Sachal Vasandani was born in Chicago, and listened to his parents' modern jazz records, pop music by the Beatles and Michael Jackson, and the East Indian music of his heritage.
In college at the University of Michigan he studied economics, and was instructed in the U-M's jazz and classical music programs. Arriving in New York City as a Wall Street investment banker, Vasandani soon discovered the lure of music was too strong. He found himself talented enough to make a go as a jazz vocalist and worked local jazz clubs. Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra gave him a chance to front a big band. After two independent recordings, his major-label debut for the Mack Avenue label, Eyes Wide Open, was issued in 2007. It reflects his past and identifies him somewhat as a pop-jazz crooner who incorporates elements of rock, R&B, classical, and Brazilian musics. Possessing a pleasant, flexible, and understated voice influenced by the subtleties of Shirley Horn, he will occasionally employ scat phrasing and vocalese. He was a winner in the 1999 Downbeat magazine Student Jazz Awards in the Collegiate Vocal category, and earned a semifinalist berth in the 2005 Thelonious Monk Institute Competition. As a sideman, he has worked with Pyeng Threadgill and Sean Jones. ~ Michael G. Nastos, Rovi