The new (to me) Infinity Music Hall in Hartford played host to Brooklyn dhol and brass band Red Baraat on a post-show Saturday during March Madness. Those two factors likely had a measurable impact on the attendance, but those faithful fans who made it out were seriously into the music. Some were even families with kids—and all were dancing unabashedly to the bhangra fusion.
Red Baraat’s show marked one of the several dates on their annual Festival of Colors tour that marks the Hindu holiday of Holi. The band were also celebrating the release of their latest studio album, and first with guitarist Jonathan Goldberger, Bhangra Pirates which we rated an 8 out of ten and is also streaming now on PopMatters. Many of the tracks are reworks of older material but the infectious and most fun one is the title track “Bhangra Pirates”.
The band was in fine form after two previous nights on the road including the tour kick off in New York. Band leader and dhol player Sunny Jain led the group including Goldberger, Jonathan Haffner on winds, Sonny Singh on trumpet, and two additional percussionists Chris Eddleton and Rohin Khemani, through a powerful set that included “Bhangra Pirates”, “Gaadi of Truth” and the ever popular “Rang Barse”. The lead-in to the latter track had a delay before Jain’s vocals jumped in and, in that gap, some in the audience were leaping up with air expelling from their chests to shout out the song. Unfortunately, around 11 pm, despite a loud cry for an encore, the band didn’t return as they had hoped. Perhaps they’ll be returning to the area soon, though—at least Jain will be in Connecticut again next month. Check out photos from the show and upcoming tour dates below.