Born in the US, Sarathy Korwar grew up in Ahmedabad and Chennai in India. He began playing tabla aged 10 but was also drawn to the American music that he heard on the radio and that leaked through the doorway of his local jazz music shop, Ahmad Jamal were John Coltrane early discoveries. At 17, Sarathy moved to Pune to study for a degree in Environmental Science, but instead dedicated his time to music: practicing tabla under the tutelage of Rajeev Devasthali, translating his skills to the Western drumkit and playing as a session musician. Finishing his studies, Sarathy began to think about pursuing a career in music and moved to London, where he trained as a classical tabla player under the guidance of Sanju Sahai and graduated with a MMus in Performance from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies) focusing on the adaptation of Indian classical rhythmic material to non-Indian percussion instruments.
Working the angles in London’s jazz scene, Sarathy connected with Shabaka Hutchings (Sons of Kemet, The Comet is Coming), Cara Stacey (Kit Records) and played with clarinettist Arun Ghosh. He was, however, itching to create under his own name and he started researching and formulating the concept for Day To Day and planning a trip to India to record the Sidis. It was late in 2014 when Sarathy heard about the Steve Reid Foundation. He applied with a three-minute video explaining his vision for the record and was accepted onto the project to be mentored by the foundation’s patrons: Four Tet, Floating Points, Gilles Peterson, Koreless and Nick Woodmansey (Emanative).
The extraordinary debut album from percussionist, drummer and producer Sarathy Korwar – Day To Day (Ninja Tune) – fused traditional folk music of the Sidi community in India (combining East African, Sufi and Indian influences) with jazz and electronics. The album was reveiwed positively across the board making numerous end of year best albums lists including the BBC Late Junction top 10 albums of the year. He continues to tour the record across Europe.
In November 2018 Gearbox record released a triple vinyl live album by Sarathy Korwar and UPAJ collective. The tracks, performed and recorded at a sold out Church of Sound show is a brilliant and unique mixture of London's new jazz talent, spiritual jazz and Indian Classical and was Guardian's contemporary album of the month. The ensemble had only one 45 minute rehearsal before the 3 hour long show and performed interpretations of many spiritual jazz classics.
Sarathy will relase his 3rd album 'More Arriving' through Leaf on 21st June 2019. Like his debut some of the album has been recorded in India but there the comparisons end. This is a darker, urban record that features South Asian rappers and poets many from the Dharavi slum in Mumbai where a young energetic hip hip scene is emerging. The album is focused upon brown pride and South Asian identity and fuses spiritual jazz, hip hop, Indian classical and electronics.