RED BARAAT FESTIVAL OF COLORS is a celebration of HOLI, a Hindu holiday marked by public gatherings of families, friends, and strangers rejoicing in song, dance, and the exchange of “colors." The holiday signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, and an opportunity to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive.
The festival debuted in 2012 at a sold out Le Poisson Rouge in New York City and has since expanded to cities nationwide. This year's iteration will take place in NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia and beyond.
Bandleader and dhol player Sunny Jain curates a night of music highlighting the South Asian Diaspora in America. Past lineups have included DJ Rekha, Falu, Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi (a film by the late, award-winning filmmaker, Prashant Bhargava, and Grammy-nominated pianist/composer, Vijay Iyer), Brooklyn Raga Massive, Mandeep Sethi, Parijat Desai Dance Company, Rupa & The April Fishes and Madame Gandhi.
Special guests for the 2017 Red Baraat Festival of Colors will be announced soon! This tour is in conjunction with the release of the band’s new album BHANGRA PIRATES on Rhyme & Reason Records.
Vocalist and composer Ganavya Doraiswamy has carved a niche for herself at the nexus of South Indian vocal styles and jazz/contemporary music. She has been featured on various projects, most notably Alfredo Rodriguez’s Tocororo (co-produced by Quincy Jones), which hit #1 on jazz charts. Ganavya’s own debut album, Aikyam: Onnu, is set to release in March 2017. It features jazz standards translated into her native language of Tamil as well as recontextualized abhang-s (spiritual poetry written by 13th- to 15th-century Maharashtrian saints). Aikyam –a term used in Sanskrit and Tamil, to denote 'sameness,' is suggestive of a harmonious union, and represents a conscious merging of her different worlds. Ganavya holds degrees in theatre and psychology, and graduate degrees in performance (Berklee College of Music), and ethnomusicology (UCLA). She has worked with Danilo Perez, Placido Domingo, James Newton, Vijay Iyer, Zakir Hussain,Victor Wooten, Wadada Leo Smith, Alain Perez, Perico Sambeat, Laura Karpman, Polo Orti, Victor Mendoza, Javier Limón, Ousso Lotfy, and Zebbler Encanti Experience, among many other artists, who have all influenced her work.
Nobody grows up wanting to be an artist’s artist. Appreciated by the sub sect of the sub sect is like being the beauty queen at the leper colony. Hell, anybody who claims they grew up wanting to even be an artist rather than an astronaut or a Cthulhu is probably lying or was a corny kid. Art is hard and degrading and generally bullshit. Your friends will find you irritating and your parents will certainly not throw you a parade. But if you’re an artist you’re an artist; the soul will fuck you every time, what can you do?
Shilpa Ray is, through no fault of her own, one of our unsung great artists. Having made her bones with the gothic Sturm und Drang of Beat The Devil and moving forward to the blues erosion of “…and The Happy Hookers” Shilpa Ray has been, armed only with an incomparable voice and harmonium haunted by the ghosts of dead lovers, perpetually crying in the wind, hoisting both middle fingers in the general direction of god. It’s not a life a wise man would choose. Shilpa Ray kicks against the pricks but the pricks keep coming. But, again, what can you do?