Jayashri Ramnath or Bombay Jayashri, as she is known, is an Indian Carnatic musician, composer, and singer. Born in Kolkata, Jayashri belonged to a family of musical cognoscenti. Her parents, N. Subramaniam, and Seeta encouraged her to pursue the art of Carnatic music right from the tender age of four. Later on, Jayashri continued her education in music under T. R. Balamani for nearly a decade. She completed her scholastic education from St. Anthony’s High School in Chembur and graduated from the R.A.Poddar College in Mumbai. Jayashri also pursued a Diploma from the Gandharva Mahavidyalaya in
New Delhi. Her thirst for music led her to Hindustani music greats Shri. Mahavir Jaipurvale, and Pandit Ajay Pohankar, with whom she spent more than six years acquiring the skill of Hindustani vocals. Jayashri also trained under the careful tutelage of the Padmashree Lalgudi Jayaraman, in Chennai, and learned to play the instrument Veena from G.Dhandapani Iyer. Her inception to concerts occurred in the year 1982, and ever since, Jayashri has graced stages all over the country such as the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, India International Centre, and cultural events such as Vishnu Digambar Festival, Bhakti Utsav, all in New Delhi. Besides, Jayashri has also performed at the Kuthira Malika and Surya festivals, in Trivandrum, the Saptak in Ahmedabad, and also in the metropolitan city events such as at the ITC Sangeet Research Academy in Kolkata, Shanmukhananda Sabha in Mumbai, and the Chowdia Memorial Hall in Bengaluru.
She has also blessed the stage with phenomenal performances at the majestic Mysore Palace, SPIC MACAY cultural festival, and the Matrimandir Amphitheater at Auroville. Having conquered the hearts of a million Indians in the country, Jayashri captivated audiences at the World Music Institute in
New York, the grand MIT in Boston, the universities of Texas, Arizona, Cornell and Louisiana. It was if she ran out of stages to perform when she ventured into Europe with her musical prowess, singing at the Rietberg Museum in Switzerland, Saddlers Wells and the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, The Russian Opera House in Helsinki, and the Museum of Sculpture and Arts in France. Jayashri also performed at various cultural events in Europe, such as the Festival of Sacred Voices, Vantaa Festival and the Festival of Nantes. In the year 1992, Jayashri received her first award in the form of the title “Yuvakala Bharati,” which was presented to her by Bharat Kalachar. In the following years, she earned the titles of Isai Peroli, Asthana Vidhushi, Naadabhooshanam, and the Atma Vanishri. In 2001, Jayashri received her first Filmfare Award for The Best Playback Singer-Tamil, for the song “Vaseegara” from the film Minnale.
She is also the recipient of a Kalki award and a Sangeetha Choodamani award. The state of Tamil Nadu bestowed her with a State Film Award for the Best Playback Singer, and a Kalaimamani Virudhu. Jayashri was presented with an Honorary Doctorate by the Mother Theresa Women’s University in Kodaikkanal. But, in the year 2013, she received her cherry-on-the-top in the form of an Academy Award nomination for the Best Original Song “Pi’s Lullaby,” from the movie Life of Pi. Jayashri has collaborated with numerous top artists of India, inclusive of the likes of A.R.Rahman, Hariharan, Ronu Majumdar,
Shubha Mudgal, and Harris Jeyaraj. She has also sung the Tamil Sangam literature Thirukkural, and a verse from one of the many works of the Tamil poet Annamacharya, in Dr.A.P.J.Abdul Kalam’s audio autobiography. Jayashri featured alongside Ustad Rashid Khan, and
Richa Sharma, on the 1st season of the MTV Coke Studio. In her endeavors of different places across the globe, Jayashri Ramnath collaborated with international artists such as Hisham Abbas, an Egyptian singer and the Senegalese vocalist Thione Seck.
In 2012, she worked alongside Canadian composer Mychael Danna, with whom she composed the soundtrack “Pi’s Lullaby” for the movie Life of Pi, based on Ang Lee’s novel. Jayashri has co-authored the book “Prof.Sambamoorthy- the Visionary Musicologist” with T.M.Krishna and Sanjay Subrahmanyan. Mythili Chandrasekar, T.M.Krishna, and Jayashri co-wrote “Voices Within,” in the year 2007. The following year saw Jayashri feature in Margazhi Ragam, a movie solely dedicated to Carnatic Music, and directed by Jayendra Panchapakesan. Jayashri Ramnath is also a known philanthropist and is actively involved with institutions for autistic children such as Kilikili & Sampoorna in Karnataka. She has also worked closely with organizations such as the Vasantha Memorial Trust, Multiple Sclerosis Society of India and continues to do so.