Kamat is one of the few Goan to revive Marathi Natyasangeet in the 1960s, when the art form was going through difficult times.
Born in Sakhali, Kamat studied at the Panaji Popular High School and grew up listening to bhajans, kirtans and religious speeches at his neighborhood Datta mandir. For higher education, Kamat emigrated to Mumbai, where he enrolled for a degree in economics at Wilson College. Attracted as he was by the theatrical art, Kamat seized the opportunity to perform in a Marathi play while in his second year of college. However, as his native language Konkani had a strong phonetic influence on his Marathi speech, he was rejected. This made Kamat work hard on his Marathi skills.
After graduating, Kamat landed a job with Air India, Mumbai, but nurtured his passion for theater by participating in the Marathi drama competitions as an amateur artist. It was the time when the only platform available for budding and budding theater performers was “natya spardha” (drama competition).
“Sangeet Matsyagandha, which was a milestone in the history of natyasangeet, also turned out to be the turning point in Kamat’s musical career,” said Janardhan Verlekar, president of Gomant Vidya Niketan, and a connoisseur of classical music. , who had had a close association with Kamat for several years.
“Sangeet Matsyagandha by Vasant Kanetkar in 1964 marked the beginning of the revival of Marathi sangeet rangbhumi (theater) at a time when it was going through a bad phase. Two Goans were instrumental in its rebirth, one was Pt Jeetendra Abhisheki, the musical director of the play, and the other, Ramdas Kamat, the singer, ”explains Verlekar.
Kamat stopped performing in professional shows in 1997, but continued to guide aspiring singers. He twice assumed the mantle of President of Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Natya Sammelan.
Verlekar describes Kamat as a down to earth personality. “I have never met such a simple, lovable, and gentle-mannered person in my life,” he says.