Rajasthani folk music group Barmer Boys touring US

Washington, April 18: Keeping alive the centuries-old musical tradition of the Manganiyars, a hereditary caste of Muslim musicians in India’s desert state of Rajasthan, the “Barmer Boys” are on a debut two week coast-to-coast US tour.

Barely in their 30s and yet seasoned performers of Rajasthani folk and Sufi music, the group, during its April 19-May 1 tour, will have shows in California, Indiana, New York, New Jersey, Washington DC, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois.

The group is led by the vocal powerhouse of Manga ‘Mangey’ Khan (also harmonium), with the twin percussive punch of Rais Khan (morchang, bhapang and khartaal) and Magada Khan (dholak), according to the tour organisers Amarrass Records.

Since their premiere at the Amarrass Desert Music Festival in New Delhi in 2011, the Barmer Boys have performed with a host of world-renowned artists including Vieux Farka Toure, Bombino, BaBa ZuLa, Madou Sidiki Diabate and Rupa and the April Fishes.

The band’s versatility of styles and bubbling energy infuses each performance – from soulful Sufi kalaams to uplifting wedding and celebratory songs, to boisterous jams with beat-boxing and live DJ sets, the organisers said.

Their debut album “At Home: Barmer Boys” was released in December 2012 on Amarrass Records. Barmer Boys were featured artists on MTV Coke Studio Season 3 in 2013.

The Programme: April 19 – Cubberley Auditorium, Palo Alto, California; April 23 – Neal Marshall Hall, Indiana University, Bloomington Indiana; April 24 – DROM, New York; April 25 – WFMU, New Jersey; April 25 – Embassy of India, Washington DC; April 27 – Dobhan, Madison, Wisconsin; April 28 – WORT 89.9 FM, Madison; May 1 – Kalapriya, Fine Arts Building, Chicago, Illinois.

IANS