Tyagaraja is a mixture of spiritual folks music with the focus on the voice and the message in the lyrical content. Singer/songwriter Jonathan Welch was given his spiritual name, Tyagaraja, by the Divine Mother of India, Sri Karunamayi. Her message of Peace graces his music.


Biography of J. Tyagaraja

Tyagaraja is the singer/songwriter of the critically acclaimed band Million Year Dance. Million Year Dance won Album of the Year in the 2007 Houston Press Music Awards. Tyagaraja’s birth name is Jonathan Welch. The name Tyagaraja was given to him by The Divine Mother from India, Sri Karunamayi Amma. The name given to Jonathan and sacred the teachings of Amma, shine in the message of Welch’s songwriting. There is a deep seeded spirituality within Welch’s music, and with its southern folk quality, the music is very adaptable and a wonderful ride for anyone that has appreciation for music—spiritual or not. The voice of Tyagaraja is what carries the music. Although the lyrical content and the songwriting is very present, it is his voice that draws in the listener. Even John Lomax of the Houston Press says, “I’m just wondering why he’s not a Superstar yet.”
Jonathan Welch is now working on a solo album called Tyagaraja, “An Open Book” that is due to release, as scheduled, in August of 2008. A collection of local musicians will grace the musical content of the album, while the main core of the music will be focused on the singer’s main musicians. Tyagaraja and his father, Mike Don Welch, have been playing and performing music together since he was twelve years of age. Now the two of them have joined up with a table player, Alaap Parikh. Tyagaraja’s folk music matched with traditional instrumentation gives it an even more unique quality.
Influences include: Patty Griffen, Nina Simone, Tom Waits, traditional Indian music of Sri Karunamayi Divine Mother, Rufus Wainwright, Pink Floyd, Krishna Das, and many others…


"Liberation" Tyagaraja's first band, EP won album of the Year in the Houston Press Music Awards, on line on Itunes. All songs from the album currently on ration on three radio stations in Houston.

Set List

Can perform anywhere from 3 hours to 30 minutes, all originals.
Song List
Open Arms
Glory Ride
The Human and the Dove
God Speed
Sri Vijayeswari Devi Tava Nivas Ka Marga De
Married for Life
Experiencing the World as a Soul
All the Names of God
The Shelter I have Made
this set is performed at SXSW, lasts about 45 minutes