Suppose you just met someone who didn't know your work, what project from the past 10 years would you direct them to as an entry point to you and your work, and why?
I would direct them to Kinsmen, as this project exemplifies my goals in myriad ways. This body of work clearly delineates the contrasting elements between Indian classical forms and jazz while simultaneously demonstrating how they can intersect to yield new ideas and frameworks for both composition and improvisation that defy genre. This seamless synthesis of concepts is a direct expression of my Indian-American identity. Much like me, this music is simultaneously Indian, American, neither, and both. In addressing this hybridity, I feel that the creation of Kinsmen speaks to America’s multicultural landscape while pointing to 21st Century notions of global citizenship. On a more personal note, this project propelled my public perception as an artist from being “that Indian saxophonist” to a station among forward-thinking American modern jazz musicians. In that vein, a listener that does not know my work can listen to Kinsmen and then go backwards or forwards freely through my discography bearing a unique insight into my inspirations and aspirations.