Patri Satish Kumar is an Indian Carnatic musician and player of the mridangam. Born into a family steeped in Carnatic music, Satish Kumar was initiated into learning mridangam at a young age by his mother Smt. Padmavathy, who was a violinist. He performed his first concert at the age of 7. He accompanied alongside with acclaimed artists such as Dr. Balamuralikrishna, Ganesh and Kumaresh, Chitraveena Ravi Kiran, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Pandit Jasraj, Flute Maestro Shashank Subramanyam, Sudha Raghunathan, Bombay Jayashri, Aruna Sayeeram. He received the titles of Mridanga Naada Mani by Kanchi Kamakoti Asthana Vidwan. He was also awarded with the title “Navayuga Nandi”.
Satish Kumar has accompanied Dr. Nithyasree Mahadevan in the recent concert by CFAA. He generously accepted our request to talk few minutes with DesiShades. Here are the excerpts from the discussion.
DesiShades: Namaste Satish Kumar ji, we are so amazed to see your rocking performance with Dr Nithyasree. What is the secret of your energetic performance?
Patri Satish Kumar: It is all the blessings from the Mata – Pita – Guru and Daivam (God). We could see the Mata, Pita and Guru physically, and God thru music. I treat this as my life, not just a profession. As an artist, I would try to practice this 24×7. The energy is generated with the response from the audience.
DS: Can you briefly tell us about yourself and how you got into this art?
PS: I am born in 1970 in Vizianagaram. My mother is violin vidushi, worked in Head of the Music dept in the women’s college. Father is manager of SBI. My sister used to play violin. My brother used to play mridangam. I used to observe him playing, and I used to play on a small box. My mother saw me, and thought of putting me into mridangam classes. I started learning mridangam at about 5yrs old. By the blessings of elders, I started giving the performances from the age of 7yrs. I have about 34yrs of stage performance experiences.
DS: Where did you get your training from?
PS: I initially started with Sri Ramachandra Murthy, after 2yrs, I moved to Sri Appalaswamy. I learned with him for 11yrs, and then moved to Vidwan Vankayala Narasimham, staff artist in AIR, Visakhapatnam, whom I am also learning now.
DS: How was your experience accompanying with learned artists?
PS: When playing with legendary musicians, it is always been a thrilling opportunity mixed with fear. I thoroughly enjoyed playing for all the artists. Each time, it is a great opportunity.
DS: What are your other ventures?
PS: I do concerts independently, as well as jugalbandi with Tala vadyas. Now a days the drumming is so popular, and I use to work on several fusion concerts. In this connection I played with Jakir Hussain ji and some of the great African, European drummers.
DS: How do you feel about Denver concert?
PS: It went very well. The audience encouraged us very well. It all goes with the response from the crowd; the energy is transmitted from the audience. We will remember every moment of this concert for the many years to come.
DS: Thank you very much for your time with us today. We hope you will reach new heights in your career.
Thanks Colorado Fine Arts Association for getting us the opportunity to spend few minutes with the guest artist.