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Red Baraat, Big Band Baghra Musicians, to Perform at Juniata

(Posted March 26, 2012)

Red Baraat will perform at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 30, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Arts.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Combine the jazzy use of Indian drums called dhols with a horn section worthy of Woody Herman and you have Red Baraat, a funky big band with flavors of India. The group will perform at Juniata College at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 30, in Rosenberger Auditorium in the Halbritter Center for the Arts.

For tickets and information about the Juniata College Presents series, please call (814) 641-JTIX (5849). General admission tickets for single performances are $20, except where otherwise noted. Single-show tickets for seniors over age 65 and children age 18 and under are $12. Juniata College students are admitted free with a student ID.

Red Baraat is at home on a college campus or a downtown club, thanks largely to its unique blend of contemporary jazz and funk, mixed with the percussion-based drum-based Indian music called "Bhangra."

Bhangra music is based on the simple Indian drum called the dhol, a double-sided, barrel-shaped instrument performed while slung over one shoulder. Add in a sousaphone (a marching band tuba) and five brass horns, and the audience will see a powerful performance that is equal parts world music and big band jazz.

Founded by drummer Sunny Jain, the group released its debut album, "Chaal Baby," in 2009. The band's sound has been described as "New Orleans New York New Delhi" by spinner.com. The group was formed in 2008 after Jain's long career as a jazz sideman with such performers as Norah Jones, Roy Hargrove and Dewey Redman.

"A fiery blend of Indian bhangra and funky New Orleans brass. The result, needless to say, is completely riotous."
The Village Voice

The group also released a live CD, "Bootleg Bhangra," and is currently starting to record their followup CD, "Shruggy Ji."

Jain plays the dhol drum and acts as the group emcee. He started as a jazz drummer on a traditional drum kit and first played the dhol professionally in the 2004 Broadway show "Bombay Dreams." He also was named a Jazz Ambassador for the U.S. Department of State in 2002.

The other musicians in Red Baraat include: Rohin Khemani, percussion; Tomas Fujiwara, drums; Arun Luthra, soprano saxophone; Mike Bomwell, baritone saxophone; Sonny Singh, trumpet and vocals; Mike Williams, bass trumpet; Dave Smith, trombone; and John Altieri, sousaphone.

A reviewer for the Village Voice wrote Red Baraat is, "a fiery blend of Indian bhangra and funky New Orleans brass. The result, needless to say, is completely riotous."

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.