Saagara (POL/IND)

Label: Instant Classic

Period: October / November


Saagara (translates as 'Ocean' from Sanskrit), are an exploration of fusion of the highest order. A fluid combustion of Carnatic (Southern Indian classical) music with the improvisational jazz, and live electronics of Eastern Europe, care of Poland. Expect syncopation and inaugural cooperation of East and West, a confluence and openness, and friendship of functional development.

Saagara enjoys world class membership; Wacław Zimpel (clarinet, electronics), Girdhar Udupa (ghatam), Bharghava Halambi (kanjira), Mysore N. Karthik (violin), K Raja (thavil). All members are to regularly be found smudging genres, gracing such stages as Rewire festival, Unsound festival, Sydney Opera House, the Barbican, the United Nations, Kraków International Percussion festival generally exploring the boundaries of their roles in their established respective fields.

This October tour is focused on the promotion of Saagara’s 3rd album (TBA), for release on Zimpel’s wildly eclectic Instant Classic label. The band’s sound has moved on from the initial flirtation between Zimpel and his band mates’ previous efforts, to an arguably more Western perspective of counterpoint. The outfit now feature a heavy electronic and more explorative counterpart creating a new focus on the intersection of emerging musical sub-genres and ancient tradition. 


"Subtle electronics swell around traditional Indian instrumentation and Zimpel’s signature clarinet to create another fine piece of free jazz. Like all of Zimpel’s work, ‘2’ is textured, emotive and utterly transportive." - Hinged Blog

"...there are few exponents quite as thrilling as Sagaara. With the tragic passing of U.Srinivas in September 2014 it may be that John McLaughlin/Zakir Hussain's Remember Shakti---the most internationally famous of such cross-cultural groups—is no more. That being the case, then Sagaara would make a worthy heir indeed."  - All About Jazz

"…this creation has unbelievably strong, good, positive energy. (…) its sophisticated structure is not at all disturbed by being at the same time incredibly spontaneous and listener friendly."


Extra links:


Zimpel with Forest Swords & Belinda Zhawi on BBC R3 live:

Extended bio:

Mail: andrew[at] (UK, EU)

Live video:

Interview including Saagara introduction