La londinese Bollywood Brass Band è una formazione multirazziale anglo-indiana composta da undici versatili musicisti alle prese con strumenti a fiato e con strumenti a percussione della tradizione del subcontinente indiano.

I fiati sono affidati a ben quattro donne (forse l'unica brass band al mondo). Primo sax soprano, prima tromba, primo trombone e susafono (il gigantesco basso tuba). Nelle percussioni si alternano una parte dei musicisti della Dhol Foundation. Il repertorio prevede hit filmici vecchi e nuovi tratti dal cinema di Bombay, musiche popolari del Punjab, grandi classici di musicisti indiani, tradendo poi influenze samba, reggae, funk, jazz, balcaniche e world music; il tutto mescolato con disinvoltura inglese.

Ne risulta uno stile originale, irriverente e ipnotico, dove gli intrecci eleganti dei fiati sono accompagnati da incalzanti ritmi bhangra (genere musicale nato in Inghilterra alla fine degli anni Settanta,nell'ambito della comunità indiana, dalla fusione tra folklori del Punjab e disco-music). Dinamico e suggestivo è anche l'impatto scenico, che prevede l'impiego di bellissimi costumi, l'accompagnamento con passi di danza, e immagini tratte dai blockbusters di Bombay e proiettate sullo sfondo in sincronia perfetta con le esecuzioni dal vivo.

Impossibile resistere alla loro carica esplosiva. Ballate quindi, lasciatevi trascinare.


The Band

  • KAY CHARLTON tromba
  • JAS DAFFU dhol, dholak
  • SARHA MOORE sax soprano
  • NICK CATTERMOLE bass drum, samples, flauto
  • TOM MARRIOT trombone
  • DAVE JAGO trombone
  • MARK ALLAN sax baritone
  • STEVE PRETTY tromba
  • RAV NEIYYAR tabla, dhol



Fondata nel 1992, in occasione del grande festival internazionale di musica da strada a Londra, la BBB ha partecipato a numerose rassegne in tutto il mondo con presenze anche in Italia, dove ha riscosso in termini di pubblico e di critica successi lusinghieri: durante il Carnevale di Venezia 2004 si è esibita in Piazza San Marco davanti a 40.000 spettatori. Tutti i suoi membri sono molto attivi sulla scena londinese e collaborano con alcuni dei gruppi più celebri di Londra e d'intorni come i Transglobal Underground, Asian Dub Foundation, Dhol Foundation e Fun^Da^Mental.

Ha pubblicato gli album The Bollywood Brass Band (Emergency Exit Arts, 1999) e Rahmania. The music of A.R. Rahman (Emergency Exit Arts, 2002) ed è presente nell'ultima racolta Armani Caffè 2 e Funkadelic nonchè molte altre compilation.


SONGLINES - Trumpets and soprano saxophones blast out popular tunes and current or classic Hindi film hits, backed by drum-kit, raucous trombones, [and] improbably funky sousaphone bass-line …as popular as chicken tikka masala - Punjabi flavours and locally available ingredients mixed with Anglo-Saxon ingenuity.

THE INDIPENDENT - One of the weekend's indisputable highlights (WOMAD's 10th Anniversary) was London's Bollywood Band who, despite reeling under the weight of tubas and Indian dhol drums, turned out to be a Jack in the Box like bundle of 11 cavorting musicians intent on blasting the genre into the 21st century.

ARTSWORLD - The Bollywood Brass Band is one of the rare examples of Western contemporary culture being influenced by the East. 'It is also, beyond the sheer fun and pleasure of their performances, a genuine functioning example of cultural exchange between peoples living in the UK. (In its wealth and variety it is without parallel in Europe) 'They take their inspiration from Bollywood blockbusters and translate them into their own unmistakable style. It's a noisy mixture between Indian and European, Jazz and Latino, set to the bhangra beat, with saxes, trumpets, trombones, sousaphone, snare and bass drums, and the ubiquitous tabla and dhol drums. '…a truly exhilarating, rambunctious affair, with hypnotic Punjabi drumming, wailing soprano sax, Qawwalis, extracts from Bollywood films on a video screen in the background, and a band which obviously and noisily enjoyed themselves - and so did the audience'

FOLKROOTS - 'Bursting with energy and style … Sound track to the summer

GLOBALVILLAGEIDIOT.NET - A.R. Rahman is one of the great modern Indian composers, and this second CD from the Bollywood Brass band certainly does his music justice, with some fabulously stirring arrangements, and great dhol playing to back up the brass. They know when to rage, and when to hold back, and they offer a new perspective on the music which is familiar from many films. Add to that four excellent remixes, and you've got an instant classic to keep the senses boiling and smiling. Absolutely stunning!

FOLK WORLD - If you like brass based folk and world music, you should give the Bollywood Brass Band a try. This is a magnificent and impressive album.'

THE SUNDAY TIMES - CLIVE DAVIS - As traditional as bhangra and chips, some purists might say, but the repertoire of the Bollywood Brass Band forms a vibrant bridge between east and west. A multiracial set of strolling players, they have found a niche as Asian wedding specialists, as well as venturing onto the international festival circuit. Their new project nimbly plugs into the craze for over-the-top song-and-dance, Hindu-style: think of it, if you like, as a curtain-raiser for Rahman's forthcoming musical, Bombay Dreams. Irreverent, perspiring, kitsch-free and and never dull, the arrangements are the rumbustious, Ealing Rd equivalent of New Orleans's Dirty Dozen Brass Band.

THE TIMES - NIGEL WILLIAMSON - This is a timely release given the fact that A. R. Rahman - to whose music this album is a tribute - is about to hit the West End next month as the composer of Andrew Lloyd Webber's latest blockbuster, Bombay Dreams. Back in India, Rahman is the biggest name in Bollywood, and the London-based Bollywood Brass Band have hit upon the ingenious idea of arranging a dozen of his best-known film tunes for their eight-piece brass ensemble. They are supported by a thunderous percussion section, but the melodies cavort with a playful inventiveness that reflects Rahman's compositional versatility. As bold and brash as you could wish.