There isn’t much that can overpower the clanging plates and lively chatter of lunchtime in d-hall, but bhangra funk band Red Baraat left no doubts that they have the chops.
The afternoon of their Sept. 21 performance at the Modlin Center for the Arts, Red Baraat surprised the University of Richmond campus with an impromptu 30-minute concert on the Forum, followed by a flash mob-inspired parade through Heilman Dining Center. The nine-piece band comprises a drumset, percussion, sousaphone, five horns, and a dhol—a double-sided, barrel-shaped, Northern Indian drum. The musicians blend Northern Indian bhangra rhythms with funk, go-go, Latin, and jazz to create an explosive sound that’s entirely their own.
“We wanted to let the music speak for itself,” says Jon Gunter, Modlin Center marketing director. “It’s music that almost forces you to move and participate.”
Storming campus proved one way to promote and describe a band whose style can’t be put into words. Gunter explains that a number of people attended the evening concert after getting a taste of what Red Baraat had to offer.
“The dohl beats, mixed with incredible horns and rhythm section defy you to stand still,” Gunter says. “Because of that, the Modlin Center chose to remove seats and have a pit, which to my knowledge was a first. From beginning to end, the seats were empty and the pit was full.”
Enjoy Red Baraat’s pop-up concert in this video taken at the Forum and in the dining hall.