This weekend, it’s jazz-related concerts galore!


Brooklyn-based ensemble Red Baraat makes its debut at Orchestra Hall on Friday, April 25 at 8 pm. Critics have described their performance as “a shot of pure adrenalin.”

Established in 2008, Red Baraat is an eight-piece band from Brooklyn, New York. The brainchild of Sunny Jain, the group has been celebrated worldwide for its live performances of original sound — a blending of North Indian bhangra rhythms, New Orleans brass band, jazz, go-go, brass funk, and hip hop.

Sunny Jain is known as a rising star in the jazz world. He was awarded the designation of Jazz Ambassador by the U.S. Department of State and the Kennedy Center, and appeared regularly in DownBeat magazine critic polls, as he has led his own bands and worked along side Norah Jones, Kyle Eastwood and many others.

This article is reposted from TCDP media partner Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. Check out the links below for other recent Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder stories:

Red Baraat performing “Shruggy Ji” (live)

Jain says, “We are simple creatures that desire community. If we can unite people of all backgrounds and ethnicities to partake in the exuberance of life through the universal language of music, then life is that much sweeter.”

In 2013 Red Baraat released Shruggy Ji. It was the band’s second full-length and first properly distributed record, which debuted at #1 on the Billboard World Music charts.

Red Baraat includes Sunny Jain, Dhol/MC; Rohin Khemani, Percussion; Tomas Fujiwara, Drumset; Mike Bomwell, Soprano Saxophone; Sonny Singh, Trumpet/Vocals; MiWi La Lupa, Bass Trumpet/Vocals; Ernest Stuart, Trombone and John Altieri, Sousaphone/Vocals.

For more information and tickets, go to, or call 612.371.5656.

Miguel Zenón to perform with JazzMN Orchestra

On Saturday, April 26, the final concert of the JazzMN season takes place at 7:30 pm in The Auditorium at Hopkins High School. The JazzMN Orchestra will feature the extraordinary special guest alto saxophonist, composer and conceptualist, Miguel Zenón who is well-known and respected by the public and his peers for his intriguing and attractive modern interpretations of Latin American Folkloric Music and Jazz.

A snapshot of Zenón’s career includes stints with the Village Vanguard Orchestra, The Mingus Big Band, Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra, and gigs alongside fellow original SFJazz Collective alumni Bobby Hutcherson, and Steve Coleman, among others. In 2008, he received the prestigious MacArthur Fellowship.

Zenón, who has recorded eight albums as a leader, has also received Grammy nominations for his previous Marsalis Music albums Esta Plana and Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook. Esta Plana was supported by the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. His early albums, Jibaro and debut album, Ceremonial, also from Marsalis Music, are impressive too, and reveals a real leadership quality in the making.

His most recent release, Oye!!! Live in Puerto Rico (Miel Music) was released in 2013 and features Zenón with The Rhythm Collective. Although Zenón ‘s recordings are indeed superb, to truly appreciate and enjoy his music making, you must go and experience the allure of his forward-thinking music and imaginative improvised solos live. Not only does he create memorable moments on the fly, he visibly has fun doing it.

Zenón is a native of San Juan, Puerto Rico. He studied classical saxophone at the Escuela Libre de Música in Puerto Rico before receiving a bachelor’s degree in Jazz Studies from Berklee College of Music, and a master’s degree in Jazz Performance from Manhattan School of Music.

The JazzMN Orchestra, the Twin Cities’ premier professional jazz ensemble, performs a broad range of jazz repertoire spanning classic and contemporary styles, showcasing outstanding musicians from throughout the region, and featuring world-class guest artists.

Formed as a nonprofit arts organization in 1998, JazzMN, Inc. supports its mission to promote excellence in the jazz art form through performance, preservation and educational outreach.

JazzMN concerts are held at The Auditorium at Hopkins High School, 2400 Lindbergh Drive in Minnetonka. For tickets, please visit < or call 800-838-3006.

Burnt Sugar set to funk up the Walker

Also in town next weekend at the Walker Art Center, the Arkestra Chamber, Burnt Sugar, a 17-member Afrocentric jazz and funk big band, re-imagines the Steely Dan songbook for an evening billed as Any World That I’m Welcome To: The Steely Dan Conductions, curated and conducted by guitarist Vernon Reid on Saturday, April 26 at 8 pm, at the McGuire Theater.

In 1999, guitarist and writer Greg Tate created the New York City-based Burnt Sugar. Tate had a desire to hear a band like it, but couldn’t find one.

The Arkestra leader says, “Burnt Sugar got the nerve to claim Sly Stone, Morton Feldman, Billie Holiday, Jimi Hendrix, and Jean Luc Ponty as progenitors. Our player-ranks include known Irish fiddlers, AACM refugees, Afro-punk rejects, unrepentant be-boppers, feminist rappers, jitterbugging doo-woppers, frankly loud funk-a-teers, and rodeo stars of the digital divide.” In 2010, in Paris, Burnt Sugar served as the pit band for Melvin Van Peebles’ operatic revival of Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song.

In this intimate setting, concertgoers can expect to hear wildly funky renditions of Steely Dan classics such as “Haitian Divorce,” “Any Major Dude,” “Kid Charlemagne,” among others.

Tate, a former Howard University student, is a producer, and African-American writer, who focuses most of his writing on African-American music and culture. In addition to leading Burnt Sugar, the Ohio native is also a founding member of the Black Rock Coalition. The Source magazine described him as one of “the Godfathers of hip-hop journalism.”

He has been the Louis Armstrong Visiting Professor at Columbia University’s Center for Jazz Studies, and a visiting professor of Africana studies at Brown University.

Tate is also the author of Everything But the Burden: What White People are Taking from Black Culture (Harlem Moon/Random House, 2003), Midnight Lightning: Jimi Hendrix and The Black Experience (Acapella/Lawrence Hill, 2003); Flyboy in the Buttermilk: Essays on American Culture (Simon and Shuster, 1993). Currently, he is working on a book about the Godfather of Soul, James Brown.

For more information and tickets, visit

Robin James welcomes reader responses at