Red Baraat Perform "Chaal Baby," "Shruggy Ji," and "Dhol 'n' Brass"
Some "rollicking funk music steeped in Northern India's wedding celebrations, with a dash of D.C. go-go beats and hip-hop" will be heard this Sunday here for free — After Dark: Sunny Jain happy to play to a hometown crowd at Lilac Festival. Says the band-leader:
- 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.