When I first heard the raga jazz pieces on Charu Suri’s album The Book of Ragas, Volume I, I was immediately fascinated by her music. The combination of the jazz combo accompanying a vocalist singing Sufi music freely, flying over musical structures created by western instruments, struck me as very original and beautiful.
A little while later, I discussed that album in an article I wrote commenting about the encounters between jazz and Indian music. Read the English version here.
Before she published her second album in August, Suri sent me the tracks to listen to. As with her first album, I was captivated by the work but it raised a few questions in my mind. Interviews with her to which I had listened treated her music and her journey into raga jazz in a very basic way. As a fan of jazz and Indian classical music, I decided to speak to her myself and ask her about the things that I felt were missing in other interviews.
Charu Suri, who now lives in the New York area, was born in Madurai. She began to study music from the age of seven. She learned to play the veena and the piano, specialising first in Western classical music and…