The usual amphitheater seating in Proctors’ GE Theatre was temporarily rearranged and transformed into a NYC-style nightclub as the Red Baraat horns paraded into Schenectady with their North Indian bhangra-based funk.
The only U.S.-based dhol and brass band is led by Sunny Jain, who plays the dohl (a double-sided, barrel-shaped North Indian drum slung over one shoulder). The ensemble – featuring dhol, percussion, drum set, Sousaphone and five horn players – pumped out originals and Bollywood music with a powerful live sound that kept the crowd on its feet and dancing throughout most of their 90-minute performance.
Although their sound is primarily based on North Indian Baraat (wedding march) music, other musical influences – funk, jazz, go-go and Brazilian – could be heard and felt. The music clearly reflected the diverse band and its metropolitan NYC origins.
The Bollywood film mash-up that was projected onto the big screen added to the festive atmosphere of the evening.
Red Baraat was the first concert the Proctors’ new music series, Party Horns NYC. The next installment will be a homecoming for saxophonist-bandleader Matt Steckler as he brings his band Dead Cat Bounce to Schenectady on Saturday, January 15.
Meanwhile, Red Baraat will be returning to Nippertown for a dance party performance at MASS MoCA in North Adams at 8pm on Saturday, January 29.
Review and photographs by Rudy Lu
RED BARAAT BAND PERSONNEL:
Sunny Jain – dhol/MC
Robin Khemani – percussion
Tomas Fujiwari – drum kit
Arun Luthra – soprano sax
Mike Bomwell – baritone sax
Sonny Singh – trumpet/vocals
Miwi La Lupa – bass trumpet
Smoota – trombone
John Altieri – Sousaphone/vocals