News / Arts & Entertainment

    Red Baraat Makes NYC Music With Punjabi Beat

    Red Baraat Makes NYC Music with a Punjabi Beati
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    Carolyn Weaver
    August 01, 2013 10:22 PM
    New York City's multicultural population is fertile ground for fusions in art and music. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver reports on Red Baraat, an eight-member band from Brooklyn blending Northern Indian bhangra - a high-energy dance music - with jazz, hip-hop, and other genres.
    Carolyn Weaver
    New York’s multicultural population is a fertile medium for new fusions in art and music. Red Baraat, an eight-member horns and percussion band from Brooklyn, blends northwestern Indian and Pakistani bhangra music with jazz, funk, hip-hop, and other genres. The result is a raucous, freewheeling sound that people can’t help dancing to, an “explosively happy meld of bangtastic funk, Bollywood drama and marching band swagger,” writes music critic Thom Jurek.
     
    Bandleader Sunny Jain, a first-generation Indian American who grew up in Rochester, New York, founded Red Baraat in 2008, when he was looking for a traditional Indian bhangra band to play at his own wedding. A jazz drummer and singer, he fell in love with the dhol, the booming double-sided drum used in bhangra and in Bollywood musicals, on a trip to India in 1997.
     
    “It was a different energy for me, you know, it’s slung on the shoulder, I’m not sitting stationary on the drum set, but I’m able to move around. And it’s enormously loud,” he said in an interview at the Clearwater Festival on the Hudson River north of New York, where Red Baraat played earlier this summer.

    Brooklyn Bhangra
     
    Named after a joyous wedding procession in India, Red Baraat has risen rapidly, going from unpaid gigs in a Brooklyn bar to major music festivals and a performance last year at the White House.
     
    Critics say the music amounts almost to a new genre - a horns n’ drums bhangra and jazz influenced by go-go, Latin music and even a bit of klezmer. “We call it ‘Brooklyn bhangra,’ because we’re all coming from disparate backgrounds,” Jain said.
     
    “I didn’t want just typical jazz players; I wanted people from different backgrounds,” he said.  “Sonny Singh is a trumpet player who grew up in, you know, with Sikh gurdwaras, going to temple and praying, and also grew up with ska music and reggae music. MiWi La Lupa is a bass trumpet player; he grew up with like R&B, he grew up with jazz. Ernest Stuart grew up in the black church in Philadelphia. Everybody’s coming from different arenas.”
     
    While Jain on the dhol dominates, Tomas Fujiwara and Rohin Khemani add to the polyrhythms on drumset and percussion. John Altieri plays the sousaphone and sings, as do La Lupa and Mike Bomwell, who plays soprano saxophonist.

    Cultural meld
     
    Jain grew up in Rochester, New York, the son of a scientist. He listened equally to American rock and roll and jazz, and to Indian music, including classical and folk music and Bollywood hits. His two cultures rarely met, however.
     
    “It was always a struggle for me growing up. I had the Indian side, very, very Jain, religious, Punjabi. And playing jazz drums, and outside on the weekends, playing baseball, basketball with my buddies. But the two worlds for me were never intertwining,” he said. “It wasn’t maybe until I went to college and started composing, that was my way of reconciling what felt like these two disparate cultures.”
     
    The band’s second full-length album, “Shruggy Ji,” released in January, hit first place on world music charts. Red Baraat has also played to enthusiastic crowds at the Montreal Jazz Fest, at New York’s Lincoln Center, and at the 2012 TED conference, where Jain says dancers in the crowd included former vice president Al Gore.

    Some video by Samantha Phillips

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures