“No matter the language or the content, Ganavya (Doraiswamy´s) voice is a thick ephemera, like smoke as dark as ink, just coming off the fire.” (New York Times)
Ganavya Doraiswamy (* New York) has been called “one of the most compelling vocalists in modern music” (Wall Street Journal). She is a transdisciplinary scientist, singer, word artist and multi-instrumentalist. Born in New York and raised in Tamil Nadu, she holds degrees from Berklee College of Music in Boston, the University of California in Los Angeles, and Harvard University, Cambridge.
Her recent albums include "Daughter of a Temple", a ritualistic gathering of over 30 musicians with the help of Esperanza Spalding, as well as “The Body of Reality”, co-produced by Peter Sellars.
Doraiswamy is the solo vocalist on Esperanza Spalding's 2021 album "Songwrights Apothecary Lab", which won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Vocal in 2022.
She is the writer and singer of the first Tamil lyric to win a Latin Grammy (2020). She was a vocalist in Vijay Iyer's Ritual Quartet and a soloist on the Quincy Jones-produced “Tocororo”, which reached #1 in the jazz charts.
She is currently working on an opera commission for the Festival d'Aix: The opera, directed by Peter Sellars, is based on the 2000 year old Buddhist Mahayana text Vimalakirti Sutra and the life of her grandmother Smt. With a libretto by Robert Thurman, music by Doraiswamy and Sivan Eldar.
Recently she has enjoyed collaborating with A. R. Rahman.
"My first memories in India are in a Tamil village called Cenkottai, where we lived by the waterfalls. Each house had something called the tinnai, where anyone could come sit and spend time with you. Often, we sang. Though I am not a practicing Muslim, there is something I deeply appreciate about its philosophy: there is the divine, and there is instead a preoccupation toward the image of the divine; in the same way, there is love, there is music, there is improvisation, there is encounter— and then there is the preoccupation with the image of appearing to be any of these things. The Prequel is a tinnai. It is not a preoccupation with appearing to be the image of something. It is, I hope and trust, simply the something itself."