Prasanna Ramaswamy

About Me

From being a pioneer in bringing the electric guitar to international acclaim as a concert instrument for the ancient Indian art form of Carnatic music, to being a force in the cutting edge of Jazz, Classical and World music, Prasanna continues to stun music enthusiasts with an ever-evolving palette of vocabulary as a composer and improviser. Prasanna shares his vision and work with people around the world through performances and recordings that defy categorization, workshops and other interactive means. With an engineering degree in Naval Architecture from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, he went on to pursue his passion for music and graduated Magna-Cum-Laude with an honors degree from the famed Berklee College of Music in Boston. While at Berklee, he won awards like the 'Berklee College of Music Composition Achievement Award' for outstanding work as a western composer and 'The Berklee College of Music Guitar Achievement Award? for outstanding work as a Jazz Guitarist?. Prasanna is also featured in a ?Berklee College of Music Guitar Album? released by BMG. Prasanna has won several major awards in carnatic music including the ?Lifetime Achievement Award for 2003? from H.H. Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, India?s most revered spiritual leader and ?Acharya? of the Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam. Prasanna?s original and intensely personal style of composition and guitar playing is revealed in a body of work that includes over ten Carnatic albums, an eclectic solo guitar album ?Peaceful?, a special triple guitar project ?Guitars? with the band Aka Moon, a work for Contemporary and Fusion dance ?Sanaatana? premiered at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, yet another work for contemporary dance ?Soliloquy?, ?Jazz Impressions of a Kriti #1? written for Prasanna and jazz orchestra by Marc Rossi, numerous sessions work on multi-platinum Indian film soundtracks for such top composers as A.R. Rahman, and many more. Prasanna?s acclaimed guitar instructional DVD ?Ragamorphism?, gives an in-depth look at how he stretches the boundaries of improvisation. Prasanna?s just released ?Jazz with a world view? album Be the Change features multi-Grammy award winning artists and world class musicians like Victor Wooten, Jeff Coffin, Alphonso Johnson, Ralph Humphrey and more. The North Sea Jazz Festival, Middelheim Jazz Festival, Festival Guitares Du Monde in France, La Fete de la Musique, Les Orientales De St. Florent Le Vieil, Festival Jazz En Artois, PanaFest, LOTUS world music festival are some of the top international festivals Prasanna has performed at. He has performed/recorded with legendary names in the Jazz/ Fusion world including Joe Lovano, Larry Coryell, Airto Moreira, Victor Wooten, Alphonso Johnson, Steve Smith, Kenwood Dennard, David Gilmore, Aka Moon, Kai Eckhardt and from the Indian music world such as A.R.Rahman, Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Illayaraja, Dr. L. Subramaniam, Umayalpuram Sivaraman, A.K. Palanivel and several others. He has been widely featured in the international Press, Television, Radio and the Internet. As a true artist, Prasanna is both a traditionalist and modernist and everything in between. In the words of one critic, ?Worlds merge and vapors mingle when Prasanna plays?, while another critic says ?Prasanna is a wondrous wake-up call for tired aural neurons?.

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