New York, NY (Top40 Charts)
Indian-born pianist and composer, Charu Suri, one of the very few female jazz artists from the country, debuted RAGS & RAGAS on all platforms this weekend and reached #3 on the iTunes jazz charts, a historical moment for her career.
On her record are bassist John Patitucci, drummer Steve Gadd, drummer Joe Lastie from Preservation Hall Jazz Band in New Orleans, as well as Berta Moreno
on the saxophone, Kobi Arad as guest piano soloist in Raga Rag No. 1 and Charlie Sabach on Oud. The album is mixed and mastered by three-time Grammy®-winning Lonnie Park. Her recent work has received much critical acclaim.
Rolling Stone has said: "RAGS & RAGAS (https://songwhip.com/charusuri/rags-and-ragas sees Suri take on fusion adventures like few other artists out there…making it an exciting listen each time."
All About Jazz has called the album: "Charu Suri's finest to date. Ink it in as one of the top jazz albums of the year."
"RAGS & RAGAS is particularly special one for me because I feel it represents my best work, and the musicians I got to collaborate with make this record truly one to remember," said the composer. As a child growing up in India, it was hard to even find the best piano teacher to teach Charu what she wanted to learn.
"As a girl too, no one expected or wanted me to do something daring or take risks in the world of jazz or music but my parents were super supportive of my talent and dreams," she said.
With this album, Charu brings different times of day into the jazz repertoire, with early morning (Bhairavi), late morning (Charukesi), afternoon (Bhimpalas), early evening (Kalyani) and late night (Bagesri) modes or ragas. These ancient scales were played at various times of the day in India
to anchor a mood.
Parade, a track inspired by evening raga Bhupali, is arranged by Grammy®-winning composer, Brent Fischer. Brent told me that this is the second musical work he as arranged with the title PARADE. "The first was the album by PRINCE," he said.
After emigrating to the United States, Charu began to find her voice, branching from performing Indian classical to jazz. Yo Yo Ma and Edgar Meyer both performed in her pieces when she was a teenager, but it was not until she came out with her Book of Ragas, and Book of Ragas vol 2 (both premiered at Carnegie Hall) that she started to find her unique voice totally her own.
Charu has had a record month of winning some prestigious awards, including Entertainer of the Year (Gold) at the International Singer Songwriters Association (ISSA) Awards, earlier in Atlanta, as well as her Verona
Waltz from her last album, Ragas & Waltzes, won the Intercontinental Music
Awards in the North America
Charu will perform her latest work at the Clive Davis Theater at the Grammy® Museum on Sunday, October 8th, as part of a showcase of new music with other artists. Tickets are here. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mosaic-2023-a-new-music-discovery-showcase-tickets-695604470697
She also announces a return to Carnegie Hall for a fourth time on April 5, 2024, with some wonderful artists. Follow her website for complete tours and updates.