Ilaiyaraaja, The King Of Raaga, Performs In Chicago

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Photos: Asian Media USA

Indian classical music lovers’ much awaited dream came true when music maestro, Ilaiyaraaja, performed live with the Budapest Symphony Orchestra from Hungary and Indian classical musicians on Saturday March 24, at the Naperville Yard Center.

More than 4,000 people came to hear the 55 musicians and 10 singers who joined Ilaiyaraaja to give a memorable performance, a press release from Asian Media USA said. The ensemble performed 39 songs in both Tamil and Telugu. The singers included Chithra, Mano, Haricharan and Rahul Nambiar.

Ilaiyaraaja is a multifaceted artist and has composed more than 6,000 songs and his work has featured in 1,000 movies, the press release said. ‘Raaja’ as he is popularly known and affectionately called, comes from a family of musicians. He has won five Indian National Film Awards; three for Best Music Direction and two for Best Background Score. In 2010 he received the Padma Bhushan awarded by the Government of India and in 2018 he was presented the Padma Vibhushan award which is the second-highest civilian award of the country.

Photos: Asian Media USA

Among the songs sung at the event were “Janani janani – Thai Mookambigai”, “Om sivoham – Naan kadavul”, “Jagadhanandha kaaraka- Telugu”, “Ram ram salame ram ram-Hey Ram”, “Malaiyil yaaro- Kshathriyan”, “Ninukkori varnam- Gharshana-Telugu”, “Yen Iniya pon nila- Moodu Pani”, “Madai thirandhu-Nizhalgal”, “Abbani theeyani-Telugu”, and “Sendhoora Poove- Sirimalle poove- Telugu.”

Those who performed with Ilaiyaraaja are artistes in their own right. Chithra (K. S. Chithra) is an Indian playback singer from Kerala who also sings Indian classical, devotional, and popular music. She has sung in a number of languages including Urdu, Latin, Arabic, Sinhalese and English. She has recorded more than 25,000 Songs for various films and music-albums, the press release said. 35 different state film awards; The popular playback singer, Nagoor Babu popularly known as ‘Mano,’ is also voice-over artist, actor, producer,and anchor and music composer; Haricharan comes from a family of music connoisseurs and started learning music at 7 from Sethu Mahadevan followed by legends like K. V. Narayanaswamy, T. M. Prabhavathi and P. S. Narayanaswamy; Nambiar is a playback singer and live performer and has lent his voice for several advertisement jingles.

Cloud9 Events which organizes events that promote Indian culture and heritage, organized this event.