Gray Area presents composer and singer ganavya on September 22 for a night fusing American and South Asian musical traditions.


Sunday, September 22, 2024

Doors: 7PM
Show: 8PM

Free for Gray Area Members

All Ages

No Strobe Warning

View our FAQ page for more info, or contact us at [email protected] with any accommodation requests.

About the Artist


Hailed as “among modern music's most compelling vocalists” (Wall Street Journal) "extraordinary" (DownBeat) and "most enchanting" (NPR), ganavya is a transdisciplinary scholar, vocalist, word-craftswoman, jalatarangam artist, and double-bassist.

Recent credits include: this body is so impermanent... (2021) directed by Peter Sellars, featuring ganavya (solo voice, composition), Michael Schumacher (choreography, dance), Wong Dongling (live calligraphy); Ch.7: The Goddess (2019) directed by Peter Sellars, featuring ganavya (solo voice, composition, dance), Michael Schumacher (choreography, dance); Daughter of a Temple (2019), a sound installation composed for the 13th Bienale de Habana; featured solo vocalist and lead researcher with esperanza spalding on the 2022 “Best Jazz Vocal” Grammy award winning album Songwrights Apothecary Lab (2021), contributing librettist for Iphigenia by Elder Wayne Shorter and esperanza spalding, writer/singer of first Tamil lyrics to win a Latin Grammy award (2020), album and touring solo vocalist on the Quincy Jones’ produced Tocororo which hit #1 in jazz charts.

Her fellowships for music composition include Camargo Foundation, and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, where she became the youngest composer to have received the honor in 2021. In 2022, she was a Scholar-In-Residence at Cynthia Mitchell Center for the Arts in the University of Houston.

Albums recently recorded include: Daughter of a Temple, co-produced by esperanza spalding; the body of reality ft. ganavya (composition, singer) and Leo Genovese (piano) produced by Peter Sellars and Rajna Swaminathan. Upcoming projects include: the album let’s go out and play, the South Asian diasporic album how to cure a ghost, and an untitled opera commission for Festival d’Aix-en-Provence (2025 premiere) based off of the 2,000 year old Buddhist Mahayana text the Vimalakirti Sutra and her grandmother, Smt. Seetha Doraiswamy’s life, featuring libretto by Robert Thurman, composed by Ganavya and Sivan Eldar, directed by Peter Sellars.

Her publication work includes written guide for the Songwrights Apothecary Lab album, shards of ether, a collection of 101 short essays for John Zorn’s Arcana: Musicians on Music series; [ ]: on the Form behind form, an analysis on repetition in music, for Journal on Mutual Mentorship for Musicians.

Her graduate degrees in music are from Berklee College of Music (contemporary performance) UCLA (ethnomusicology) and Harvard University (Creative Practice and Critical Inquiry).

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