Dig out your dancing shoes

The Brooklyn-based band Red Baraat will perform at the Chilmark Community Center for Dance the Yard's dance party on Friday, Feb. 22. Courtesy Red Baraat.

What if a band managed to combine a few of the world’s most danceable forms of music into one unique mix? Well, that band would be Red Baraat from Brooklyn, and Vineyarders will be treated to a performance by this international high-energy group of master musicians this coming weekend. In 2018, Red Baraat completed a world tour in support of their World Music Top 10 album “Sound the People.” Their travels took them to points as diverse as Kazakhstan, Abu Dhabi, numerous countries in Europe, and cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Now the band will be landing here on Friday, Feb. 22, thanks to the Yard and its Public Dancing Allowed series.

Red Baraat was founded by dhol player, drummer, and composer Sunny Jain, a leading voice in the burgeoning movement of South Asian–American jazz musicians. The lineup features a brassy mix including trumpet, trombone, sousaphone, and sax, along with the infectious rhythms provided by the drums and dohl, a double-headed drum widely used in various forms of music from India.

The band is referred to as a bhangra funk band, combining the upbeat popular dance music of India with American funk, jazz, and other genres. The ensemble self-identifies as “dhol ’n’ brass,” a hybrid of Indian bhangra and New Orleans big band music. NPR has called Red Baraat “the best party band in years.”

Although Red Baraat has performed at a number of prestigious venues and festivals, including the White House (at the request of President Obama), Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, the Carnegie Hall Neighborhood Concert series, the Olympic Games, the Vienna Konzerthaus, and headlined Spain’s renowned WOMAD Festival, playing in front of 10,000 people, the group actually prefers playing smaller clubs and halls for a dancing crowd.

Rhyme and Reason Records describes the band’s latest album on its website: “‘Sound the People’ coalesces to create an album that is simultaneously rebellious, important and fun; an inspiring cacophony of instruments, cultures, and ideas that pay tribute to the way diversity makes, and has always made, America great. It is a defiant battle cry and a confident statement that establishes Red Baraat as one of America’s most vital bands who remain dedicated to the spirit of community and joy, along with a wonderful reminder that we are truly all in this together.”

You can check out videos of Red Baraat’s music and purchase tickets for the upcoming show at dancetheyard.org.

The Yard continues to bring exciting new dance, music, and other performance forms to the Vineyard throughout the year with its Winter Yard events. Next up, the Yard will present new work by Bridgman/Packer Dance at the PAC on Saturday, March 9.

DanceHall: Red Baraat — Public Dancing Allowed, Friday, Feb. 22, 7 pm, the Chilmark Community Center. Tickets: $15 for everyone, except $5 for children under 12.

Behind the Counter and membership discounts apply.

This article by Gwyn McAllister originally appeared on mvtimes.com.