This week, let's turn our video spotlight on Red Baraat, who are returning to St. Louis to play this coming Thursday, August 29 at The Gramophone. Based in Brooklyn and led by drummer Sunny Jain, Red Baraat is a nine-piece group with an instrumentation similar to a New Orleans brass band (two reeds, three percussion, four brass). Having already played The Gramophone back in May, this will be their second St. Louis gig this year.
Red Baraat's "dhol & brass" sound is an infectious mix of South Asian bhangra with American styles like funk, hip-hop and go-go. And though they're playing a modest-sized venue here, their appeal is by no means limited to small clubs; they've performed at NYC's Lincoln Center, the Barbican in London, at major jazz festivals in the U.S. and Europe, and on NPR, for which they recorded the first video clip seen up above.
The clip of the group's Tiny Desk Concert for NPR includes three tunes: "Chaal Baby," "Shruggy Ji," and "Dhol 'n' Brass." Down below, you can see them at a Brooklyn venue called Southpaw playing "Private Dancers."
Below that, it's a tune called "Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna," recorded in 2011 at the Mercury Lounge in NYC, and then "Tunak Tunak Tun," from their performance at at Lincoln Center's "Midsummer Night Swing & Bhangra."
The fifth clip, "Baraat To Nowhere," was recorded in April 2012 at the Bomhard Theater in Louisville, KY. The sixth and final video, recorded as the group took to the streets of the French Quarter during Mardi Gras 2013, help make explicit the connection between New Orleans brass bands and what Red Baraat does.