RAJAS brings together stellar improvisers at the confluence of multiple musical approaches. "Rajas" is a Sanskrit word for the human quality that compels us toward action, creation, and change.
Described as “unlike any other on the scene” (New York Times), and having “wedded beauty by courting chaos, with the methods of loose-knit latter-day jazz at the service of a recognizably South-Asian melody and pulse” (Financial Times), RAJAS explores the resonances among Indian music, jazz and creative music, and other improvisational forms.
Using Rajna's original compositions as points of departure, their dynamic music is born from a collaborative process centering mutuality and multiplicity. The ensemble's debut album, Of Agency and Abstraction (Biophilia Records, 2019), received much critical acclaim.
Various iterations of the ensemble have performed at prominent New York venues such as the Lincoln Center Atrium, The Jazz Gallery, and Roulette Intermedium.
RAJAS album release at the Rubin Museum, April 2019
RAJAS, "Altitude" & "Charcoal"
A new suite titled Apertures, commissioned by Chamber Music America New Jazz Works, premiered in May 2021.RAJAS has featured a rotating cast of musicians over the years, and the ensemble here features Rajna Swaminathan (mrudangam/voice), Ganavya Doraiswamy (voice), Miles Okazaki (guitar), Stephan Crump (bass), Utsav Lal (piano), María Grand (tenor sax), and Adam O'Farrill (trumpet).