George Brooks is a prolific and diverse saxophonist and composer, acclaimed for successfully bridging the worlds of jazz and Indian classical music. He is the founder of several important Indian fusion groups including Summit with Fareed Haque, Kai Eckhardt, Zakir Hussain and Steve Smith, Bombay Jazz with Larry Coryell and Ronu Majumdar and the Kirwani Quartet with Dutch harpist Gwyneth Wentink and Indian flute maestro Hariprasad Chaurasia.
George’s deep understanding of raga has lead to collaborations with many of India’s most respected artists including Zakir Hussain, Hariprasad Chaurasia, Kala Ramnath, U.Srinivas, Ronu Majumdar, Vikku Vinayakram, A. Sivamani, Louiz Banks, Shankar Mahadevan and Dr. L. Subramanium. He has performed at major festivals throughout India and appears on numerous Indian recordings and the soundtracks of Indian films. His facility with genre bending music has led to distinctive collaborations with American minimalist composer, Terry Riley, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, The Mark Morris Dance Company and Merchant/Ivory Productions. He has appeared at major festivals in North America, Europe and Asia as well as premiere jazz clubs around the world.
Born in New York City, George Brooks began his early musical studies with saxophonist and arranger, Frank Foster. His musical education continued at the New England Conservatory of Music where he received his Bachelor of Music specializing in Saxophone and Jazz Studies. His teachers included renowned saxophone guru, Joe Allard, and composer/theorist George Russell. While living in Boston, Brooks performed regularly with Jaki Byard’s big band The Apollo Stompers. In the 1980s Brooks took two extended trips to India where he met and studied with master vocalist, Pandit Pran Nath. Throughout the 1980′s and 1990′s, Brooks regularly toured with American minimalist pioneer Terry Riley. Together they performed in the U.S., Europe and Japan, often with sitarist Krishna Bhatt.