The TED conference closed out Red Baraat’s West Coast run, which started in Mountain View at the Google Campus. Teddy Kartzman was gracious enough to hook us up with a lunch time play outdoors and what a cool experience it was. If I didn’t play music, I’d want to find some type of job at Google. The food cafes are unbelievable and the basketball courts, gym and bikes to get around!? I have to find a way to get enlisted as the Good Morning Dhol player.
That evening we played in San Francisco at Slim’s, where I debuted my orange sparkle California dhol on the 2nd set. Well really, my dhol head shattered and after much help from Tomas Fujiwara and Rohin Khemani, ended up using Tomas’ floor tom for the rest of the show. Awesome crowd and great to see Jimmy Love Little from Non-Stop Bhangra out in the crowd as well as Namita Kapoor throwing down hard on the dance floor. Namita is a fabulous artist who did the artwork for Red Baraat’s “Chaal Baby” album. We carried on to Santa Cruz and had a fun set at Moe’s Alley and then rounded it off at The Mint in LA to sold out show. Great to see so many friends supporting big time (Falguni Lakhani, Richard Adams, Carter McDonnell) and wicked cool to see and meet a fan of the band, Harry Shearer.
Then, onto TED.
Red Baraat had the great fortune to perform several times during the TED conference. We opened up TED playing for their block party and the next day, we preceded Susan Cain’s talk, performing “Chaal Baby” on the main stage. And yes, within our allotted 5 minutes, we got all the TEDsters up, shruggin’ their shoulders and twistin’ their wrists. Later that night we played at the after party along with the great talents of Reggie Watts and Quixotic. Check them out….super badass.
The amount of amazing people we got to meet during our performances and just strolling around the conference was a bit mind blowing. It seemed like everyone was either a Founder, CEO or President of a company. Listened to inspiring talks by Susan Cain on the power of introverts, Julie Burstein and sparking creativity (just bought her book “Spark: How Creativity Works”), Atul Gawande and his Checklist Manifesto for physicians and Andrew Stanton from Pixar, about telling a story and Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.
John Altieri had one of the greatest run-ins:
Man: “excuse me, is that a musical instrument in that case?”John: “Yes, it’s a sousaphone, I just played it with the band Red Baraat.” Man: “I just saw you guys! You were awesome! I’m Matt Groening.”
I owe a big THANK YOU to Bill Bragin for giving me and the band this experience. It really was a once in a lifetime type of thing, although I hope it happens again 😉 Also, thanks to Fabian Alsultany for the after party hookup, and Meklit Hedaro for sharing her beautiful voice on the TED main stage.