Phil Scarff is pioneering the performance of North Indian classical music on soprano saxophone, exquisitely capturing the music's subtlety and depth. His performance at the famed Tansen Samaroh, Gwalior, India, with Saskia Rao de Haas was "The highlight of the festival." [Dainik Bhaskar]. Indian classical appearances include India's Nehru Center, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan and Dadar-Matunga Cultural Centre (Mumbai); Saptak School of Music (Ahmedabad); Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture (Kolkata); ICCR Theater and India Habitat Centre (Delhi); JKK (Jaipur); and Pt Chatur Lal Festival (virtual). Phil has performed with icons of Indian classical music including Ronu Majumdar, Shashank, Kadri Gopalnath, Umayalpuram K. Sivaraman, Trichy Sankaran, and Chitravina Ravikiran. Phil is also a master jazz saxophonist; he leads the acclaimed world-jazz ensembles Natraj and the Lewis Porter-Phil Scarff Group. He performs and records with creative jazz groups including Aardvark Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra, OddSong, and Filmprov. Phil is featured on over 40 CDs/DVDs. Phil received extensive training in Hindustani music at Pune, India, from vocalist Pt. Shreeram Devasthali, leading sundri artist Pt. Suryakant Khaladkar, and shehnai master Pt. Shyamrao Lonkar, and in Boston, USA, from sitar master Peter Row, and vocalists Kalpana Mazumdar and Warren Senders.
“Phil Scarff… weaving magic through his saxophone with Raga Puriya… soul-stirring… sonorous… Raga Bihag was refreshing and delightful. He played… with great finesse and mesmerized the audience.” - Deccan Herald, Bengaluru
“Intoxicating music… Phil Scarff's rendition of [twilight] Raga Puriya Dhanashri… created the image of a multi-colored sunset lighting up the sky.” - Sakal, Pune
"Phil Scarff… great imagination… sensitively traditional… pleasing and infectious." – Songlines, UK