Ghatam Giridhar Udupa

“The King of Pot Music” - RAVE MAGAZINE

Synonymous with the ghatam, world-renowned percussionist Ghatam Giridhar Udupa is one the most loved names in the field of music. With three decades of musical journey enriched by collaborations with eminent artists across the world, concert visits to more than fifty countries and numerous accolades and awards, Udupa today stands as a true global icon, an ambassador of world music, and a pioneering exponent of Carnatic classical music.

His journey started at the age of 4, when he took to percussions under the mentorship of his father Vidwan Ullur Nagendra Udupa and later under Vidhushi Sukkanya Ramgopal and Vidwan V Suresh. Rooted firmly in the tradition of Carnatic Classical music, Udupa has extensively widened the boundaries of his repertoire with a range of pathbreaking collaborations. He is the founder and director of The Udupa Foundation, a registered charitable trust founded in 2015, with the aim of promoting music, performing arts and culture. The Foundation deals primarily with the promotion of performing arts and culture. He is the Brand Ambassador for Harman AKG Microphones.

He is one of the few musicians from India to perform at the prestigious “United Nations” with Dr.L.Subramaniam in March, 2011. He has performed at the most prestigious venues in the world including Carnegie Hall – New York (USA), Sydney Opera House - Sydney (Australia), The Kennedy Centre - Washington D.C. (USA), Royal Festival Hall ( London).

He has accompanied eminent South Indian Classical Musicians including Sarvashree M.Balamuralikrishna, M.S.Gopalkrishnan, R.K.Srikantan, T.N.Krishnan, T.K.Murthy, Palghat Raghu, Umayalpuram K.Sivaraman, Guru Karaikudi R Mani, L.Subramaniam, N.Ramani, K.J.Yesudas, T.V.Gopalkrishnan, Mysore Nagaraj & Manjunath, T.N.Seshagopalan, Ganesh & Kumaresh, Mandolin Srinivas, R.K.Padmanabha, Jayanthi Kumaresh, Bombay Jayashri, R.K.Suryanarayana, Basavanagudi G Nataraj, Aruna Sayeeram and others.

Apart from playing authentic Carnatic Classical music, he has performed in many Hindustani Classical, Fusion, Jazz, Blues, Flamenco, Celtic Music, Latin Music, Arabic Music, Japanese Music, Talavadya (Percussion Ensemble), Bollywood Music, European Folk Music, Symphony Orchestra, and has been part of numerous International Music Festivals with renowned Indian Musicians like Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Ustad Sultan Khan, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Pandit Birju Maharaj, Pandit Anindo Chatterjee, Ustad Shahid Parvez, Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri, Pandit Kumar Bose, Shankar Mahadevan Ehsaan Loy, Hariharan, Trilok Gurtu, Sivamani, Ranjit Barot, Louis Banks, Niladri Kumar, Ronu Mazumdar, Taufiq Qureshi, Fazal Qureshi and Western Musicians like John Mclaughlin, Larry Coryell, Hubert Laws, Ernie Watts, Airto Moreira, John Kaizan Neptune, Lewis Pragasam and others. He has also worked with many leading music directors from the Film industry in India.

He has been honoured as “Asthana Vidwan” of the Sri Matam of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, 2010. “Ustad Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar” from Sangeeth Natak Academy for the year 2013. He has won the best “Upa Pakka Vadhyam Award” from The Music Academy, Chennai – Jan 2015. He was conferred with title MADHURA MURALI PURASKAR from the Legendary Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna, Chennai, 2012 (82nd Birthday Celebration of Dr.M.Balamuralikrishna), Nadajyothi Puruskara in 2015, The Lions International Award in 2011, Yuva Laya Prathibhamani in 2009, Yuva Kala Bharati by Bharath Kalachar, Chennai in 2004, Ananya Yuva Puraskara in 2002, Aryabhata Award in 2000 and Vijaya Kalashree title in 1997. Udupa is part of his own Carnatic World Music band “Layatharanga”, Flamenco band “Indialucia” and Carnatic-Jazz cross over European band “Saagara”. Udupa has been a part of several global symphonic and chamber orchestras around the world - Fairfax Symphony Orchestra (USA), Kwazulu- Natal Philharmonic Orchestra (South Africa), State Philharmonic Orchestra of Sibiu (Romania), Sinfonia Baltica (Poland), Leipzig Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra (Germany) and Royal Symphony Orchestra of Oman. Udupa has given concerts under the auspices of prestigious Sabhas all over India and abroad, including USA, UK, Canada, South Africa, Brazil, Columbia, China, Australia, Russia, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, France, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Norway, Italy, Austria, Finland Turkey, Ireland, Slovenia, Czech Republic, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Romania, Ukraine, Indonesia, Mauritius, Re Union Island, Singapore, Malaysia, Bangkok, Dubai, Muscat, Doha, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, Iran and Kuwait.

Music lovers from across the globe celebrate the finesse of his fingering, the dexterity and speed of his intricate rhythmic designs, and his contagious energy and charm on the stage.