Pianist extraordinaire Charu Suri brings the magic of Raga Jazz to Chesterfield Jazz Club

Renowned pianist Charu Suri blends Indian ragas with jazz, captivating audiences worldwide. Don't miss her enchanting performance at Chesterfield Jazz Club.
Global jazz phenomenon Charu Suri takes center stage at Chesterfield Jazz Club.Global jazz phenomenon Charu Suri takes center stage at Chesterfield Jazz Club.
Global jazz phenomenon Charu Suri takes center stage at Chesterfield Jazz Club.

Charu Suri, the versatile pianist and composer celebrated for her innovative fusion of Indian ragas with traditional jazz, is poised to grace the stage at the Chesterfield Jazz Club on March 21 at 8pm.

Hailing from South India, Charu Suri's musical journey began as a prodigious pianist, captivating audiences in prestigious concert halls from a tender age. Her latest endeavour, the album "RAGS & RAGAS," showcases her transcendent talent, featuring esteemed musicians such as John Patitucci on double bass and Steve Gadd and Joe Lastie on drums.

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The album soared to #3 on the iTunes jazz charts and secured the #2 spot in Kenya, underscoring Suri's global appeal. Previous albums by Suri have achieved chart-topping success in India, dominating both jazz and overall album charts.

Suri's contributions to the realm of music have garnered widespread recognition, earning her numerous accolades and nominations. Notably, she received eight nominations at the International Singer Songwriters Association (ISSA) Awards in 2023 and was bestowed with the prestigious title of Entertainer of the Year (Gold) by ISSA. Additionally, her compositions were showcased by the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra at NJPAC's "Hooray for Bollywood" concert, marking a significant milestone in her illustrious career.

A distinguished member of the Recording Academy, Suri's distinctive style, coined as "raga jazz," seamlessly merges Indian ragas with jazz, resulting in a captivating auditory experience. Talking with the Derbyshire Times, Charu elaborated on her musical approach explaining, "It's a term I have coined to stylistically describe my music. Ragas are modal scales found in India. There are over 500 of them, each one supposed to be played at a certain time of day.”

“Instead of using Western tonal scales (which is typically what people learn when they study music...like C major, G major), ragas do not always utilise all 12 notes up and down (they can be 4 notes up, and 3 notes down etc.) and have a lot of permutations and combinations.”

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“So using these ragas to compose the melody and harmony is what led me to coin the term "raga jazz." The result is stylistically jazz with forms and harmonies but the end result, sonically, is very different.”

In anticipation of her upcoming performance in Chesterfield, Charu shared insights into her concert repertoire, promising attendees a captivating night: “A journey through Indian ragas and jazz mostly focusing on music from my last album, Rags & Ragas, that I recorded with Steve Gadd and John Patitucci.”

“And some great fun standards with Wendy Kirkland.”

Reflecting on her musical endeavours, Charu expressed gratitude for the opportunity to collaborate with esteemed musicians: “It was amazing and the feedback to it has been phenomenal. I was really honoured to have the legendary Steve Gadd on the drums, John Patitucci on bass and Joe Lastie from Preservation Hall on drums. It represents my stylistical example of raga jazz.”

With Charu Suri just finishing her Detroit residency, she will visit Chesterfield before heading off to play at two venues in London and then back to the United States to play at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

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