D. K. Jayaraman hailed from Kanchipuram. From his teen years to his forties he gave concerts with his sister and guru, Smt. D.K. Pattamal. After his family moved to Madras in the 1940’s, young Jayaraman furthered his musical skills by learning from several well known masters like Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar, Madurai Mani Iyer, Muthiah Bhagavatar, Rajaratnam Pillai, Papanasam Sivan, Koteeswara Iyer and others.
D.K.Jayaraman was able to establish his individuality as a musician when he started giving solo concerts. He demonstrated singular creativity when rendering songs. By constant practice and singing, he acquired a pliable voice which he used to its fullest range. Rather shy by nature, he was a down-to-earth, simple man, not given to fanfare.
He was most comfortable in small gathering. Always accomodative, he was thoughtful of his accompanying artistes. He planned his concert well and it is said, he would rehearse his pallavi very thoroughly.
DKJ had a large stock of Muthuswami Dikshitar’s, Shyama Sastri’s plus Tyagaraja’s kritis. Like Kanchipuram Naina Pillai, DKJ used to sing uncommon kritis in rare ragas. Accolades and honours came to him one after another and the most coveted was the title of Sangita Kalanidhi from the Madras Music Academy. Unfortunately, he did not live long to cherish the recognition he got from the Music Academy. He died within a month after the title was conferred on him.
His concert repertoire included many Tamil songs. He was instrumental in popularizing compositions of many modern composers like Papanasam Sivan, Periasami Tooran, Tanjavur Sankara Iyer, Surajananda, Neela Ramamurthy, Srivatsa and others. He had a large number of rasikas and trained several disciples.
His daughter and his disciple, Sukanya gave vocal support to him in many of his concerts. Other prominant disciples include Vijay Siva, Balaji Shankar and violinist, R. K. Shriramkumar. His son, J. Vaidyanathan is a leading mrudangist. Rasikas often felt happy listening to DKJ’s concert as he could feel the pulse of the audience and modify his presentation. He was willing to render songs requested by rasikas.