Indian folk to rock Singapore F1

By Hindustan Times

NEW DELHI, Sept. 18 -- Formula One revelry will meet the hilt as jugglers, fire eating fakirs and Rajasthani folk musicians will set the stage on fire at Formula One Singapore Grand Prix that will be held from September 23 to 25. The Jaipur Maharaja Brass Band that comprises a Kalbelia dancer, seven folk musicians and a pro fire eating juggler, who were brought together by tabla maestro Amrat Hussain, will perform at the F1 along with famous musicians such as Shakira, Shaggy and US pop rock band Linkin Park, said Rais Bharti, the band's manager.

The 11-member band will also perform on three days of the Singapore race, which is the 14th round of this year's F1 season. The band recently participated at the Indian Music Festival at Basel, Switzerland. "We are very excited about performing at the Grand Prix. It feels great to root for Force India F1 team. We are proud to showcase the Indian culture there," says Bharti. "We plan to put up a grand show that'll be a mix of Rajasthani Kalbelia dance, reality defying fire eating performances and jugglery," he says, adding that they will also perform on Bollywood chartbusters such as 'Chak de India'.

The band's music is a melange of Indian folk melodies, Bollywood songs, pop, jazz, funk and Hindustani classical music. However, Bharti says that their uniqueness lies in the fact that they pick best artists from remote parts of Rajasthan and give them a platform to perform in front of thousands of people. "We got noticed and selected for the F1 performance because of our participation at various international carnivals," he adds. In the last nine years, the band has done over 500 performances in 40 countries. Some of the music festivals where they have performed include Sziget in Hungary, World Music Festival in Belgium, and Pori Jazz Fest in Finland.

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