Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Whopping Fun Red Baraat come to the ECC Arts Center April 20

In the holiday season last Deecember, I had written about how much we had enjoyed the ballet 'The Nutcracker' at Elgin Community College Arts Center.

The coming Friday, Red Baraat comes to the ECC Arts Center’s Blizzard Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin, Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m.Known for its explosive stage performances, Red Baraat melds North Indian rhythm Bhangra with a host of sounds including brass, funk, go-go, Latin, and jazz to create a wildly exciting musical experience. The Wall Street Journal calls Red Baraat “a big band for the world,” and the Chicago Reader hails them as “fun as hell.” The April 20 performance will include selections from their upcoming album, “Shruggy Ji.” This presentation is supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional contributions from the Illinois Arts Council, General Mills Foundation and Land O’Lakes Foundation.

Red Baraat has been featured in The New Yorker, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal and on NPR’s “All Things Considered.”  Since the band’s inception in 2008, Red Baraat has performed at numerous festivals including Chicago World Music Festival, Chicago Folk and Roots Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, Madison World Music Festival, Molde International Jazz Festival and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; and taken the stage at prestigious venues including The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, among others.

Red Baraat’s debut album, “Chaal Baby,” was voted by several music critics as a top world and jazz release of 2010, and the title track has been used as background music for promo ads for FX’s hit TV show, “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia.” The band’s second recent release, "Bootleg Bhangra" was recorded at Brooklyn’s Southpaw on their second anniversary and released in 2011. Red Baraat is currently at work on their second studio album, "Shruggy Ji" scheduled for release summer 2012.

The Brooklyn-based band of nine, led by dhol drummer and Red Baraat founder Sunny Jain (see bio below) also includes Tomas Fujiwara (drums), Rohin Khemani (percussion), John Altieri (sousaphone), Mike Bomwell (soprano sax), Alex Hamlin (baritone sax), Sonny Singh (trumpet), MiWi La Lupa (bass trumpet) and Ernest Stuart (trumbone). For more information about Red Baraat visit redbaraat.com.

ECC Arts Center, located at 1700 Spartan Drive, Elgin presents Red Baraat, Friday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $32 / $28 if purchased online. Tickets can be purchased online at http://tickets.elgin.edu or at the ECC box office located in the Arts Center. To purchase tickets by phone, call 847-622-0300.

In my personal opinion, if you are an Indian reading this, the kind of music that this band plays needs no introduction - so 'Chak de phatte, nap de killi!' ;O  For others, you must must must listen to the genre of music the band plays. Typical to North India and even more specifically to North Indian weddings, its the super high energy music that has beats to die for, beats so peppy that force one and all to get in the groove and move their bodies and dance in full excitement as if no one's watching, to just let loose and be one with the music and dance hard, having whopping fun with friends and family in the process.

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