Hailing from Bangalore and now based in London, Jyotsna is Europe’s foremost Indian violinist. Her music illuminates Carnatic musical tradition in kaleidoscope colour. Approaching every musical interaction with a forward-thinking outlook and elastic expressivity, Jyotsna is just as likely be found reveling in raga rotations or jamming in free jazz, often marrying the two.
Jyotsna’s musical tutelage began at home guided by her mother, Ratna Srikantiah, a Carnatic vocalist and teacher. Dedicated from a young age, as a girl Jyotsna would practice for six hours daily and attend concerts in the evenings. At the age of six she saw violin legend Kunnakudi Vaidyanathan perform and was inspired to take up the string instrument, not looking back since. She trained under musical greats including R.R. Keshavamurthy and V.S. Narasimhan, making her professional debut at the age of nine.
Jyotsna went on to begin a successful career lending her talent to the film industry, playing on over two hundred South Indian cinematic soundtracks. Upon moving to London her work expanded to include television and festival engagements including work for the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, WOMAD, BBC Proms and the Red Violin Festival. She also lectures in music, having delivered her discourse at the University of Cambridge and Liverpool University.
Currently Jyotsna enjoys a demanding career as an eminent solo musician. Her 2013 album Call of Bangalore (Riverboat Records) cemented her position as a ‘major instrumentalist of vision and imagination’ (fRoots) and ‘an extraordinary and versatile violinist’ (The Guardian).
2014 sees the release of Bangalore Dreams (United Sound). Bangalore Dreams is Jyotsna’s meditation on a theme of encounters; east meets west, ornamentation meets groove, India meets jazz. Her violin sings out vivid melodies and redolent ragas of her beloved Bangalore, twisted through with a strong jazz flavour.