Showing posts with label Red Baraat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Red Baraat. Show all posts

Friday, June 29, 2018



Catch them in Chi, IL August 15th at Avondale's Sleeping Village!


Red Baraat released their new LP, Sound The People via Rhyme & Reason June 29th. In a lengthy essay on the album, Stereogum calls it "a boisterous love letter to cultural harmony" and labeled the LP "reverentially revolutionary."  



Red Baraat have been touring the U.S in advance of the album's release and have just confirmed an October 4 show at New York City's LPR. The full list of dates is below. 

Sound the People was produced by Little Shalimar (Run The Jewels) and the band's Sunny Jain. On their newest offering, the Brooklyn-based band continues their exploration of South Asian culture, while firmly placing it within the context of a globalized generation as demonstrated by the diverse backgrounds of its members. An array of special guests and carefully curated covers help to round out the album. "Kala Mukhra" features Pakistani singer and writer Ali Sethi. The title track is the central force of the record. A stunning collision of traditional Indian music and insurrectionary hip-hop, "Sound the People" is centered around a politically-charged rap by Heems of Brooklyn hip-hop group Das Racist. Constructed from disparate ideas about the South Asian diaspora, migration and the current political climate, it is a powerful and incisive response to the way the United States has changed since the November 2016 election. Elsewhere on the album are contributions from American poet and activist Suheir Hammad and  American humorist John Hodgman. 

The album is the follow up to last year's Bhangra Pirates and marks a decade of work for Red Baraat. 

"...a politically soaked display of energy." - Stereogum
"...heart-pounding, insanely infectious Punjabi folk music." - NPR 

"the band explores what it means to communicate music between individuals and across cultures." - SPIN

"Of course, you don't need to know a word of Punjabi to understand the music's main message: get up and dance." - WNYC


JUN 29 Capitol Music Club - Saskatoon, SK
JUN 30 Centennial Square - Victoria, BC
JUL 01 David Lam Park Main Stage - Vancouver, BC
JUL 25 Wingfield Park - Reno, NV
JUL 27 Clyfford Still Museum - Denver, CO
JUL 28 The Temporary - Basalt, CO
AUG 04 Musikfest - Bethlehem, PA
AUG 09 Neighborhood Theatre - Charlotte, NC
AUG 10 The Pour House - Music Hall Raleigh, NC
AUG 11 LeBauer LIVE - Greensboro, NC
AUG 12 Richmond Jazz Festival at Maymont - Richmond, VA
AUG 13 The Grey Eagle - Asheville, NC
AUG 15 Sleeping Village - Chicago, IL
AUG 16 The Central Park Sessions | The Globetrotter Session - Madison, WI
AUG 17 The Cube at the Max - Detroit, MI
AUG 18 Newfields - Indianapolis, IN
AUG 19 City Winery - Nashville, TN
OCT 4 Le Poisson Rouge - New York, NY
OCT 26 Miller Outdoor Theatre - Houston, TX

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Original Red Baraat Video Interview & Lotus Music and Arts Festival September 26-29 in Bloomington, IN

Downhome Cosmopolitanism: The World’s Cultures Converge in Idyllic Hoosier Town, Thanks to Ingenious Lotus Music and Arts Festival 

Indiana has a secret. Hidden in one of America’s great small towns—complete with idyllic courthouse square and thriving main street—is an unexpected hub of global culture. From Tibetan monasteries to Afghan and Burmese eateries, Bloomington goes beyond the laid back cosmopolitanism of most Midwestern college towns.

The cornerstone of Bloomington’s global side is the annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival (September 26-29, 2013). An annual, nationally recognized world music event celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Lotus transforms Bloomington’s quaint downtown into something that combines the elements of a street fair, carnival procession, and massive block party. The music—ranging from meditative solo performances to high-energy Swedish hip hop or Balkan funk—powers the evening, drawing together town and gown, and the entire surrounding region.

Click here for the full 2013 schedule.   Here at ChiIL Live Shows Red Baraat (playing Saturday) are particular favorites of ours.   

Check out our original video interview with the band below.

Red Baraat and Matt Jennings, interspersed with live, Red Baraat show footage, from Schubas in Chicago, 4/16/12.   Shot in HD by Bonnie Kenaz-Mara for   Red Baraat is Bhangra Funk Dhol 'n' Brass led by dhol player Sunny Jain; based in Brooklyn, New York.

Catch them live:  Lotus Music and Arts Fest
Red Baraat

Brooklyn-based Red Baraat took Lotus by storm when they first played the Festival back in 2010, and we’ve been trying to get ‘em back ever since. “A fiery blend of raucous Indian bhangra and funky New Orleans brass.”  {More …}

Lotus also offers an educational component to local children/teens year-round.  It's actually quite brilliant from a ticket-sales perspective.  With workshops and performances, Bloomington youth grow-up familiar with music from around the world, expanding their tastes to include foreign language-pop music and international trad/roots.  You should have seen the mighty throng of teenagers screaming for Movits (Swedish hip-hop-jazz) last year and Bomba Estereo (Colombian electro-champeta) in 2011.  

It's amazing Bloomington has been able to pull off an International, multicultural fest of this magnitude for 20 years where 5-6 continents are represented.  The logistics of securing visas, navigating travel restrictions, shipping instruments, etc. is daunting but well worth the effort! Though it's rare, local and/or international politics sometimes prevent musicians from playing in the US.  The band Staff Benda Bilili is one example of a cancelled act, due to international travel restrictions last year.  

“The thing about Bloomington is its small size and its big contingent of arts and culture and academics,” explains festival communications director LuAnne Holladay. “Indiana University acts as a magnet that draws people from all over the world anyway. You can be completely disinterested in the arts, but still understand that there’s more here than the usual Midwestern culture.”

Lotus has boosted the power of Bloomington’s cultural magnetism, bringing in internationally acclaimed artists as diverse as red-hot pranksters Balkan Beat Box and electro-cumbia club stars Bomba Estereo, soul icon Mavis Staples and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Afropop stars like Baaba Maal,Habib Koite and Vieux Farka Toure. In short, the festival has hosted nearly every major name and every possible sound.

This eclectic, open-eared musical approach has deep roots. Bloomington has long been a music town, from the days when native son Hoagy Carmichael penned his classics, to IU’s stellar Jacobs School of Music and Archive of Traditional Music (second in size to the Library of Congress for traditional recordings), to the present flourishing of indie rock labels with international clout (Secretly Canadian, Jagjagwar, and Dead Oceans, darlings of the indie rock world, are all based in Bloomington). Yet the scene has its distinctly global element, inspired by and inspiring Lotus. Bloomington is home to Salaam, an Iraqi-American ensemble able to shift from centuries-old Bagdad modes to moving original pieces; Ghanaian master xylophonist and educator Bernard Woma, who has played for the likes of Nelson Mandela and Bill Clinton; I.U. world music percussion professor Michael Spiro, world-renowned for his Afro-Cuban and Afro-Brazilian performances and recordings; and Irish flute player Grey Larsen, highly respected in Celtic music circles.

It’s one thing to run a festival every year, but Lotus has done far more for Bloomington than merely bring on the global good times. It runs an educational outreach program/celebration every spring for more than 10,000 elementary students in southern Indiana, as well as regular world music shows year-round. It has been instrumental in boosting the spirit of Bloomington’s quirky downtown, right down to playing a crucial role in saving its architecturally and historically significant main-street theater, now a centerpiece of Bloomington’s performing arts. It has helped bring art out of galleries and museums and collections, and to the town’s streets and parks. And Lotus helped spawn a consortium of music festivals spanning the middle of the country, in Chicago, Milwaukee, Madison, Minneapolis, and Cedar Rapids.

With a natural ingenuity characteristic of Lotus, the visual component of the festival’s vivid musical offerings sprang very organically from the festival itself. Though Lotus had long tried to add a visual arts component, mostly through traditional art shows, no one felt satisfied with the results and with the art’s isolation from the rest of the festivities. Then, one night, festival director Lee Williams saw a striking, colorful backdrop a performer had brought with him. “Something clicked,” Williams recalls. “Our visual art approach flowed from that backdrop. It became all about taking arts to the street, bringing it outdoors, doing it on big scale.” Outdoor installations include family-friendly projects festival-goers can help create, as well as an arts village.
Taking it to the street didn’t end with art installations. Another beloved, much anticipated element of Lotus came about equally as spontaneously. “One night, Gangbe Brass Band from Benin just walked out of the tent where they were performing and played their instruments as they went down the street,” Williams remembers fondly. “Because it’s Bloomington, the audience followed of course. Everyone loved it. Then we started doing processions.”

The community shapes the festival, just as the festival has shaped the community. Sparking a whole new level of curiosity, people come to Lotus not for big names and headliners—though there are those—but simply because they want to hear something new, and they know it will be good. “The specialness of Bloomington and Lotus comes from our audience,” says Holladay. “Because of what people have access to, they are willing to try lots of new things. They are primed when they walk into a concert, to give an artist a try, to accept something for what it is, and really get into it.”

That’s how Hanggai, a folk-rock band from Inner Mongolia, wound up with a huge fan base in the Midwest. Or how quirky Swedish MCs Movits can get hundreds of screaming fans, from college kids to grandparents, bouncing on the pavement. Or how Swedish roots virtuosi Väsen became hometown heroes—to such an extent, Bloomington’s mayor temporarily renamed a downtown street in their honor. “We’re able to develop artists now,” notes Williams. “They get a posse in Bloomington, and can build from here.”

“Lotus has the best of both worlds,” explains Canadian cross-cultural banjo virtuoso Jayme Stone, “the buzz of an outdoor festival atmosphere and the pristine ambiance of an indoor one, with beautiful venues and great sound.” "The Lotus Festival is a great place to hear good music that you didn't even know existed,” Väsen’s Olov Johansson enthuses. “It's also a really friendly festival for meeting other musicians, as well as music lovers in the audience, since performers and audience walk the same streets in between the different venues. Heja Lotus Festivalen!"

“I’ve never been in a community where people just love it, as much as people love Bloomington,” comments Mike McAfee, head of Visit Bloomington ( and long-time Lotus Festival fan. “I know so many people who just had to move back here, or who couldn’t help but stay after they finished school. They felt a powerful connection, thanks to our big-city amenities and events like Lotus.” It’s a connection that’s open to anyone, quick visitor or life-long resident.

Monday, April 16, 2012

CHI, IL LIVE SHOWS TONIGHT: Girl You Know It's True & Red Baraat


Girl You Know It's True
Pictured L-R: Sentell Harper as Rob and Armand Fields as Fabrice (Milli Vanilli). Photo by Ben Chandler.

Girl You Know It's True
John Zinn as Bixby. Photo Credit RE Casper.

Tonight's the night.   We've been promoting both of these via FB and Twitter for weeks.   We'll have a full theatre review and photo filled band feature for you in the near future.   But nothing beats being there!   Here's the deal:

Girl You Know It's True 
Pavement Group
Chopin Theatre

Pavement Group was featured in the original Steppenwolf Garage Rep with their production of "punkplay" in 2010. The company continues to seek emerging voices nationally, and they are thrilled to present the world premiere of a dangerous new voice in American Theatre, Bixby Elliot's "Girl You Know It's True" this spring. 
"Girl You Know It's True" will play the Chopin Theatre April 12 - May 13.


Pavement Group presents the world premiere of “Girl You Know It’s True” at the Chopin Theatre downstairs studio April 12 – May 13, 2012.  Written by a dangerous new voice in American Theatre, Bixby Elliot, and directed by Pavement Group Artistic Director David Perez, “Girl You Know It’s True” is a hilarious and bold indictment of the institution of theatre and true intent behind the act of creation.

When a forty-something, Caucasian male playwright fails to get his work produced he conjures up a radical new identity for himself. Instantly his stand in - an African American Lesbian woman in a wheelchair - shoots to fame. Told in tandem with the infamous Milli Vanilli scandal, “Girl You Know It’s True” is a divisive new play that is certain to provoke discourse. Inspired by the rise and fall of the pop/rock duo Milli Vanilli, “Girl You Know It’s True” was a semi-finalist for the O’Neill Conference in 2011, finalist for New Harmony, finalist for Kitchen Dog Theater New Works and an advanced round entry for PlayPenn 2011. 

“Girl You Know It’s True” features Samantha Bailey, Cyd Blakewell, Eli Branson, Armand Fields, Sentell Harper, Alexander Lane, Keith Neagle, Michael Salinas, Jake Szczepaniak and John Zinn. Scenic design is by John Wilson, lighting design is by Janna Webber and Tim Schoen, sound design is by Jeff Kelley, prop design is by Aimee Plant and costume design is by Emma Cullimore.

Performances will run April 12 – May 13, 2012, Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.  Press opening is Monday, April 16 at 7:30 p.m. and there will be an additional industry night performance Monday, April 23 at 7:30 p.m. All performances will be at the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division St. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at

Bixby Elliot’s work includes “Blueprint” (produced by Tony Award-winning producer Arielle Tepper Madover as part of her new works Summer Play Festival (SPF) under the direction of Drama Desk Nominee Jonathan Silverstein and starring Emmy Award-winner Peter Strauss), “Abraham Lincoln was a Faggot” (developed by Epiphany Theater, finalist for the O’Neill Theater Conference in 2010, finalist for New Dramatists, Seven Devils Development Conference, Pandora New Play Competition and a semi-finalist for New Harmony Workshop), “Treasure Island, FL” (SouthernRep New Play Festival Winner, New Orleans); “PN1923.45 LS01 volume 2: The Book Play” (New York Premiere: NYC International Fringe Festival, director Stephen Brackett), “Hotel Oracle” (New York premiere at Walkerspace/SoHo Rep, director Stephen Brackett) and “I Am Not Peter Pan” (New York premiere: Cherry Lane Theater; Edinburgh Fringe Festival Best of Fest Winner, director Cary McClelland).  Bixby is a graduate of the MFA playwriting program at Columbia University.  Current projects include work on two original television projects and a new play titled “Birds Do It.” Visit

David Perez is the founding artistic director of Pavement Group. He is a Chicago-based director and playwright. Local credits include: “punkplay,” “fracture/mechanics,” “Lipstick Traces” and 365 Days/Plays for Pavement Group. Additionally he has worked with Empty Space Theatre, Angry Blvd, Steppenwolf, Teatro Vista, Collaboraction, American Theatre Company, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Around The Coyote and About Face Theatre. In fall 2012 he will direct Pavement Group's world premiere of "Breaks and Bikes." David was also controlled by the internet and twitter for seven days on behalf of Leo Burnett at the Cannes Advertising festival. It was pretty popular. You should check out the insanity at He also hosts Leo Burnett's web series #askdavid. David is a proud graduate of Cornish College of The Arts.

About Pavement Group
Founded in 2006, Pavement Group is a Chicago based collaborative of theatre artists who look nationally for emerging voices to produce fresh plays that make contact with new audiences. The company is committed to immediate and immersive work that is thought provoking, not thought providing.  Pavement Group unlocks a conversation between the audience and their humanity.  Pavement Group was founded by Brittany Barnes (Managing Director), Julia Dossett Morgan, David Perez (Artistic Director) and Tim Schoen.  The company now also includes Jeff Kelley, Mary Krupka (General Manager), Keith Neagle, Chip Davis, Heidi Koling and Jeremy Smith.  Artistic Associates include Mallery Avidon, Cyd Blakewell, Matt Farabee, Alexander Lane, Jessica London-Shields, Aimee Plant, Cassy Sanders and Janna Webber.

For more information visit

Red Baraat-Schubas

ChiIL Live Shows will be there to shoot the show.   Can't wait!
Monday, April 16, 2012 8:00 PM    
18+ $15.00
Schubas says:  It’s a sound so powerful it has left the band in its own utterly unique and enviable class. These days you are as likely to find Red Baraat throwing down at an overheated and unannounced warehouse party in their Brooklyn neighborhood as you are at the Barbican or the Montreal Jazz Festival, or Lincoln Center. It’s a band unquestionably on the ascent playing some of the most prestigious festivals and theatres worldwide, and keeping their chops razor sharp in basements and sweaty sold out clubs across New York City. Leading an audience as diverse and joyful as the band itself, Red Baraat has subsumed a plateful of global infuence, fused it, and is now exporting it Brooklyn-style to the world.

Check out Schubas main site to buy tickets and for more information.

*Can't make it to Schubas tonight or you're under 18?   You have another chance to catch RED BARAAT, THE INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED DHOL 'N' BRASS PARTY BAND in Elgin this Friday, 4/20!


Children ages 5+ are welcome at many ECC events, but do need to purchase a ticket.  Contact the venue for age guidelines/restrictions specific to Red Baraat.
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.”

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