They’ve been described as “a fiery blend of raucous Indian bhangra and funky New Orleans brass” — a “Big Band for the world,” playing “Bollywood with a go-go beat.”
Where else but the flavorful melting-pot of millennial Brooklyn could a partyband born in basements and warehouses go forth to take some of the world’s most prestigious concert stages by storm?
Whether they’re playing Lincoln Center, the Montreal Jazz Festival or a superheated sold-out club in their native NYC, Red Baraat have made instant converts of listeners who wouldn’t have known Sufi standards from Bhangra Funk five minutes earlier. When the nine-piece party juggernaut comes to Monmouth University on Friday, October 12, they’ll be taking the stage of the Pollak Theatre, a place that’s brought the best in ethnic and world music — from the historically authentic to the hippest amalgams — to the doorstep of the New Jersey community.
Fronted by MC Sunny Jain and his driving two-headed dhol drum, Red Baraat offers up a big and boisterously infectious sound that mixes saxophones, brass, drums and percussion with raps, traditional Hindi vocals and just about anything else that maintains the energy level and excitement. It’s a delightfully boundary-busting attack that’s been likened to everything from gypsy punks Gogol Bordello to the nationwide marching-band underground.
Coming off a first-ever appearance at the annual Bonnaroo Music & Art Festival, and a Spring 2012 European tour behind their debut studio album Chaal Baby, Jain and company have used that momentum to issue a live release (Bootleg Bhangra) and get busy on their forthcoming second studio set, tentatively titled Shruggy Ji.
Still, the live, real time setting — whether it’s in an underground club, a church, a Fashion Week runway, a historic hall or a cramped radio studio — is where Sunny’s crew shines; taking the North Indian bhangra rhythms that have thrilled generations, and infusing them with healthy doses of New York attitude and street-busker savvy.
During the 8 p.m. event, offered as part of the 2012-2013 Performing Arts Series at Monmouth, the band that’s been acclaimed by such media outlets as NPR, Mother Jones and The New York Times aims to add hundreds of new names to their fanbase — because to experience Red Baraat in concert is to be taken on a whirlwind tour of some entirely new and already favorite places.
To purchase tickets, or for additional information on the new Performing Arts season, please contact the Monmouth University Performing Arts Box Office at 732-263-6889, or online at www.monmouth.edu/arts. To schedule an interview, please contact Eileen Chapman at 732-571-3512.