Musician Sarathy Korwar Finds his Beat as his Arts Center Residency Continues to Flourish

The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi collaborates with the PRS Foundation and the British Council as part of the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration

Press Release

Sarathy Korwar has already struck a chord with NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) students and UAE-based musicians, as the dynamic percussionist who was in residence in September / October developing relationships and exploring musical collaborations with students, faculty and members of the Abu Dhabi community. His residency continues to create new music through collaborative performances and workshops until December 12.

Korwar, since arriving in the capital on September 27, has already shown his talent at the recent Season 6 opener of Rooftop Rhythms as the UK-based artist performed with poet/rapper Jaysus Zain. And he hasn’t stopped there, as he visited with the Bait al Oud for a tour of the school where he interacted with the artists, students, faculty, staff and members of the Abu Dhabi community, culminating in a collaborative performance with local Oud players and NYUAD Arabic percussion students. This informal jam session led to a duo performance with Sherine Tohamy during a ceremony marking the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between NYUAD and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, under the leadership of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak al Nahyan. Sarathy’s NYUAD residency also encompassed five class visits: Sherine Tohamy’s Oud class, Matteo Marciano’s Music Technology course, Andy Eisenberg’s African percussion class; Carlos Guedes’ graduating seniors capstone seminar, and Robert Rowe’s “What is Music” Core curriculum class. He also performed for the children in the Bright Beginning’s nursery school. NYUAD students and community members also took part in his percussion workshop on October 5.

This collaboration has come around thanks to the work of The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, British Council, and PRS Foundation. This Musician in Residence, is a special initiative for the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration. The range of Korwar’s activities throughout the year have been in line with the UK/UAE 2017’s themes of community and the next generation.

The US born, India-raised, UK based musician brings his fusion of East African, Sufi, and Indian influenced music, with jazz and electronics: a sound that was prevalent in his debut album Day to Day and continues to feature in his work today.

Korwar was born in the US grew up in Ahmedabad and Chennai in India, where he began playing tabla aged 10, yet was intrigued by American music he’d heard on the radio. At 17 Sarathy studied tabla under the tutelage of Rajeev Devasthali, translating his skills to the Western drum kit and playing as a session musician. He then moved to London, where he trained as a classical tabla player under the guidance of Sanju Sahai and graduated with a MMus in Performance from SOAS (School of Oriental and African Studies).

Korwar has finished the first part of his residency here, but is itching for the second half to get started on December 1, 2017. He said: I’ve spent a great week collaborating with a wide range of musicians and am looking forward to coming back and developing these projects further. Being on campus has been an inspiring experience and I can’t wait to be back!”

Between December 1-12, Korwar will continue working with the students of NYUAD, collaborate with local percussion groups, as well as perform in Hekayah | The Story, The Arts Center’s National Day celebration, on December 5th.

Bill Bragin, executive artistic director at The Arts Center at NYUAD, is excited to see what else comes from this residency, as well as underpinning that The Arts Center is more than putting on shows on the stage: “Sarathy was a perfect artist for The Arts Center’s collaboration with the UK in the UAE Musician in Residence program. He shares our interest in deep community engagement, learning through both classroom and studio settings, and a joy of using the highest levels of artistry to connect people of diverse backgrounds through the arts.”

The Arts Center at NYUAD is an internationally renowned performing arts center that presents distinguished professional artists from around the world alongside student, faculty, and community productions.

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About NYU Abu Dhabi

NYU Abu Dhabi is the first comprehensive liberal arts and research campus in the Middle East to be operated abroad by a major American research university. NYU Abu Dhabi has integrated a highly selective undergraduate curriculum across the disciplines with a world center for advanced research and scholarship. The university enables its students in the sciences, engineering, social sciences, humanities, and arts to succeed in an increasingly interdependent world and advance cooperation and progress on humanity’s shared challenges. NYU Abu Dhabi’s high-achieving students have come from over 115 countries and speak over 115 languages. Together, NYU's campuses in New York, Abu Dhabi, and Shanghai form the backbone of a unique global university, giving faculty and students opportunities to experience varied learning environments and immersion in other cultures at one or more of the numerous study-abroad sites NYU maintains on six continents.