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
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
Jaipur Kawa Brass Band "Fanfare du Rajasthan" Kardum/Iris Musique. KARO77-3004077 Harmonia Mundi Distribution.