Biography

Rajamani has been entertaining since the early age of 5. Rajamani’s natural talent for music was passed on from his family. Rajamani grew up singing and playing instruments with his uncle and grandmother at large family gatherings and public religious events including his family daily prayers. He was encouraged early on by his family to continue developing his musical talents. From early childhood he grew up listening to his father’s record collection that included Jim Reeves, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, James Last, Louis Armstrong….as well as folk and devotional music of India. He also toured professionally in southern India as a teenage rock drummer playing with Canadian artists John and Sandra Holmes in their group “Giant John and The Texas Bull Frogs.

While going through college in New York, Rajamani took western classical voice lessons and performed in many choirs and orchestras (notably The New Found Sound – directed by Shirley Gutmann) while singing Broadway show tunes at Long Island weddings and events and performing around New York in various musical acts including work as a roadie for jazz drummer Thurman Barker. He trained under Snighdha Mishra for Hindustani and Bamathi Sudharshan for carnatic classical vocal music of India. Rajamani studied tabla at an early age. His most recent tabla guru is tabla Pandit “Aloke Dutta”.

From 1993 till 1995, Rajamani worked in the United Nations Romani Congress under Hungarian Rom “Shandor Balogh” in guidance of Romani Scholar and Romani UN Ambassador Dr. Ian Hancock. He lived in Greece and Israel working with Romani and Dom communities while taking time to learn Middle Eastern music with the nomadic Bedouins in the Negev desert of Israel. He has since then continued to be a strong voice musically and socially in the Romani plight. He has also served in bringing recognition to the largest Romani archive center in Austin, Texas.

“Flamenco India” is Rajamani’s unique and innovative creation. Incepted in 1995, Flamenco India serves to help support Romani artists and educate the general public of Romani history, culture and music. Rajamani’s experience in flamenco comes from years of performing and spending time around Flamencos -notably Maestro Arturo Martinez who christened Rajamani into the world of flamenco. In 2012 Rajamani had the honor to perform for flamenco legend Paco De Lucia. Paco De Lucia gave his blessings for Flamenco India calling the music “beautiful, unique and historic”.

Rajamani was very fortunate to receive a scholarship to attend the American missionary school “Highclerc” later known as “Kodaikanal International School” in South India. He also attended “Friends World College” a global Quaker education program operating out of Long Island, New York.

Kodai school changed Rajamani’s whole life and set him on a unique path. Kodai school’s international staff and student body widened Rajamani’s musical and worldly mind. Here he studied Western classical music, performed in many jazz ensembles, rock bands, and choir -under the guidance of Keith Dejong, Alfred and Bonnibell Pickard, Peggy Jenks. Friends World College allowed Rajamani to travel around the Globe and study as an apprentice under professional musicians, human rights activists, environmentalist, sociologists, and spiritualists. The “Kodai” and “Friends” education prepared Rajamani for his journey as a pioneer of cultural music guiding him musically, culturally, linguistically, and spiritually to connect with audiences globally.