Back in March I received a call while in San Diego for work. The caller was interested in having viperHouse play his festival in August. I told him that we were already booked for a 12-year reunion show in Sept, so he asked about Movement of the People: The Fela Kuti Project. Alas, many of the band members were already booked to play weddings that weekend, so that fell through too.
“What else do you have? We’d love to have one of your projects. ”
I’m not sure if it was the effect of the perpetually sunny and 71 degrees San Diego, but I decided then and there to launch another project – with lots of people. Again. “Well, I have been wanting to start a Bhangra band for a while . . . . it’s a centuries old Punjabi music and dance tradition that has been revitalized and remixed through the UK club scene. It’s not as prominent in North America.”
“Sounds good. Let’s do it. I think we’ll have you headline”
And I am glad we did; it was just the kind of impetus (and support) that I needed to launch this new project. Nevermind the fact that I already had a 20 piece that needed a lot of attention as we prepared for our second show as a headlining act at the Discover Jazz Fest . . . or a bizillion other responsibilities.
And thus was born The Big Bang Bhangra Brass Band – an 11 piece combining the rich musical and dance roots of Indian Bhangra, Bollywood, New Orleans Brass Bands, and the 1930′s jungle swing of Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway . . and some hip hop and a small dance troupe too! Why not, right?
I am really grateful to The Vermont Music Fest for having the faith in me to have a brand new act that they wouldn’t hear until the festival actually headline their amazingly delightful festival. We had an incredible time playing the show, and it was the perfect way to launch a new project – huge stage, great sound system and light array. I suspect more video will show up in the upcoming weeks – but for now here’s a clip shot about 100 yards from the stage. Check us out at Positive Pie in Montpelier on Friday Nov 22.