Bio

Award-winning writer and category-defying musician Sandy Asirvatham (ah-sur-VAH-thum) has been a creative force in Baltimore for over a decade. A professional journalist since the late 1980s, Asirvatham has written for a huge range of publications in the arts, business and philanthropy. A spirit of eclecticism has also infused her career as a singer, jazz pianist, and songwriter/composer. In 2007 Asirvatham released her debut CD, Memoir, of ten originals and two covers. Her mysteriously catchy songs, unique approach to melody and harmony, and idiosyncratic band arrangements were noticed right away. Journalist W. Royal Stokes named it the best jazz debut of the year in his annual Village Voice list.

As WRNR dj Michael Buckley once put it, “When it comes to crossing invisible musical boundaries, Sandy Asirvatham is an innovator.” Crossing or just plain ignoring boundaries is at the heart of Asirvatham’s grandest project to date: a radical revision of Pink Floyd’s classic Dark Side of the Moon album, for which she was the chief composer/arranger. (Emmy-nominated singer-songwriter ellen cherry was her co-producer.) MOBTOWN MOON, as it’s called, reflects Asirvatham’s wide-open, idiosyncractic musical sensibilities and involves the participation of over 40 musicians from rock, jazz, classical, gospel, bluegrass, and other musical styles. It was released to much acclaim in 2013.

Asirvatham has played her original songs and intriguing reinventions of jazz standards and rock/pop classics at notable clubs (An die Music, Jazzway 6004; The 8×10 in Baltimore, The Bitter End in NYC; and 49 West in Annapolis) and major cultural events and institutions (Artscape in Baltimore and the Smithsonian American Arts Museum in D.C.). With the experimental/free improvisation collective KREation (Kevin Robinson Ensemble), Asirvatham has played The Shrine in Harlem, Puppets Jazz in Brooklyn, NY, The Underground on Manhattan’s Upper West Side and The Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.

Asirvatham’s music has been compared with that of Nellie McKay, Michael Franks and Randy Newman. Astute listeners may hear shades of Radiohead, Nick Drake and Steely Dan. She exhibits a sly sense of humor as she explores the full range of human emotion from dark to light.

While keeping one foot in the creative arts, Asirvatham has recently embarked on a new business partnership, Rowhouse Creative, with Emmy-winning producer/director Rick Lewis. Rowhouse Creative launched in late 2014 and makes hi-end digital media content for television and web.