositions in the same raga, something rarely done by any other North Indian musician. One of the most inventive singers in recent years, he is remembered for his great legacy of innovation, questioning tradition without rejecting it wholesale, resulting in music in touch with the roots of Indian culture.
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