"Charu's raga-based improvisations are singular." - Multi-GRAMMY® Award-winning pianist Arturo O'Farrill
"Her live show is unforgettable because there will never be another evolution of sound quite like the evolution of Suri’s sound." - We Are Memphis
"An evening not to be missed of Suri's compositional and pianistic genius." - Broadway World
Pianist and composer Charu Suri treads fearlessly between genres, pulling global influences that range from the mood-anchoring Indian ragas, Sufi music, to the trio. Her ground-breaking albums, The Book of Ragas, and its sequel, The Book of Ragas vol. 2 have often elicited the response, "I've never heard this type of sound before."
One of the few female composers from India to perform work at Carnegie Hall, Charu has lived in four continents, and writes music that reflect her journey as both a traveler and her training as a classical music piano prodigy. She has been playing the piano since the age of five, and performing since the age of nine, and one of her best memories is winning an international piano competition at the age of 15.
What started purely as an experiment with her "Book of Ragas" has turned into a niche that she is now increasingly becoming known for. Her latest album is RAGAS & WALTZES, a first collaboration between her and Preservation Hall's jazz drummer, Joe Lastie. Recently she recorded her upcoming album, RAGS & RAGAS, with bassist John Patitucci, drummer Joe Lastie, drummer Steve Gadd, and pianist Kobi Arad. It will be released at the end of summer 2023.
Her last album, RAGAS & WALTZES has received a lot of praise from critics. JAZZIZ Magazine has praised its classic reinvention of the European waltz, and All About Jazz said, "These are all Suri originals, with which she creates a mood that is a mix, tune-by-tune, of longing and solemnity, then of a lilting and uplifting beauty, segueing into tender reverence that shifts gear into a segment of lively swing before drifting back to loving respect. And that swing is surely inspired by New Orleans' Preservation Hall Jazz Band's drummer, Joe Lastie, Jr., sitting in the recording session's drummer's chair."
But she is no stranger to the art of the Songbook too (attribute this to her listening to numerous records of Bill Evans and Billie Holiday as a kid). "The New American Songbook" has garnered many awards, including a "Band Single of the Year" crystal trophy for her song, Bluesy, awarded by the International Singer-Songwriters Association (ISSA) in 2021.
Charu has performed at Lincoln Center and other prestigious concert halls around the world, including St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. She often performs with her band, and sometimes as a soloist. Her work will be performed by New Jersey Symphony Orchestra for the first time on May 13, 2024 at NJPAC.