Sivamani is a versatile and creative drummer, as a soloist, with his band Rhythm Asia, and in hundreds of collaborations.

Why you should listen

Anandan Sivamani, known to his fans as just Sivamani, is an electrifying performer and one of the leading drummers of India. His work blends classical drumming styles -- he studied with Carnatic master S.P. Balasubramaniam -- with jazz and world beats to create a propulsive sound that pulls in many instruments and traditions.

As a child, he says, he drummed on pots and pans in the kitchen, and that exuberance seems never to have left him -- he's an enthusiastic ambassador for the drum around india and the globe, and a frequent collaborator. A few notable matchups: Youssou N'Dour, tabla player Zakir Hussain, flutist Hariprasad Chaurasia, percussionist Elvin Jones, and A.R. Rahman, composer of Bombay Dreams. Last winter, he released his first solo album, Mahaleela, playing with a rotating team of singers and bandmates on a roster of songs he composed.

What others say

“My life as a drummer started the day I was in my mom’s womb, I played to the sound of my mom’s heartbeat.” — Sivamani

Sivamani’s TED talk

More news and ideas from Sivamani


TEDIndia Session 9: Within You, Without You

November 7, 2009

“Within You, Without You,” the final session of TEDIndia, rings in with a drumbeat — the rich, propulsive stylings of Sivamani. He combines the sounds of a variety of percussive instruments with a recurring motif: water. Dipping instruments in water as he plays them, the instruments take on the character of the life-giving substance that […]

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