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Chicago, Illinois, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2010

Chicago, Illinois, United States
Established on Jan, 2010
Band World Fusion


This band hasn't logged any future gigs

Surabhi @ Acorn Theater

Buchanan, MI

Buchanan, MI

Surabhi @ City Winery

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

Surabhi @ Elastic Arts

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL



Chicago musician Sara Ranganathan is an accomplished and talented practitioner of Indian classical music. Her instrument is a precursor of the sitar called the veena. The approach to her art is best summed up by her philosophy, “one stage, one music, one community”. Ranganathan goes beyond Indian classical music collaborating with musicians from other musical traditions from places like Africa and Spain. On her third release, “Refreshing Raga Blues,” Sara includes some of those traditions in her repertoire. She’s visits the Morning Shift with some musicians to play for us. (WBEZ/Lacy Scarmana) - WBEZ Morning Shift

Connoisseurs can tell how embellished a concert can be with Tiruchi Sankaran at the helm of a delightfully soulful percussive recital. K.V. Gopalakrishnan (ganjira) came up with matching repartees in Khanda nadai and their tani avartanam was brilliant. Akkarai Subhalakshmi (violin) was a picture of refinement and elegance.

Earlier in the day, Rajeswari Pariti with son Ravi and grandchildren, Divya and Nitya, presented a melodious veena concert.

‘Strings in Fusion’, featured compositions of Chitravina Ravikiran, Kalyani-Kiravani Suite and Behaag Tillana. Ravikiran was joined by Saraswathi Ranganathan (veena), Carlo Basile (guiter) and Greg Nergaard (bass). Saraswathi’s playing was replete with refreshing artistic nuances, while the ‘Melharmony’-inspired strums-slides of Carlo and Greg perfectly complemented the ambience.

This endeavour is part of SAPNA’s goal to keep up tradition while presenting innovation, and providing a platform for deserving local (Chicago) artists. - The Hindu

Chicago, IL – June 19, 2014. Presented as part of the Chicago Park District’s Night Out in the Parks series, with the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Surabhi: A Melting Pot of Music brings together musicians and dancers from the city’s flamenco and Indian classical scenes.

Surabhi has been delighting audiences with their lush, rustic soundscapes of flamenco, beautifully woven into the rich classical sounds of Indian Classical ragas and spiced up with a dash of blues and folk. The band features dual leads Saraswathi Ranganathan on the South Indian Veena and Carlo Basile on flamenco guitar. Surabhi's repertoire includes interpretations of traditional flamenco and classical Indian music with dance improvisations by Bharathanatyam dancer Priya Narayan and flamenco dancer Wendy Clinard. Dhananjay Kunte on Tabla and Joel Martinez on drums round out the musical line-up.

"One of my primary goals is to get people from diverse backgrounds under one roof and share a sense of 'one stage, one music, one community' that embraces differences,” states Ranganathan. My secondary goal is to showcase ancient acoustic instruments from different parts of the world, including the South Indian Veena. We also wish to share this joyful music with the residents of districts that may have restricted access to such artistic music.”

Now in its second year, the 2014 Night Out in the Parks series will bring 1,000 events and programs to more than 250 neighborhood parks throughout the city, making community parks safe havens and hubs of activity. Projects will vary from traditional performances and concerts, to peace rallies, movies, magic shows, community workshops, nature based programs, dance pieces, festivals, and more. The Chicago Park District has partnered with more than 50 arts and community organizations to expand and produce this successful initiative.

Surabhi: A Melting Pot of Music takes place on Wednesday July 9 at The Bluestone Terrace Outdoor Park, Garfield Conservatory, Chicago from 6.30PM to 7:45PM. Admission is free and the event is open to all ages. - Music Industry New Network

Saraswathi Ranganathan leads a band that includes Veena, Tablas, guitars and drums to create a hybrid sound of Flamenco and Indian rhythms. Surabhi brings their sound to Morning Shift. - WBEZ Morning Shift

Andalusia. For decades my heart has swooned to its music. Maybe you too! In March two very different live shows focusing on the music of Andalusia are being performed in Chicago. Tonight, March 7 Chicago’s Ronnie Malley & Las Guitarras de Espana present “The Roots of Flamenco: Andaluz and Arabic Music and Dance” at City Winery and March 20 “La Banda Morisca” direct from Andalusia, Spain at Old Town School of Folk Music.

Andalusia is the southern tip of Spain. It is where Flamenco was born. Prior to its birth, the music of the region was already a cultural melange filled with heady rhythms and wailing soulful melody. It is only 7.7 nautical miles through the Straits of Gilbrator from Spain to Morocco and the horn of Africa. From the 7th to the 15th century, the Iberian Peninsula was part of the Muslim empire and a golden age of civilization flourished under Islamic rulers marked by Christian,Jews and Muslim living in harmony. Andaluz’s music was influenced by North African Berbers (Morocco), the Middle East (the oud traveled from Iraq to Spain). The Roma gypsies of India also came there later and influenced the development of flamenco. In 1492 Muslims and Jews were forced to exile Spain or convert to Christianity. The Muslim people who “converted” in order to save their lives became the Moriscos. They spoke their own language ( a mix of Spanish and Arabic) and played their music. All this music preceded “flamenco”.


Ronnie Malley, a multi instumentalist leads the Las Guitarras concert with the oud exploring music from this shared cultural history of the Middle East, North Africa, and Spain. He is a Palestinian American who began playing music with his family as a boy. He became fascinated with the history of Andalusia and Islam and traveled there to explore and learn about its roots. This concert is a reflection of his musical journey and exploration as well as a stage play he recently performed and wrote called “Ziryab: The Songbird of Andalusia” He told me in an interview that the oud orginally came from Iraq with Ziryab who is considered the father of Andaluz music. Here’s a look at Ronnie Malley’s Journey to Andalusia upon which he based his concert.

surabhi-groupCarlo Basile classically trained Spanish and flamenco guitarist created “Las Guitarras de Espana” over 15 years ago and has many devoted fans. He told me that this concert will vary somewhat from other programs because this concert features the traditional music of Andalusia. He said, “Although no two shows are ever the same we usually perform mostly original material based on traditional elements with a focus on flamenco and classical Spanish music.” Following Las Guitarras, music lovers will also enjoy seeing Surabhi, a global fusion group with Indian, African, Arabic, and Spanish flamenco influences. This ensemble came about as a collaboration of artists featuring Carlo Basile and Saraswathi Ranganathan, a powerful Veenaan Indian veena player and also includes other members of Las Guitarras. Surabhi does original material as well as traditional. For this performance Carlo is debuting an original piece he wrote with Chihsuan Yang (Violin/Erhu) while on tour in S. E Asia this winter called “Hanai Pho.” It is quite lovely.

Both Indian dancer Kinnari Vora and flamenco dancer, Wendy Clinard will also be part of the ensemble for the evening as well as flamenco dancer Andrea Peterson. Dhananjay Kunte ( Tabla);Greg Nergaard – Bass;Bob Garrett – Percussion round out the concert’s ensemble. Special guests may join the show as well.

Please be certain to secure tickets in advance. Only a few seats may still be available for purchase at $18-$26 Doors open 6 pm for 8 pm show . - We Want Music Without Borders

“A lot of us are familiar with the Latcho Drom, but there are so many other trails and paths to look at”, says guitarist and composer Carlo Basile of Guitarras de España, describing a musical exploration that is culminating in the first festival of Chicago’s Flamenco Fest this year.

Basile explains that the Andalusian Trail concert emerged out of “Flamenco Without Borders”, a previous series of concerts in residency at the Instituto Cervantes. This concert, presented as part of the Flamenco Festival, will condense two trails: the journey of the oud from Iran through Syria, that made its way to Europe and became the guitar, which Basile calls the “Arabic” roots of the Spanish art form, as well as the path coming from India to Spain with the gypsies.

The concerts also continue an investigation of the common ground between Flamenco and these other genres that has evolved from Basilo working closely with artists Saraswathi Ranganathan and her ensemble Surabhi on the Indian roots of the Mediterranean genre, and with Ronnie Malley on its Arabic roots.

Basile is the first to admit that since “music has no DNA”, having a clear picture on the origins of a genre as multicultural as Flamenco is at times difficult, commenting, “…it’s criss-crossing paths that we are trying to make sense out of in performance.”

All of these strands will come together in this first concert of Flamenco Festival 2017 in Chicago, which will include Arabo-Andalusian poetry and music by Ronnie Malley on oud and harmonium, as well as Rajasthani folk dance by Kinnari Vora, flamenco and Mid-Eastern dance by Marisela Tapia accompanied by Basile on guitar, Ranganathan on veena, Dhananjay Kunte (tabla), Diego Alonso (guitar), Greg Nergaard (bass), and Bob Garrett (percussion).

Asked about revelations and insights gleaned in the course of his exploration of the roots of Flamenco, Basile answers, “I just realized how little I know! I never want to say for sure, for sure, when it comes to music, but there’s the idea when I hear the call to prayer in Islam, and then I hear Sara [Saraswathi Rangathan] sing an Indian scale, and then I hear the introduction to like a Flamenco tango, they seem to come from the same place. But now, also, I feel like we’re creating more interesting fusion pieces that are new and original. It’s great to explore the traditional pieces, but also, the surprise and the gift of all this is that we’ve all come together, but not in a contrived way, in an authentic way. And Lord knows, we need more of this in the world right now.”

The Chicago Flamenco Festival takes off on February 21 with a Las Guitarras de España and Intercultural Music Production, “The Andalusian Trail: The Roots of Flamenco,” at the City Winery. -


Still working on that hot first release.



The ensemble “Surabhi” is led by Indian veena artist Saraswathi Ranganathan. The group has been performing for the past 8 years, delighting audiences with lush rustic soundscapes of flamenco music and Afro rhythms woven into the rich sounds of Indian Classical ragas embellished with blues and folk melodies. Performances often include both music and dance from the Indian, African, Spanish flamenco traditions. Surabhi features an outstanding line-up from Chicago’s musical theater scene, including Ronnie Malley, Arabic oud ("The White Snake"), Sara Ranganathan, veena  ("The Jungle Book"), Bob Garrett, percussion (Sting’s "The Last Ship") and Carlo Basile, Spanish guitar ("Cascabel with chef Rick Bayless"). Taiwanese artist, Chihsuan Yang brings the haunting sounds of the Chinese erhu and violin to the ensemble. South Indian Tabla master, Dhanajay Kunte and Senegalese percussionist, Mamadou Tama add stunning percussion elements to the performance with flamenco dancer, Marisela Tapia and South Indian dancer, Kinnari Vora adding traditional and original movement to the mix. 

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