Thetakudi Harihara Vinayakram (born June 24, 1944), also known as Vikku Vinayakram is a Grammy Award-winning Indian percussionist. He plays Carnatic music with the ghatam, an earthen pot, and is credited with popularizing the ghatam.
He was awarded the Padma Shri, given by Government of India in 2002, and later the 2012 Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship, the highest honour in the performing arts conferred by the Sangeet Natak Akademi, India's National Academy for Music, Dance and Drama.
1 Early life,
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Vinayakram was born to Kalaimaamani T. R. Harihara Sharma, a musician and teacher. He took up playing at a very young age.
Vinayakram's concert career began at the age of 13. His first performance occurred on March 5, 1957 at the Sri Rama Navami festival in Thoothukudi. While proceeding for the arangetram the tuned ghatam instrument was broken by a child named Ganesh, which by itself had been a good omen for his bright career. where he accompanied V.V.Sadagopan. He was soon accompanying many famous vocalists in Carnatic music at the time, including Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, G. N. Balasubramaniam, Madurai Mani Iyer, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M. S. Subbulakshmi and Maharajapuram Santhanam, among others. His brother, T. H. Subhash Chandran, also excelled in the field. The Ghatam followed the master by rising to fame as a percussion instrument that required nimble fingers and strong stomach muscles to control the mouth of the pot.
Vinayakram's tryst with the international music platform came in the early 1970s when he joined Shakti to play along with John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain.
He has also performed at Basant Utsav, the annual fund raiser for the Banyan.
Vinayakram is Principal of Sri Jaya Ganesh Tala Vadya Vidyalaya in Chennai, India - the academy established by his late father and teacher in 1958. It continues to produce new stars of Carnatic percussion. Vinayakram's son V. Selvaganesh is a successful percussionist, especially after tours with John McLaughlin's group, Remember Shakti.