(KINGSTON, N.Y.) – New York City’s Raya Brass Band and Lahore/Brooklyn collaboration Sandaraa will perform a double-bill of danceable world-beat music at BSP on Wednesday, May 20, 2015, at 8pm. Raya Brass Band plays Balkan brass band music infused with punk-rock energy and featuring jazzy soloing, while Sandaraa plays a unique fusion of South Asian musical traditions, Eastern European sounds, and joyous, bittersweet klezmer.
Since 2008 Raya Brass Band has energized clubs, international festivals, rooftop parties, and subway cars with its hard-driving, original brass band music. The six members of the band bring their unique voices to the group, creating a sound informed as much by their love for the fierce and seductive music of the Balkans as it is by New Orleans brass bands, punk rock, and global music. Featuring trumpet, sax, accordion, tuba, and percussion, this band wails, sweats, and shouts alongside its audience. Raya Brass Band has performed at venues such as Lincoln Center Out of Doors, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and Joe’s Pub, and has opened for acts including Ozomatli and Red Baraat.
Sandaraa has been hailed as “one of the most interesting and exciting things to happen in the New York music scene.” This new musical collaboration explores a vast repertoire of South Asian musical traditions blended with the sounds and sensibilities of Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and New York. The band captivates audiences and fascinates listeners with their unique sound and inspired approach to musical and cultural synthesis. Sandaraa is co-fronted by one of Pakistan and Afghanistan’s most loved vocalists, Zebunnisa (Zeb) Bangash, and Brooklyn’s klezmer clarinet virtuoso Michael Winograd.
Zeb Bangash is a resident of Lahore and an ethnic Pashtun with roots in Kohat, near the Afghan border. Bangash has won acclaim and popularity throughout south Asian subcontinent as the lead singer of the duo Zeb and Haniya. In a region known primarily for religious extremism, Zeb is symbolic of the new, modern Pakistan and a modern idea of Pakistani women: progressive, western educated, and proud to explore the musical roots of her region which had been denied by conservative regimes. Zeb and Haniya have won acclaim from many international publications including Newsweek and BBC News.
As a band, Sandaraa has performed at the Kennedy Center, Montreal Jewish Music Festival, NYU Abu Dhabi, and the Ashkenaz Festival in Toronto.