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Natraj

Natraj seamlessly melds the classical music of India, traditional music from West Africa, and contemporary jazz to create its own unique and infectious style. Hard-driving African grooves and graceful Indian ragas meet in the band’s expansive jazz conception. Selected as Boston’s Best Jazz Band by the Improper Bostonian and nominated Best World Music Act in the Boston Music Awards, Natraj captivates and excites audiences with exotic textures, accessible melodies, and rhythmic energy. Natraj has delighted listeners throughout the US, Canada, India, and West Africa since 1987. Appearances include India’s JazzYatra and Prayojana International Music Festival; Ghana’s PANAFEST; the Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto; the Guelph Jazz Festival, Guelph, Canada; and The Boston Globe Jazz and Blues Festival

MUSICIAN Born:

Phil Scarff

Saxophonist and composer Phil Scarff performs Indian classical music and jazz, and leads the acclaimed world-jazz ensembles, Natraj and the Lewis Porter-Phil Scarff Group. World-jazz appearances include India's JazzYatra and Prayojana International Music Festival; PANAFEST, Ghana's major international festival; the Guelph Jazz Festival, Canada; the Boston Globe Jazz Festival. Indian classical performances include India's famed Tansen Samaroh (Gwalior); Nehru Center, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. and Dadar-Matunga Cultural Centre (Mumbai); Saptak School of Music (Ahmedabad); Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture (Kolkata); ICCR Theater and India Habitat Centre (Delhi); and JKK (Jaipur)

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Phil Scarff: Ragas on Saxophone

Read "Ragas on Saxophone" reviewed by Geno Thackara

Plenty of Western players have been inspired by the exotic sounds and qualities of Indian music. It's a much smaller number who've formally studied its classical traditions, however, and fewer still have been successful enough to master the forms and play to the acclaim of Indian audiences. Quick--can you name one off the top of your ...

Song of the Swan

Label: Galloping Goat
Released: 2008

Deccan Dance

Label: Galloping Goat
Released: 1999
Track listing: Kalyani; Na Yella Bo; Raga Bihag, Part 1--Vilambit; Raga Bihag, Part 2--Drut; Don't Utter; Duet; Introduction; Mukhras Not Tukras; Blue Tumbleweed.

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Natraj: Deccan Dance

Read "Deccan Dance" reviewed by AAJ Staff

Jazz naturally shares much in common with the music of India and Africa. Ragas emphasize improvisation around a harmonic structure; the music of West Africa relies upon the superimposition of complementary rhythms. Lately there's been a dramatic recognition of that fact in Boston, with groups like Antigravity and Natraj drawing from both Eastern and Western traditions. ...


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