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Vani Sateesh
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image Vani’s grand father Vidwan Bellary M. Raghavendrachar
Bellary Brothers - All five brothers on the same Dias along with TAS Mani on Mridangam

Brief Bio

Lineage

Vani Sateesh hail's from a family of musicians going back many generations. Her Great Grandfather belonged to Bhagavata Parampara of Vijaya Dasaru, a prominent Haridasa of Karnataka. Her Grandfather, Bellary M. Raghavendrachar was musician well versed in many disciplines of music. He was a professor of music at Queen Mary's College in Chennai. Besides being a vocalist, he was well versed in Violin, Veena and Jalatarang. He has taught many notable musician of his generation including Jagadguru Sri. Shivakumara Swami.

Vani Sateesh's father, Vidwan Bellary. M. Venkateshachar is a well known carnatic classical vocalist and her uncle Bellary M Sheshagiri Achar was a great Vaggeyakara (composer of lyrics and music) besides being a spirited performer. Vani's uncle and father were well known as 'Bellary Brothers'. Her father was a staff artist at AIR Mysore and has been a recipient of many awards including the prestigious Sangeetha Kalaratna from Bangalore Gayana Samaja and Karnataka Kalashree, a state recognition.

Vani's eldest brother Bellary M. Raghavendra is a program executive in All India Radio and well known vocalist. Her elder brother M. Gururaj is an All India Radio staff artist in Bangalore and an active performer as a percussionist.

Vani Sateesh
Vani Sateesh
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Performer  
Vani Sateesh started performing at a young age. Her first concert was at the age of 10; since then she has not looked back. Very early in her performing days, she had an urge to become a good performer. As a student, she concentrated on all aspects of performances including intonations, stage presence, building rapport with accompanying artists, connecting with audiences etc. Vani Sateesh's academic background included learning dramatics and reciting Sanskrit slokas, which has helped her to develop a good stage presence and intonation in singing. Her mother's love of aesthetics and fine arts helped Vani to present a polished and sleek stage performance. Around the age of 18, she started performing with tala vadya concerts which improved her control and appreciation towards laya vadyas. This also helped her to deliver concerts with increased focus on laya aspects. Vani Sateesh's core strength and love has always been bhakti and singing compositions filled with bhakti rasa.

Vani moved to USA after her marriage and started performing extensively outside of India. It was here that she started exploring various styles of delivering concerts and her current form of concert delivery, which incorporates some of the best ideas from those styles, emerged. Since mid 90's, Vani has performed in various reputed Sabhas in US and India. Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana, CMANA, Chicago Dasa Day, Dikshitar Utsavam in New Jersey, Shiva Vishnu Temple in Maryland, ACA in Orlando, Pittsburg, Atlanta, Tampa, Rochester, Boston, Connecticut, Newyork City, Detriot etc. are a few venues in US. Numerous prestigious venues in India such as Fort High School Ramaseva Mandali, Malleshwaram Sangeetha Sabha, Sheshadripuram Ramaseva Samiti, Odukattur Mutt in Bangalore, Raga Sudha Hall, Mylapore Arts Academy, Hamsadhwani, Nadopasana, TTD Devasthanam, Russian Cultural Center in Chennai, Ganapati Sachidananda Ashram, JSS Sabha, Ganabharati, Bidaram Krishnappa Ramamandira in Mysore are a few to name (click for a comprehensive list). Vani Sateesh is a regular performer for both All India Radio, Doordarshan and various TV Channels.
Vani Sateesh

Few Highlighted Recognitions:

  • "A" grade artist of All India Radio in Carnatic Classical Vocal
  • “A” grade in Devaranama
  • “A” grade in Sugama Sangeetha (Light Music)
  • "B High" Graded Composer of All India Radio
  • Recipient Central Government Scholarship for Young Artists - In Pallavi Singing
  • Gold Medalist in Bachelors and Masters of Music
  • Best Vocalist from Gayana Samaja
  • First rank in Music Board Exam
  • Featured in Radio Sangeeth Sammelan
  • Featured in South Zone Prime TV Telecast
As a teacher  
Vani Sateesh is a passionate teacher. She started teaching when she was a teenager; basically teaching many of her father's students, when he could not attend to them.

During her stay in US, Vani realized that she could fulfill an important role in the Indian community as a music teacher. Indian children born in US need a link to our music and culture and she was able to provide it to hundreds of them by teaching Carnatic music. Vani with husband Mysore Sateesh, a professional Violinist, taught over 150 students in a span of 15 years. Many of them have reached proficiency and a few have pursed to become concert artists. They also started an organization named after Vani uncle's mudra, 'VISHESHA'. Under 'VISHESHA', they organized many successful concerts until moving back to India.

Since moving back to India, Vani Sateesh has focused more on performing. She plans to resume teaching at a later stage in her career.

Students of Vani Sateesh
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