2011 here we come!

Well, another year is coming to a close, and I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been so supportive in my musical (and other) endeavors this past year.  2010 saw many transitions for me, not the least of which was leaving the world of full-time organizing work to re-focus on music.  It wouldn’t have been possible without your support!

2010 was a big year for Red Baraat, beginning with the release of our debut album Chaal Baby in January and summer and fall tours in the Midwest, Montreal, and Scandanavia, and of course our Triborough tours of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens.  I’ve never felt as much joy playing music as I do with Red Baraat, and a huge part of that is the explosive, positive energy that we receive from the audience — You!  Thank you for all the love!

Other highlights included playing trumpet and dhol in Judith Sloan‘s powerful one-woman show “Yo Miss! Teaching Across the Cultural Divide”; playing trumpet with Muslim punk rockers The Kominas, NYC’s fierce trio Mahina Movement, and Seattle-based hip hop artist Gabriel Teodros; rocking the dhol with amazing artists like Ozomatli, DJ Rekha, and DJ Oja; and getting the shoulders shrugging at a whole lot baraats!

Much to look forward to this coming year, including:  Red Baraat recording our second album, “Shruggy Ji”; Red Baraat performances at GlobalFest at Webster Hall in NYC in January, at my alma mater UMass-Amherst in April, and at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in May; and a track in collaboration with Gabriel Teodros coming out on his new album early in 2011.

In addition to music, I’ll also be continuing to teach in NYC schools with the humane education organization HEART, facilitating ad-hoc social justice related workshops, working with Left Turn magazine, and writing regularly for The Langar Hall. Stay in touch on all fronts, and thanks again for all the support!

Pori, Finland, with Red Baraat; photo by Markku Aberg

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