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Jerry Amaldev

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Biography

A prolific composer, Jerry Amaldev (1939 - ) started his explorations in music – the notation, the organ and singing in public – during his school days in his hometown, Kochi, India. He then pursued lessons in vocal music, piano and tabla (an Indian percussion instrument) under maestros in Indore, Pune and Mumbai. During the late 50s to mid 60s, he was one of the pioneers to adapt music for the liturgies in Hindi, English and Malayalam in the post-Vatican II Catholic church of India. His services have extended to the other Christian denominations, too. Making forays into the popular music of Indian films, he, at 25, become an assistant to the legendary Bollywood music director, Naushad , in Mumbai.

After four years in Bollywood, he moved to the United States to continue music studies. He obtained the Bachelor of Music degree from Xavier University of Louisiana, New Orleans, LA and the Master of Fine Arts degree in Music Composition from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY. Returning to India in 1980, he began his career as composer for films. His work for 75 movies brought him awards for excellence in music direction in the years 1980, 1990 and 1995.

The hallmark of his music for films, folk and devotional/liturgical songs has been an unmistakable fusion of Indian tradition with classical European music. From the teen years of organizing local orchestras and later establishing music centers and recording studios, teaching music in various schools and colleges in the US and India and conducting large choral performances including the one during the 1996 Papal visit, Jerry Amaldev has been a vital force in the community.

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