T.H.V. Umashankar is descended from a lineage of highly accomplished Carnatic (South Indian classical) percussionists. The grandson of Shri T.R. Hariharan Sharma and son of ghatam legend T.H. “Vikku” Vinayakram, he has distinguished himself as an accompanist to the esteemed Carnatic musicians of our time, including M.S. Subbulakshmi, Balamurali Krishna and U. Srinivas. He has also performed with great musicians in the Hindustani (North Indian classical) tradition, with Western jazz artists such as John McLaughlin and Jonas Hellborg, and as a regular session artist for Indian cinema music composers such as A.R. Rahman and Illayaraja.