With his project, Bollywood Masala Orchestra, artistic director Rahis Bharti sought to combine the big sound of a New Orleans-style brass band with traditional, Indian musical instruments and compositions. The eighteen-piece ensemble features musicians from the state of Rajasthan in North India, as well as three dancers whose performances infuse traditional routines with Bollywood choreography and acrobatics. Bollywood Masala Orchestra’s upbeat songs feature traditional instruments such as the sitar, tabla, and harmonium, as well as Western accompaniments that include the bass drum and trombone. The orchestra’s live show, The Spirit of India, brings a colorful medley of modern takes on Indian musical traditions to UC Berkeley’s Zellerbach Hall on Sunday, October 11.
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