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Jaipur Maharaja Band to Jam at Singapore Grand Prix

The 11-member Jaipur Maharaja Brass Band will perform on all three days of the Grand Prix, including the opening ceremony, from Sep 23 to 25. The Singapore race is the 14th round of this year's Formula One season.

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They are a motley crew of musicians and performers who belt out numbers ranging from Bollywood chartbusters to traditional Rajasthani folk songs, accompanied by a dance and jugglery show. The group has now been invited to perform at the Singapore Grand Prix F1 race to be held later this month.

The 11-member Jaipur Maharaja Brass Band will perform on all three days of the Grand Prix, including the opening ceremony, from Sep 23 to 25. The Singapore race is the 14th round of this year's Formula One season.

The band will rub shoulders with famous artists like Shakira, Shaggy and pop rock band Linkin Park of the US, the band's general director Rahis Bharti, 29, told IANS on phone from Paris, where they are performing currently.

"The organisers of the race examined our previous international performances over the past nine years and selected the Jaipur Maharaja Brass Band to perform at Singapore," Bharti said.

"It is a very big event and we are unable to express our happiness in words. We expect to enthrall the audience and our aim is to give a taste of Indian music to the international audience with Indian and Rajasthani traditional music with a mix of Western instruments," he added.

The band will use a mix of traditional Indian and Western instruments to perform popular Bollywood, jazz, pop and self-composed music, making it the first group from India to perform at such an event, Bharti claimed.

He said over the past nine years, the band has performed at about 500 concerts in 40 countries. It has participated in prestigious music festivals like Sziget (Hungary), Paleo (Switzerland), and Pori Jazz Fest (Finland).

Originating from Jaipur, the city of the maharajas, the band consists of seven-eight musicians, a female traditional Rajasthani dancer and a juggler or fire eater. They play a range of traditional brass instruments, including trumpets, trombones, tubas, clarinets, tabla, base drum and saxophones and perform traditional dances.

Bharti said that roots of the Indian brass band music go deep into the subcontinent's colonial past.

"Introduced in the middle of the 18th century by the British, thousands of brass bands play at carnivals, national or religious festivals and local marriage celebrations across the country. In Rajasthan alone, there are over 2,000 brass bands performing regularly," he added.

"We have tried to include in our team the best performers out of the 2,000-odd brass bands," he added.

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Entertainment | Arts & Entertainment | September 2011 | Bigger India

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