"The leader's virtuosity draws the ear whenever he plays... Saurang Orchestra is a highly promising debut, setting out a stall that will undoubtedly be a valuable feature of the thriving jazz and related musics marketplace of the future." - Chris Parker, BBC Music Magazine
"...a stunning collage of Indian influenced jazz and symphonic power...don't look now, but perhaps the most exciting music in jazz happening today is coming from the influences of the Eastern world, and India in particular" - Walter Kolosky. Allaboutjazz.com
"Stunning percussion, top flight soloists...this is world music with style". Scott Rowley - Total Guitar
"Sandhu's album is ambitious and rare: his work is rooted in classical Indian improvisation, but he uses Western arrangements and structures, and blends in contributions and solos from some seriously heavyweight Western musos. British Jazzer Andy Sheppard, adds blazing Coltrane-style sax solos to good effect. An equally powerful impact is made by guitar legend Steve Vai, who blasts into the opening sequence with sensitivity and strength, and spars impressively with Sandhu on the acoustic 'Sunday Morning in Calcutta'." - Robin Valk - Jump FM
2003 saw the release of an album that had critics stunned with excitement the world over, the album was 'SauRang Orchestra', the artist is Surinder Sandhu.
Recorded in three continents over a 12 month period, the young Indian Sarangi Maestro caused quite a stir as many legendry musical figures fell over themselves to join him on the record. SauRang Orchestra features a large ensemble of incredible soloists including Guitar Legend Steve Vai, Award winning British Saxophonist Andy Sheppard, George Brooks, Roland Chadwick and many others, alongside The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
The same critical acclaim came from the year's tour, leaving audiences and critics breathless in a frenzy of high octane Indian influenced Jazz.
Born and raised in Wolverhampton, Surinder's first musical training was on the Clarinet as a child. He soon excelled on this instrument and moved on to Saxophone. Since an early age he was inclined to the beautiful sound of the Sarangi, which is the foremost bowed instrument of North Indian Classical Music.
His love for the instrument made him leave everything behind and go to India to study this amazingly intricate instrument that is so difficult to play; even in India there are only a handful of masters still living and playing.
Through his clarinet studies and deep-rooted Gharandar Sarangi studies under maestro Ustad Sabri Khan, Surinder has developed a personal approach to his performance and compositional skills. This approach has led him to work in a variety of setting such as Traditional Indian Classical Music and Dance, Western Orchestra, International World Music Outfits, Folk and contemporary vocalists (as producer) and even Underground Producers.
Surinder Sandhu has established himself on the international scene and is in demand both as a Sarangi player and Composer/Producer.
The Saurang Orchestra
In 1998 Surinder was invited as a guest lecturer in Indian music to The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. The three-day lecture/workshop incorporated music theory, practice and composition, which resulted in Surinder being asked to compose new music for a special concert of original music in September 1998 with the RLPO and guests soloists from India, Australia and The US. After the success of the first concert Surinder was immediately asked to compose new music for a concert in June 1999.
From this collaboration were born the seeds that eventually inspired Surinder to create the SauRang Orchestra - a stunning east-west collaboration performed by an all-star studded line up of outstanding Indian, Rock and Jazz soloists including UK Jazz great Andy Sheppard, US Guitar hero Steve Vai, and Indian Tabla maestro Shabhaz Hussain. The recording of this extraordinary music featured soloists from three continents. Recording sessions in Liverpool, Calcutta, San Fransisco and Los Angeles were brought back to the studio in Birmingham where Surinder painstakingly edited and compiled the entire project. Bringing together sarangi, a symphony orchestra, eastern percussion, western drums, jazz saxophones and various guitar gods was not a task for the faint-hearted!
The result - a stunning collage of Indian influenced jazz and symphonic power - can be heard on his debut CD Surinder Sandhu - SauRang Orchestra, released June 30th 2003 on Resonator Records.