“A Big Band for the World.”—Wall Street Journal
Red Baraat is a pioneering band from Brooklyn, New York. Conceived by dhol player Sunny Jain, the group has drawn worldwide praise for its singular sound, a merging of hard driving North Indian bhangra with elements of hip-hop, jazz and raw punk energy. Created with no less a purposeful agenda than manifesting joy and unity in all people, Red Baraat’s spirit is worn brightly on its sweaty and hard-worked sleeve.
Reemerging in 2021 with a renewed focus, energy and sound, Red Baraat headlined the Wolf Trap Performing Arts Center with master percussionist, Zakir Hussain, performed at the Dubai World Expo, and toured its 10th annual Red Baraat Festival of Colors.
“BCUC bring punk-rock energy and hypnotic rhythms to social activism.”—New York Times
Music for the people, by the people, with the people.
Rebellious, spiritual, and exhilarating, BCUC’s live shows are transcendent rites of explosive sound. Following in the pulses of their ancestors, they awaken crowds to the power of a shared, fairer future. With their high-energy performances they have become one of South Africa’s most successful musical exports. Tapping into the pulses of their ancestors, they awaken crowds to the power of a shared, more just future.
Opening by Los Cogelones
Born and raised in the deep outskirts of Mexico City, the Gama brothers are keeping alive the rich legacy of marimba music running through their family with their latest project, Son Rompe Pera.
While firmly rooted in the tradition of this historic instrument, their fresh take on this folk icon challenges its limits as never before, moving it into the garage/punk world of urban misfits and firmly planting it in the 21st century.
Originally performing alongside their father at local events since they were kids, they now find themselves at the forefront of the contemporary international cumbia scene with their sonic explorations of the classic marimba. Their absolute unique blend comes from a typical youthful rebellion, when as teenagers they left behind their upbringing on the marimba and began to play in various punk, rockabilly and ska bands.
Now they’ve gone full circle with the marimba back leading the way, and mixing all of their influences together with their energetic take on the popular instrument, giving it a new twist never before seen in Mexican folk music.
Their live shows are a sweaty mess of dancing fans, and this garage-cumbia-marimba-punk band (the only band of its kind in the world) never disappoints on stage. Their authenticity shines through as they give their modern interpretation of Mexican, Peruvian, and Colombian classics, as well as their own original material and some surprise covers. The contrast of the traditional marimba with their youthful attitude and street sense connects the audience to the past while they dance into the future.
Join Talya and Yamma Ensemble for an unforgettable interactive music encounter at this FREE workshop next Thursday. Learn about Middle Eastern instruments and rhythms and Jewish music.
Lebanese indie stalwart Zeid Hamdan and celestially voiced Syrian singer Lynn Adib are Bedouin Burger, a rising duo from the Middle East. Their music marries traditional Arab sounds of magam, religious songs of ancient Syria, jazz, and slick pop hooks—all delivered with a sultry, insouciant flare. Performing as a trio, Bedouin Burger is accompanied by bassist Miles Jay.
Over the years Aynur has become one of the most well known musicians from Turkey and a representative for the Kurdish people. A best-seller among Kurdish folk albums, Aynur vocal style are praised not just in Turkish media, but also in international media. Musically she tries to blend Kurdish with Western music, interpreting her traditional repertoire in a modern way. She has collaborations with famous musicians and bands like world-renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and Silk Road Ensemble, Kayhan Kalhor, Javier Limon, Kinan Azmeh, Mercan Dede, Salman Gambarov, Cemil Qocgiri, Morgenland All Star Band, Nerderland Blazers Ensemble, and Sertab Erener.
Israel’s leading world music ensemble, Yamma Ensemble presents original contemporary Hebrew music. Staying true to the character of the Middle East, the group performs soulful, exotic music accompanied by ancient musical instruments (kopuz, duduk, hand drums) from the region. In addition, Yamma performs traditional music and material from the various Jewish diasporas—songs of the Jewish communities from Yemen, Babylon, and Sepharad, as well as Hasidic music, with the fascinating forms and rhythms that have been preserved by generations of Jewish traditions.
Often referred to as “The Hendrix of the Sahara”, Vieux Farka Touré was born in Niafunké, Mali in 1981. Son of the late, beloved, legendary Malian guitar player Ali Farka Touré, Vieux is prominent in his own right. Initially a drummer / calabash player at Mali’s Institut National des Arts, Vieux secretly began playing guitar in 2001.
In the intervening decade and a half, Vieux has gone on to tour the world and record numerous albums to great acclaim. Notable performances include playing for the opening concert for the FIFA World Cup in South Africa. His recordings reflect a deep connection to and reverence for family and country. Incorporating elements of rock and Latin music into the Saharan blues and traditional melodies of his native Mali, Vieux and his three-piece band are creating an electrifying new sound rooted in tradition.
Les Filles de Illighadad comes from the village of Illighadad in a remote region of central Niger. Like many of the villages in the area, its borders are loosely defined, owing to the largely pastoral population. It rests on the shore of a seasonal pond that swells during the rainy season. The center of town has a well, some small houses, and a school. But most of Illighadad’s people live in the surrounding scrub land desert, in tiny patched roof houses or temporary nomadic tents, hidden among the trees.
Les Filles de Illighadad (“daughters of Illighadad”) was founded in 2016 by solo guitarist Fatou Seidi Ghali and renowned vocalist Alamnou Akrouni. In 2017 they were joined by Amaria Hamadalher, a force on the Agadez guitar scene and Abdoulaye Madassane, rhythm guitarist and a son of Illighadad. Les Filles’ music draws from two distinct styles of regional sound, ancient village choral chants and desert guitar. The result is a groundbreaking new direction for Tuareg folk music and a sound that resonates far outside of their village.
To emerge from this small village to perform on stages around the world is no small feat, and is a testament to the band’s unique sound. But their home is more than their narrative. Illighadad is central to everything about the band, from their repertoire, the way they perform, the poetry they recite, even the way they sing. Music has always traveled in the Sahel, from poetry recited by nomads, scratchy AM radio broadcasts, to cell phone recordings sent over WhatsApp. Yet even today each village has its own style. When Les Filles perform, they play the music of Illighadad.
At the heart of Les Filles’ music is the percussion and poetry of tende—a term used for both the instrument and the type of music— whereby a mortar and pestle are transformed into a drum, and women join together in a circle, in a chorus of singing, chanting, and clapping. Sometimes it’s music for celebration, some – times it’s music to heal the sick, sometimes it’s poetry of love. But it’s always music of people, where the line between performer and spectator breaks down. To be a witness is to be a participant, to listen is to join in the collective song.
It’s precisely this collectivism which makes the recording “At Pioneer Works” seem so natural and timeless. Recorded in fall of 2019, “At Pioneer Works” finds the band at the height of their touring career. Over two sold out shows, the band brought Illighadad to New York, their first performance in the city. Speaking of the night, he New Yorker‘s music critic Amanda Petrusich writes: “The crowd in Brooklyn was entranced, nearly reverent. Les Filles’ music is mesmeric, almost prayer-like, which can leave an audience agog… whatever rhythm does to a human body—it was happening.”
There’s something bittersweet that it’s the sound of Illighadad that has propelled Les Filles’ to travel so far and so often. Playing on a stage 5000 miles from home, their performance evokes the village with a heavy ever present nostalgia. In singing the songs of Illighadad, Les Filles’ invite the audience to share in the remembrance, to hear the poetry and driving tende, to stumble out into a night lit by a faint moon, joining in chants that carry over the nomad camps, in a call to come together and sing under the stars.
Koto visionary Yumi Kurosawa teams up with renowned tabla player Eric Phinney for a program that brings together two expressive musical traditions, bridging the cultures of Japan and India. Kurosawa has long had a fascination with other cultures and their instrumental histories. With the koto being one of her country’s most ancient and beloved instruments, Kurosawa as both a performer and composer, has been seeking a merging of two traditions that would create a new music. She and Phinney spin mesmerizing musical tales composed by Kurosawa, as they enchant the audience and reinforce the powerful idea of music as a means to enhance the collaborative spirit of our global community.