HAMILTON – Red Baraat is an eight-piece, high-energy drums and brass party band with a true mixture of many sounds, including North Indian bhangra rhythms, jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip-hop. The Bitterroot Performing Arts Council is hosting Red Baraat in Hamilton on Friday, March 27.
Red Baraat’s founder and bandleader is Sunny Jain.
“We feel comfortable not knowing exactly where we’re headed,” said Jain. “We’re very much about trying things out and taking risks. Sometimes it doesn’t work, and sometimes we stumble upon things that are really exciting.”
Red Baraat is on a national tour giving performances that include songs from their third record, "Gaadi of Truth." Gaadi means train, car, vehicle or journey in Hindi, and a dhol is a dance drum of northern India. The "Gaadi of Truth" is about the journey of life that everyone with different backgrounds and viewpoints is taking together.
“Looking back at where this band has come from, and seeing where it’s going, it’s very much like a breathing organism,” said Jain. “While there are certain elements of Punjabi music that will always be there, because of the dhol and the horns — having that energy and excitement of a live horn section is very important to me — things continually shape and move depending on the moment we’re in. I mean, we’re already moving on to a different path. We’ll be playing a lot of 'Gaadi of Truth' live in the coming year, but we’ll be sounding slightly different, because we’ll be using some different instrumentation and different players.”
Jain has had a lifelong observance of Jainism, a religion of India that teaches there are no absolutes, and followers vow to cause no harm to living beings. Their concern is for the welfare of every being in the universe and for the health of the universe.
Jain explained that he wanted the band to have a diverse cast of musicians to create a “sense of pluralism.”
“The idea of pluralism and diversity was there from the beginning,” said Jain. “This idea of the 'Gaadi of Truth' – this journey of truth – comes from the fact that we all are traveling together and talking with each other, and because we all come from different backgrounds we have these different viewpoints, which is wonderful. And it’s acknowledging the fact that there is no absolute truth; it’s all relative. Everyone has their own opinion about things, but what’s great is this dialogue that’s occurring. We’re learning, you know? And as we’re going all over the world, traveling by bus, car, train, everything, we’re stumbling upon various communities and we’re meeting different people, and it’s an opportunity for them and us to learn about one another.
“The only consistent thing in this band is change. We’re heading there, wherever there is!”
The Bitterroot Performing Arts Council is hosting Red Baraat on Friday, March 27, 8 p.m., at the Hamilton Performing Arts Center.