Shri T.A.R. Nadirao and Shri N. Jeeva Rao are a unique father-and-son team of Kundhalam drum players who have been presenting this traditional art for many years. The Kundhalam is associated with the worship of Kali, and is played in the procession following the deity. It was also played at the court of the erstwhile ruler of Thanjavur.
Shri TA R. Nadirao was born on 8 February 1942, and Shri N. Jeeva Rao on 10 July 1966 in Thanjavur in Tamil Nadu. Shri Nadirao received his training in the drum from T A. Rajurao, while Shri N. Jeeva Rao was groomed by his father. They are the only drummers who remain to carry on this ancient tradition. Over the past years, through their widespread performances, they have successfully propagated the special repertoire of the Kundhalam drum. Being a graded artist, Shri TA.R. Nadirao has performed on All India Radio, Tiruchirappalli, since 1986.
The duo have been honoured for their work by several organizations. The title of Kalaimamani has been bestowed on Shri Nadirao by the Tamil Nadu Eyal lsai Nataka Manram (1992).
Shri TA R. Nadirao and Shri N. Jeeva Rao jointly receive the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for their contribution to the folk music of Tamil Nadu.