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Rajasthani touch at British queen’s celebrations


Jaipur : The grand celebrations being organised in Britain during June to mark 60 years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign will have a Rajasthani connection!

The 11-member Jaipur Maharaja Brass Band will perform in London June 2 and 3 rubbing shoulders with famous artists like Elton John in presence of heads of several states and world renowned personalities.

“The organising committee of these events examined our previous international performances over the past ten years and selected the Jaipur Maharaja Brass Band to perform at London,” the band’s group leader Amrit Hussain 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, Hussain claimed.

He said over the past nine years, the band has performed at about 600 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 to 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.

Amrit 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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