Jazz Studies

Sachal Vasandani

Adjunct Assistant Professor (Jazz Studies)

Vasandani, Sachal

 

Contact Information:

vasanda@iu.edu



Department

Jazz Studies

Biography

Sachal Vasandani is recognized for his singular voice, with a tone and unique phrasing that mark him as one of today’s most compelling artists. Thoroughly rooted in jazz, Sachal has the swagger to front swinging big bands and the vulnerability to present definitive takes of classic ballads. His deeply creative approach to improvisation across lyrics, changes and time signatures is always soulful, and he has come to be regarded as one of the eminent improvisers of his generation.

Sachal’s 2018 release, Shadow Train (GSI), celebrates twin themes of romance and respect with an open spirit. Songs like Abbey Lincoln’s “Throw it Away” highlight this: Sachal’s performance is equal parts virility and empathy. Shadow Train is also a showcase of intuitive, organic musicianship at the highest level. Never stifled by tradition, Eric Harland (drums), Taylor Eigsti (piano), Nir Felder (guitar), Dayna Stephens (sax), and Reuben Rogers (bass), focus their collective energy, seducing and enlightening listeners at the same time.

Sachal’s groundbreaking 2015 release Slow Motion Miracles (produced by Steely Dan’s Michael Leonhart for Sony/OKeh), highlights his original compositions - fantastic melodies in a fresh style inflected with popular music. He has recorded three albums as a leader on the Mack Avenue label; his 2011 release, Hi-Fly, reached #1 on the iTunes Jazz charts. Hi-Fly was produced by John Clayton and features vocal legend Jon Hendricks.

Sachal has performed to enthusiastic audiences at all major festivals, theaters, and clubs across the world. He performs with artists of all styles, and has sung alongside musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Bobby McFerrin, Milton Nascimento, Bill Charlap, Natalia LaFourcade and Michael Feinstein. He is also an in-demand lyricist and composer and has collaborated with artists across genres; his singing and writing was featured on Gerald Clayton’s Grammy-nominated album, Life Forum (2013).

A preeminent educator, Sachal bridges a strong technical foundation and disciplined, immersive jazz study with a fundamentally open spirit. Through his workshops, classes, and lessons at multiple institutions around the globe, he has honed a style of teaching that is as encouraging as it is thorough.