This year’s iteration will take place in NYC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia and beyond.
Red Baraat Festival of Colors celebrates the Hindu holiday of Holi with a colorful array of South Asian sounds. Traditionally, Holi is marked by public gatherings of families and strangers sharing songs, dance, and the exchange of ‘colors’ –colorful dry powder or colored water playfully thrown amongst the crowds of revelers. It is celebrated at the approach of vernal equinox,on the Phalguna Purnima (Full Moon). The festival date varies every year, per the Hindu calendar, and typically comes in March, sometimes February in the Gregorian Calendar. The festival signifies the victory of good over evil, the arrival of spring, end of winter, and for many a festive day to meet others, play and laugh, forget and forgive, and repair ruptured relationships.
The 2016 Red Baraat Festival of Colors traveled to New York City, Washington D.C., Philadephia, Boston and Seattle and sold out in 3 of those cities. For the East Coasts dates, the featured opening bands were Madame Gandhi and RAJAS. Madame Gandhi is an electronic music group featuring the drums and vocals of Kiran Gandhi (drummer for M.I.A.) and the sound design of Alexia Riner. This project uses driving rhythms, ambient melodies and soulful vocals to explore concepts of liberation and equality. Rajna Swaminathan, leader of the band RAJAS, brings together an ensemble of contemporary musicians in the Indian classical and creative music idioms to explore new directions for composition and improvisation. DJ Prashant opened in Seattle.
Red Baraat Festival of Colors debuted in 2012 at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City – the event was sold out. It has since expanded and travelled to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, New Orleans and Seattle. Each year, bandleader and dhol player, Sunny Jain curates a night of music and art highlighting the South Asian Diaspora in America through a diverse range of styles and mediums. Past festivals have included DJ Rekha, Falu, Radhe Radhe: Rites of Holi (a film by the late, award-winning filmmaker, Prashant Bhargava, with score by Grammy-nominated composer, Vijay Iyer), Brooklyn Raga Massive All-Stars, Rupa & The April Fishes, Rajna Swaminathan’s RAJAS, Mandeep Sethi, DJ Ushka, Vandana Jain, Parijat Desai Dance Company, DJ Ayes Cold, DJ Anjali, DJ Prashant and Madame Gandhi.