Red Baraat Perform "Sialkot," "Zindabad," "Bhangale," & "Se Hace Camino"
Blurbist Bob Boilen writes this of a band with Rochesterian roots:
- Red Baraat's fusion of bhangra, go-go, hip-hop and jazz is driven by frontman Sunny Jain's percolating playing of the dhol, a double-sided drum which forms the rhythmic lattice of support for their boisterous horns and guitar. And though Red Baraat graced the Tiny Desk five years ago, we had to have Jain's band back to celebrate Holi, the Hindu festival of color, of good over evil, and the coming of spring. Usually you'd see the dusting of brightly colored perfumed powders strewn in the air, covering bodies and clothing. The notion of doing that in the office was a fun thought, but the band (with my nudging) opted instead for confetti cannons and passing candied treats. It made for quicker cleanup, but their uplifting spirits lingered on, giving us a chance to shake off the final days of winter and demonstrating why music is so essential to the soul.
- The fascinating thing told to us regularly is how people take in our music. Depending upon a person’s musical background or experience, they hear different things. South Asians hear the relationship to baraat brass bands back in India, as well as the Punjabi rhythms. Westerners typically hear New Orleans in our sound and when we’re in DC, people hear the go-go beat. I’ve had Brazilians tell me it sounds like Samba and West Indians say it sounds like Soca. So the elements get blurred and mesh together and at the end of the day, it’s about bringing forth a musical celebration that breaks the division of band and audience.
For me, music serves as a bridge for the two cultures I grew up with, the Indian and American culture. Bringing together the music of my Indian heritage (Jain bhajans, Punjabi music, Bollywood) and my western upbringing (jazz, rock, funk). In the fall of 2008, I started up Red Baraat with the intention of creating a large acoustic band that brought a powerful primal sound. As I started thinking of instrumentation, I knew that I wanted a wide variety of musical voices and no electrified instruments, just drums and horns. It’s the guys in the band that collectively make up the sound of Red Baraat.