“Music gets to the soul in a way that sometimes language can’t,” said singer-songwriter Sachal Vasandani. Jazz has inspired many for decades with its free style and opportunity for self-expression, and Vasandani is creating a fresh take on the timeless genre of music, giving his audiences a sense of what jazz can sound like today. He is bringing his latest work, including selections from his new album Hi-Fly, to the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center on Saturday.
Vasandani started exploring music at a young age, and continued to pursue his love for it during college. He was named Collegiate Jazz Vocalist of the year in 1999 by DownBeat magazine, and has continued to gather notoriety and respect in the music world ever since. Impressively, he had the chance to work with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. Vasandani toured internationally after the 2007 release of his first album, Eyes Wide Open, opening for artists like Chris Botti and Joan Osborne, as well as playing at festivals and other venues. His sophomore album We Move (2009) gained even more attention, as he matured as a singer and songwriter.
Hi-Fly was released in June, and in Vasandani’s own words, it is the result of his attempt to investigate his jazz roots without being a throwback. He wanted to keep it current and show audiences the new face of jazz, but he still wanted to be true to the jazz genre. He even had the chance to record with legendary jazz singer Jon Hendricks, and they sing together for two of the tracks on Hi-Fly. Vasandani gets inspiration for the songs he writes from his personal experiences, but tries to make them more universal through the lyrics. Many of them are centered around relationships, both good and bad, but he related that he wants “to tell similar stories in new ways.”
When asked about his desire to perform in the Hamptons, Vasandani said, “I love the idea of going out there in the summertime.” He is excited to perform for the audiences out here, and is excited for some beach time as well. In addition, he noted, “I have heard very good things about the [Westhampton Beach] Performing Arts Center.” Jazz music is certainly very fitting for the atmosphere of the summer in the Hamptons.
Vasandani’s greatest satisfaction as an artist is to see people connect with his music. “I think every time I get a chance to sing and see people respond,” he commented, “especially maybe in the way that I’m feeling—if I’m singing a personal moving song or a sad song, if people get that and they believe it, or I’m singing something joyous and fun and entertaining, and they’re moving along with me—that’s really one of life’s biggest rewards.”
Sachal Vasandani at the Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center, Saturday, 7/23, 8:30 p.m. 76 Main St., Westhampton Beach. For tickets, visit www.whbpac.org or call 631-288-1500. Tickets are $50, $40 and $30. [/expand]