Jaipur Kawa Brass Band

Who has never enjoyed the frenzy of a brass band?

No marriage without a brass band in India!

In 1757, during colonization, the British brought brass instruments to India and the native population grew to love these alien instruments. Since independence in 1947 till today, the trumpets, trombones, clarinets, bass drums, snare drums and cymbals of a brass band are everywhere as a part of life. They accompany national and religious celebrations, popular festivals, political processions, weddings, births and funerals.

The Jaipur Kawa Brass Band hails from the colourful, vibrant and majestic desert state of Rajasthan, the original land of gypsies. The Jaipur Kawa Brass Band is a spectacular showcase of North Indian gypsy heritage featuring seven authentic Indian brass musicians, including a fakir who performs unique and awe-inspiring illusions accompanied by the alluring choreography of a kalbelia << snake charmer >> who dances like a cobra, the guardian of the spiritual truth she represents.     

Hameed Khan Kawa, a tabla player and the artistic director of the popular group, Musafir and Kawa Musical Circus, belonging to a musical lineage, had heard brass bands since his childhood in Rajasthan where he taught music at the local university.

In 1984, he was invited in France to play fusion tabla. By sharing his life between Jaipur and Paris, exposed to different musical styles: Classical Hindustani music, Indian and Western traditional music and jazz, and being a great brass band enthusiastic, Hameed Khan Kawa developed the idea of blending his experiences and the traditions he grew up with, to create a brass band of his own: the spectacular Jaipur Kawa Brass Band

So he gathered talented musicians from renowned bands of Rajasthan and chose to play a wide repertoire ranging from Indian traditional music with its distinctive Gypsy sound to the popular songs of Bollywood movies with a touch of Indian traditional music along with the sophisticated structures of North Indian classical music. The melodies and songs are developed with much refinement.

Jaipur Kawa Brass Band made its debut in 1995 and has quickly established itself internationally, featuring virtuoso solos and dazzling improvisations. The percussionists elaborate their fast and spontaneous playing with the sophisticated rhythms of India, providing counterpoint to the Gypsy Kalbelia dancer and the fakir in his astonishing acts a visual spectacular.

All of the musicians of Jaipur Kawa Brass Band have ancestral ties to their art as the recipients of many generations of musical culture and knowledge that has been passed down from generation to generation. The eight artists of this extraordinary brass band, wearing traditional clothes: a colorful turban, a typical Rajasthani jacket and camel leather shoes, perform with an amazing energy and humour both on stage and in a moving parade, an unexpected and rousing musical extravaganza and represent the soul of contemporary India in this unique musical fest.