To the person that came up with music genre heading “world music”: You just didn’t get it, did you? Hear me out: If you’re an Indian dude listening to Paul Simon’s Graceland, say, on your boombox at home in Bangalore, that music, to you, is “world music.” You dig? So when you, sitting in your Saratoga Springs home, listen to Simon’s masterwork, it’s really not “world music” either. It’s just another one of those dumb catchall phrases used to pigeonhole bands that have a more worldly flavor to them—compared to the general output in America. Maybe they play congas or sitars or sing in languages other than English. At the heart of it, though, there’s really no reason to include that “world” there all. It’s, simply put, good music.
And that, Saratogians, is what you’re going to be hearing on the night of Monday, August 26, when Brooklyn band Red Baraat (pronounced RED burr-OTT) brings their infectious bhangra music (think: a sonic turducken consisting of a New Orleans second-line band, North Indian drum circle and indie rock hipsters) to the main stage of the Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC), where they’ll be performing at the popular summer series, SPAC On Stage. (Tickets are still available here – get 20 percent off your ticket price by using the code “SLIVING” when purchasing them!) Led by expert dhol-ist (a type of Indian drum) Sunny Jain, who has a lengthy, record-heavy career himself, Red Baraat’s been around since 2008 and has since played everywhere from the Bonnaroo Music Festival in Tennessee to then-President Obama’s second Inaugural Ball at the White House.
Last year, besides touring around the US and Europe, the band brought their act to far-off places such as Kazakhstan and Abu Dabhi. At Monday’s performance, Red Baraat will be performing tracks from their five studio albums, including 2018’s critically acclaimed Sound The People. It should be a night of music—yes, music—to remember for all.