T. Shankaranaryanan Nandakumar (T. S. Nandakumar) was born on 17 March 1958 in Ambalappuzha, Kerala, India. He is the son of Shri Balakrishna Panicker and Shrimati Saraswati. He comes from the family of the well known nadaswaram exponents, the Ambalapuzha Brothers. A child prodigy, Nandakumar had only talent with which he conquered the world of music with his beats on the mridangam. He learnt mridangam under the guidance of Shri Kaithavana Madhavdas in the gurukula samprada tradition and acquired proficiency as Laya Vidwan.
                                   Nandakumar developed a strong interest in music when he was four years old. He gained a reputation as an accompanist to some well known names in carnatic music such as Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, M. D. Ramanathan, S. Ramanathan, R. K. Srikantan, V. Dakshinamoorthy, Bhimsen Joshi, M. Balamuralikrishna, T. N. Krishnan, L. Subramaniam, N. Ramani, K. J. Yesudas, N. Rajam, T. K. Govinda Rao, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, T. V. Gopalakrishnan and several others. He has taken up his life mission to perpetuate Indian ancient art form and has dedicated himself in teaching the same to hundreds of students worldwide. He was quoted as “Guru of all musical things”, “King of percussion in suburbs” and “The Master Of Rhythm” by The Times of India.. The call of sruti and laya magnetized him as he was a child and, to this day he has reveled in the art’s enchanting spell, sharing the happiness and joy he experiences with an ever widening circle of students and enthusiasts.
For over quarter of a century now, Shri Nandakumar has performed and conducted workshops on various platforms within the country and abroad. He has been on the faculty with all the leading fine arts sabhas in Mumbai – the Shanmukhananda, the Music Triangle, the Naadalaya and the Fine Arts Society. Shri Nandakumar has trained students in Mridangam, Thavil, Ganjira, Morsing and in Konnakkol. Most of his senior students are graded artists with the All India Radio and participate in regular concerts. It is rare to find some one who is not only knowledgeable but also exudes excellence in playing seven streams of percussion.
                             He was awarded the titles of Guru Shikhamani, Sruti Laya Sudhakara and Swar Sadhana Ratna by Institutions he has been associated with. Fairly recently, he was the recipient of Life Time Achievement Award in Chennai for his contributions to the field of classical music. Sri Venkateswara Temple of Pittsburgh, USA, invited him to train budding artists in their summer school for two consecutive years.
Shri Nandakumar established TSN’s Percussive Arts Centre was , not long ago, to impart specialized training to students in percussion instruments and in konnakkol. Students of the Centre who are settled abroad are keen on carrying the TSN flag to where they are to be able to popularize the art of percussion. Currently, Shri Nandakumar lives in New Jersey, USA, and runs a percussion school by the name of TSN’s Percussive Arts Centre, Inc. for the students in the United States. About 100 students learn from him at the school in New Jersey.
                          Shri Nandakumar has many albums to his credit. Of special mention here would be three volumes titled “Jewels of Rhythm” with his young students in the age group of just eight to thirteen.  These albums have turned “prized possessions” for all aspirants, young and old, learning the arts of percussion.


  • Jewels Of Rhythm Vol 1

  • Jewels Of Rhythm Vol 2

  • Jewels Of Rhythm Vol 3

  • Vibrative Rhythms

  • Vibrative Rhythms 2

  • Sruti Sandhya (with T N Krishnan)

  • Sruti Sandhya 2 (with T N Krishnan)

  • Vibrations (with A. Kanyakumari)

  • South Indian Percussion

  • Mridangam Solo

  • Demonstration on Talas and Rhythms

  • Konnakol

  • Classical Treat by Nedunuri Krishnamurthy (with Nedunuri Krishnamurthy)

  • Jugalbandi Duet Series (with Pandit Bhimsen Joshi and Dr. Balamuralikrishna)

  • A Duet On Strings (with T N Krishnan and Dr. N Rajam)

  • Classical Instrumental Moods (with Narayan Mani)

  • Matunga Sisters

  • Swati Tirunal Kritis (with Radha Warrier)

  • Divine Expressions (with Narayan Mani)

  • Surabhi (with Mangalam Muthuswamy)

Honours & Felicitations

  • Cleveland Thygaraja Aradhana Committee awarded him as the Best Teacher Award at Ohio, United States by the Senator

  • Bharat Ratna Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi Best Teacher Award (Bharat Ratna Dr. M. S. Subbulakshmi Sangeetha Pracharya Award)

  • Excellence Award by Namam at New Jersey, United States[61][62]

  • Awarded from Soorya Dance Festival

  • Honoured by Shanmukhananda Fine Arts & Sangeetha Sabha, Mumbai

  • Honoured by Padam, Mumbai

  • Honoured by Music Triangle, Mumbai

  • Honoured by Naadalaya, Mumbai

  • Honoured by Swara Sadhana Samithi, Mumbai

  • Honoured by Mudra, Chennai

  • Honoured by TVG Academy,


  • SwaraSadhana Ratna

  • Gurushikhamani

  • Sruthilaya Sudhakara

Life Time Achievement Award

  • Shanti Foundation, Chennai