Vikku Vinayakram is a Grammy award-winning Indian percussionist. He has immortalized his form of music and the quintessential musical instrument ghatam.
Son of the noted and talented musician and percussionist, Kalaimamani T.R. Harihara Sharma, Vinayakram was a child prodigy. A doyen of South Indian percussion, not only has he demonstrated his amazing dexterity in accompanying the great stalwarts of yesteryear and recent times – Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, G.N. Balasubramaniam, Madurai Mani Iyer, M.S. Subbulakshmi, and Maharajapuram Santhanam – but he has also displayed his creative and improvisatory genius in playing mind boggling rhythms for various fusion groups, such as Shakti and J.G. Laya.
Having traveled all over the world, with exposure to various forms of music and teaching experience both in India and the United States (Vinayakram was with the Centre for World Music in Berkeley, California for some time), Vikku is an international musician in every sense of the word.
Vinayakram has a number of titles and awards to his name, including: “Astana Vidhwan” of Kanchi Kama Koti Peetam, “Ghatam Nagamani” given by Sri Sri Sri Jayendra Saraswathi, “Kalaimamini” given by the government of Tamil Nadu, India, and the First Sangeeth Natak Academy award for ghatam in 1988.
In addition to these attainments, Vinayakram became the first South Indian artist to ever receive a Grammy Award in 1991 for Best World Music Album for his participation in Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum.
In May 2013, he was awarded the Sangeet Natak Akademi – Ratna category award by the President of India.