Dr Sarita McKenzie-McHarg (stage name: Sarita Borliya) was born at Ujjain, India, in May of 1977 to folk singers Pandit Hira Singh Borliya and Srimati Anusuya Borliya. As a child growing up in a family of professional musicians and singers, Sarita learned various forms of Indian folk singing, especially the Kabeer and Malwa traditions. As a teenager, she took an interest in sitar and began her classical music studies under the guidance of Kumari Vinita Mahurkar of Ujjain.
An All India Radio artist, Sarita has performed as a sitarist and vocalist both in India and abroad, and enjoys the benefit of vast musical experience with Western and Indian musicians. She performed with the Monash University World Music Orchestra at the 2007 International Jazz Festival in Melbourne, Australia; and more recently, in Nepal, with visiting American jazz musicians at the Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory in May 2009.
Sarita is currently continuing her study of Indian classical sitar and surbahar under the guidance of her beloved gurus, "India's First Lady of Sitar", Srimati Joyas Biswas of Kolkata, and Srimati Ragini Trivedi of Indore. She is also furthering her study of Indian classical vocals and folk singing under the guidance of Srimati Girija Devi, Pandit Ramakant Dubey (classical) and her father, Pandit Hira Singh Borliya (folk).
Sarita's latest book, Traditional Folk Songs of Malwa, is a tribute to her father, folk singer and All India Radio artist, Hira Singh Borliya.
This collection of 75 songs showcases the rich and vibrant ceremonies of the Malwa culture. She is also working on a second volume to complete the series, which should be released in the coming year.
Sarita's PhD thesis, Baba Allauddin Khan: The most influential figure in the history of North Indian (Hindustani) classical music, will also be published as a book in the coming year.