The music season has arrived in Chennai. Channels are creating opportunities to get closer to the vast audience here - and the world over - that tunes in to ragas in the voices of their favorite music stars. Jaya TV, Raj TV and Vijay TV have announced their fare for the festive season with event properties.
Traditionally, the Tamil month of ‘Margazhi’, beginning mid-December on the English calendar, is when the music begins. Unlike the one-time affair mega events, classical music event formats allow for a full season of events, and therefore a more spread out engagement and programming opportunity. Different channels have chosen different event formats to address the needs of enthusiasts this music season.
Margazhi Mahotsavam, on Jaya TV, is an event property into its fourth year now. Spread out in the first half of December from December 1, the schedule will be held in the evenings in shows of two-hour durations. The organizers expect around 2000 people to attend the festival each day.
“We have tried to keep it as traditional as possible for the benefit of carnatic music lovers. Attendance to the event is free enabling people to enjoy the shows during the music season, and we have had excellent response over the last three years,” said V Murali Raaman, VP – Programmes and Operations, Jaya TV.
The channel will air the event from December 16 to January 2, in one-hour slots at 6 pm, with repeats at 6.30 am the next day. The performers will include Sudha Raghunathan, Sanjay Subramaniam, Unnikrishnan, O S Arun, ‘Karaikudi’ Mani (Fusion), Bombay Jayshree, Aruna Sairam, Priya Sisters, Soumya, ‘Neyveli’ Santhana Gopal, A K Palanivel and Ganesh – Kumaresh (Violin). In addition to these performers, the channel will also provide a platform for upcoming artists to showcase their talent, from 5 pm to 6 pm.
‘Chennaiyil Oru Thiruvaiyaru’ on Raj TV, will pitch in with an exciting treat on ground and on air. Riding on stars and the recall of Thiruvaiyaru and Saint Thiyagaraja, the channel’s event promises to recreate ‘Thrivaiyaru’ in Chennai this year. On ground from December 21 to 25, from 10:30 am to 9.30 pm, the events will be telecast from December 28, in half an hour slots at 6:30 pm.
B Shankar, VP-Sales and Marketing, Raj TV, said, “The format we have chosen is unique and the theme of recreating Thiruvaiyaru has been welcomed by many. Five days, and eight hours of the best classical music each day and the audience will still ask for more. So far we have received a strongly positive response to the event and hope to take it further in the years to come.”
Among the performers will be Kasim – Babu (Nadaswaram), O.S. Arun, Unni Krishnan, Sudha Ragunathan, Malladi Brothers, Dr. N. Ramani (Flute), T.M. Krishna, T.N. Shesagopalan, ‘Sikkil’ GuruCharan, Gayathri Girish, Kanyakumari (Violin), ‘Sirkazhi’ G. Siva Chidambaram, Ghadam Karthick, Gayathri Venkatraghavan, T.V. Shankaranarayan, Kadhri Gopalnath, ‘Bharatnatyam’ Urmila, Hyderabad Brothers, Sowmya and Ganesh – Kumaresh (Violinists).
Vijay TV’s music fest is called ‘Sangeetha Sangamam’. Scheduled from November 21, 22, 23 and 24. Starting well ahead of the season (like The Hindu Friday Review November Fest), the performances will be aired from December 12 to 30, in half and hour slots at 6 p.m. repeated at 5.30 a.m. the next day. Those set to take stage include Dr. M. Balamuralikrishna, Kadri Gopalnath, T.N. Seshagopalan, Vani Jayaram, Anuradha Sriram with Sriram Parasuram, ‘Sirkazhi’ Sivachidambaram, Shashank, Sowmya, ‘Mahanadhi’ Shobana and Saindhavi.
The list of performers may overlap, but there will be no dearth of quality events to attend for the carnatic music lovers of Chennai this year. And this segment, going by media initiatives, shows no signs of waning. It’s that time of the year when carnatic music is definitely ‘in’.