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Renowned Carnatic Musician K.G. Jayan Passes Away at 90

K.G. Jayan, a towering figure in Carnatic music and Malayalam cinema, passed away, at his residence in Thripunitura, Kerala. He was 90 years old. The legendary musician had been battling various age-related ailments.

A Life Dedicated to Music

Born on November 21, 1934, in Kottayam, Kerala, Jayan’s life was steeped in music from a young age. Along with his twin brother, K.G. Vijayan, they were known as the illustrious “Jaya-Vijaya” duo. The name was bestowed upon them by the legendary Malayalam actor Jose Prakash, who collaborated with them in his plays.

The Jaya-Vijaya Legacy

Together, Jayan and Vijayan created a musical legacy that spanned over 1,000 compositions. Their talents graced films, plays, and devotional albums, leaving an indelible mark on the cultural landscape of Kerala. Tragically, Vijayan passed away in 1988. However, Jayan continued his musical journey, pouring his heart into devotional songs and Carnatic concerts.

Early Training and Influences

Jayan’s dedication to music began at a young age. He had his arangetram, a debut performance for Carnatic vocalists, at the tender age of nine. Raman Bhagavathar served as their first guru, laying the foundation for their musical talents. They further honed their skills under the guidance of Mavelikara Radhakrishna Iyer. Their insatiable thirst for knowledge led them to pursue advanced studies at the prestigious Swathi Thirunal College of Music in Thiruvananthapuram. Here, they excelled in the rigorous “Ganabhooshanam” course.

Seeking Inspiration from the Masters

The brothers’ quest for musical mastery didn’t stop there. They sought guidance from some of the most revered Carnatic musicians of the time, including the Alathur Brothers, Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavathar, and M. Balamuralikrishna. These legendary figures undoubtedly played a pivotal role in shaping the Jaya-Vijaya style.

Musical Contributions in Cinema

The brothers’ musical talents extended beyond the realm of Carnatic music. They composed music for several Malayalam films, including Bhoomiyile Malakhamar, Dharmasastha, Nirakudam, Sneham, Theruvugeetham, Padhapooja, Shanmughapriya, and Pappathi. Their film compositions added another dimension to their artistic legacy.

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