Selvaganesh was born in Chennai to Grammy-winner T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakram, a legendary musician and also a former member of the original Shakti. He is also the grandson of Sri T. R. Harihara Sarma, who founded the Sri Jaya Ganesh Tala Vadya Vidyalaya (Sri JGTV school) in Chennai.
Selvaganesh had his initial training at his grandfathers school and then under his uncle, Ghatam Vidwan Shri T H Subashchandran. one of the leading musicians in the world of rhythm. Thumping into the musical world at an age as tender as 10, Selvaganesh has been mesmerizing the audience with his immaculate style and innate creativity. Selvaganesh is one of the leading musicians in the world of rhythm. He has been mesmerizing the audience with his immaculate style and innate creativity. Born into a family of musicians, it is no wonder that rhythm flows in his blood, which remains inseparable.
Selvaganesh’s tryst with the international music platform came in the early 90s in Masters of Percussion along with his Zakir’s father Ustad Alla Rakha and late 90's when he joined Shakti to play along with John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain. The showman that he is, his long hair and nimble fingers had Shakti catapult to fame.
Apart from playing authentic Carnatic Music, he has performed in many Fusion, Jazz, Blues, Flamenco, Symphony Orchestra, Celtic Music, Latin Music, DJ Music, World Music, Talavadya (Percussion Ensemble) and Jugalbandhi concerts and has been part of numerous International Music Festivals with renowned Indian Musicians like Dr L Shankar, Dr.L.Subramaniam, Pandit Jasraj, Pandit Shivkumar Sharma, Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia, He has also worked with many leading music directors in India.
He was a child prodigy, with his concert career beginning at the age of 10. He established his right to be on the stage by playing with such dexterity that he was soon accompanying many famous vocalists in Carnatic music at the time, including Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna, , M. S. Subbulakshmi and others.
Selvaganesh gained world fame through tours with John McLaughlin's group Remember Shakti. He helps his father, Grammy-winner T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakram, to run the Sri JGTV school and train a new generation of percussionists. He has also composed and produced albums, and played with the Swedish bass virtuoso Jonas Hellborg and American guitar player Shawn Lane.
His debut international solo album, Soukha was released in 2006 featuring all other regular members of Remember Shakti including John McLaughlin, Zakir Hussain, U. Srinivas and Shankar Mahadevan, as well as sitar player Niladri Kumar and Selvaganesh's father T.H. "Vikku" Vinayakram. He has also formed a new group called dr JSM, with the UK-based Goan songwriter/producer dr.Joel and the young Carnatic singer Mahesh. Their Indo-Celtic album entitled Turn on the dreams was released in the UK in 2005.
While the kanjeera appears to be a simple instrument, in the hands of Selvaganesh, it produces a surprisingly large palette. “He has transformed the sound and identity of his instrument—he makes that thing sound like a huge drum kit—and all the actual playing is done with one hand.” It is somehow fitting that the oldest instrument in the band is responsible for creating an almost techno vibe; the constant bell-like jangle of the kanjeera brings to mind the warp-speed jungle-groove of drum-and-bass music.
His latest venture is in the field of Indian Film Music. His debut music for a regional language film is already a super hit and he is in the process of composing for a few others.