Phil Scarff
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Phil Scarff

Winchester, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 1980 | INDIE | AFM

Winchester, Massachusetts, United States | INDIE | AFM
Established on Jan, 1980
Band World Jazz


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Please see 'photo' section for complete articles"


"Cadence, review of Natraj CD"

With numerous ragas informing his winding saxophone lines... Scarff continually keeps things at a low simmer... Indeed close listening is mandatory to hear where Scarff... merges the raga with straight-ahead saxophonic lines to delightedly leap from bop logic out into a musical realm which resembles those introduced by Coltrane, Pharoah Sanders, et al. - Cadence

"Sunday Observer, review of Natraj at JazzYatra"

Saxophonist Phil Scarff: real find. - Sunday Observer, Mumbai, India


Phil Scarff… enchanted musician. - Downbeat

"Afternoon on Sunday, review of Phil Scarff at JazzYatra"

Scarff's virtuosity was in no doubt... superb.” - Afternoon on Sunday, Mumbai, India

", review of JCA Orch at Regattabar"

Screaming tenor solo by Phil Scarff. -

", review of JCA Orch CD, In, Through, and Out"

Highlighted by Phil Scarff's scorching tenor solo. -

"Jazz Now, JCA Orch CD review"

He is a cerebral improviser who develops a solo logically, deliberately, and passionately. - Jazz Now

"Tarun Bharat, Solapur concert review"

Phil Scarff enchanted the audience with his unique display of Indian classical music on a western instrument. - Tarun Bharat, Solapur, India

"Pudhari, Kolhapur concert review"

Phil Scarff mesmerized the audience with his Indian classical performance on saxophone. - Pudhari, Kolhapur, India

"India Insight, Kolhapur concert review"

Phil presented ragas Maru Bihag, Bageshree, and Bhairavi… enthralled the audience… very subtle and appealing… exhilarating experience. - India Insight, India

"Deccan Herald, Bengaluru concert review"

Phil Scarff… weaving magic through his saxophone with Raga Puriya… soul-stirring… sonorous… Raga Bihag was refreshing and delightful. He played… with great finesse and mesmerized the audience. - Deccan Herald, Bengaluru, India

"Sakal, Kolhapur concert review"

Phil Scarff… beautifully molded the saxophone to Indian classical music. - Sakal, Kolhapur, India

"Tarun Bharat, Kolhapur concert review"

Phil Scarff’s Indian classical performance on soprano saxophone amazed the audience… His sweet, sonorous tone, soulfulness, and focus were equal to those of a great Indian classical musician… The spellbound listeners were moved and touched… Scarff won the hearts of the connoisseurs. - Tarun Bharat, Kolhapur, India

"Sakal, Solapur concert review"

Performance by saxophonist Phil Scarff left the audience spellbound… Virtuosic performance… a true rendition of Indian music… He drew thunderous applause from the connoisseurs… An exceptional presentation of Raga Rageshri. - Sakal, Solapur, India

"Kala Arts Quarterly, Toronto concert review"

Raga Bhairavi reminded one of Bismillah Khan’s thumri for Scarff’s saxophone sounded so much like a shehnai. - Kala Arts Quarterly

"City Buzz, Bengaluru concert review"

Phil Scarff’s achievement is worthy of the world’s applause… Scarff has perfected a unique musical style of his own. - City Buzz, Bengaluru, India

"Sakal, Kolhapur concert review"

Phil Scarff: a scintillating performance… His beautiful display of the intricacies of Indian classical music… thrilled the audience… touched the hearts of the listeners. - Sakal, Kolhapur, India

"Times of India, Kolhapur concert review"

Indian classical music on the saxophone! Phil Scarff... played different ragas with finesse... enthralled the audience... subtle and appealing. - Times of India

"Tarun Bharat, Kolhapur concert review"

Phil Scarff… entranced the audience… Incredible breath control… sweet, melodious… Eloquent rendition of Raga Madhuvanti in vilambit ektaal… Deep, soulful performance. - Tarun Bharat, Kolhapur, India


Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Evocations (Leo Records CD LR 637)
Phil Scarff, Ragas from Dusk (Galloping Goat GGCD-4422)
Darell Katz, Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra,Wallflower in the Amazon (Accurate Records AC-5059)
Darell Katz, Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, The Same Thing (Cadence Jazz Records CJR 1205)
Natraj, Song of the Swan (Galloping Goat GGCD-3425)
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, American Agonistes (Leo Records CD LR 508)
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, No Walls (Aardmuse CD104)
Sandy Prager, Beyond Borders (Fo-Pa Records 07-1005)
Treasures III, Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934 (National Film Preservation Foundation NATD3827DVD)
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Trumpet Madness (Leo Records CD LR 423)
More Treasures from American Film Archives, 1894-1931 (National Film Preservation Foundation NATD2271DVD)
Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, Celebration of the Spirit (Creative Improvised Music Projects CIMP#298)
Laura Andel Orchestra, Somnambulist (Red Toucan Records RT9322)
Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, In Thru, and Out (Cadence Jazz Records 1153)
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Duke Ellington/Sacred Music (Aardmuse CD103)
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Bethlehem Counterpoint (Aardmuse CD102)
Darrell Katz, The Death of Simone Weil (innova 582)
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, The Seeker (Leo Lab CD-068)
Jazz Composers Alliance Saxophone Quartet, I'm Me and You're Not (Brownstone BRCD-9906)
Natraj, Deccan Dance (Galloping Goat GGCD-3424)
Autumn Uprising (Tautology 001/002)
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, An Aardvark Christmas (9Winds NWCD-0201)
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Psalms and Elegies (Leo Lab CD-028)
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Paintings for Jazz Orchestra (Leo Lab CD-014)
Natraj, Meet Me Anywhere (Dorian Discovery DIS-80119)
Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Aardvark Steps Out (9Winds NWCD-0155)
Music Collection 4, World Music (IMPS Music IMPS-004)
Natraj, The Goat Also Gallops (Accurate Records AC-3422; reissued by Dorian Discovery DIS-80124)



Phil Scarff is pioneering the performance of North Indian classical music on soprano saxophone, exquisitely capturing the subtlety and depth of this music on a Western instrument. He has beautifully molded the saxophone to Indian classical music, extols Sakal, Kolhapur, India. Phil received extensive training Hindustani music in Pune, India, from vocalist Pt. Shreeram Devasthali, leading sundri artist Suryakant Khaladkar, and shehnai master Shyamrao Lonkar, and in Boston, USA, from sitar master Peter Row, and vocalists Kalpana Mazumdar and Warren Senders.

Phil Scarff has appeared and performed Hindustani music on 'The Morning Show' on SAAM TV, Mumbai. All India Radio has broadcast his Hindustani program, under the auspices of the Sangeet Research Academy. Phil has performed Hindustani concerts in India and North America, including the Nehru Centre, Bombay Gymkhana Club, and Sharada Sangeet Vidyalaya, Mumbai; Gayan Samaj Deval Club, Kolhapur; Maharashtra Cultural Centre, Pune; Museum of Fine Arts and LearnQuest, Boston; Hindu Society of North East Florida, Jacksonville, FL; Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA; Lawrence University, Appleton, WI; and St. George's University, Grenada.

Phil Scarff is a master jazz saxophonist, and leads the acclaimed world-jazz ensemble, Natraj. Appearances include India's JazzYatra and Prayojana International Music Festival; PANAFEST, Ghana's major international festival (West Africa); the Guelph Jazz Festival, Canada; the Boston Globe Jazz Festival; the Lake George Jazz Weekend; and the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. Phil is featured on over 25 internationally acclaimed CDs, including four as leader of Natraj.

Phil has performed with icons of Indian classical music including Ronu Majumdar, Shashank, Kadri Gopalnath, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, Trichy Sankaran, and Chitravina Ravikiran; as well as African master drummers Godwin Agbeli, Abubakari Lunna, Nani Agbeli, and Lamine Toure. Phil performs and records with creative jazz ensembles including Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Composers Alliance, Filmprov, and Sandy Prager.

Phil Scarff has presented workshops and lectures on jazz and world music at institutions such as New England Conservatory of Music, Tufts University, Rukmini Devi College of Fine Arts at Kalakshetra Foundation (Chennai, India), Lawrence University, Bowdoin College, Dartmouth College, Guelph Jazz Festival, University of Rhode Island, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

- Indian classical concerts with tabla
- Indian classical concerts with multipercussion
- Indo-Afro-jazz fusion
- Contemporary jazz
- Concerts
- Weddings and functions
- Corporate and diversity events
- Educational workshops, seminars, master classes

For more information, see websites listed under 'links' below.

Purchase CDs at:

Natraj digital downloads: iTunes, Rhapsody, Amazon, Napster, eMusic, Amie Street, Spotify, Verizon

Kajri Dhun performed at the Nehru Centre, Mumbai, India

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