BARMER BOYS (Rajasthan/India) - Barmer Boys are the next generation of performers that carry forward the centuries-old musical traditions of the Manganiyars and are leading examples of contemporary Rajasthani folk and Sufi music. The trio are led by Manga 'Mangey' Khan (vocals, harmonium) with the twin percussive punch of Rais Khan (morchang, bhapang, khartaal, beat-boxing) and Tarif Khan (dholak).
The band's versatility of styles and bubbling energy infuses each performance - from soulful Sufi kalaams to uplifting wedding and celebratory songs, songs of love and remembrance, to boisterous jams with beat-boxing and live DJ sets. The group made their international debut in 2014 with shows at Roskilde Festival ’14, Borneo World Music Expo ’14, a US debut with a coast-to-coast tour in April ’14, and have been wooing audiences on television screens, cinema halls and festivals in India including MTV CokeStudio Season 3, NH7 Weekender ‘14, IIT Mood Indigo ’14 and Jaipur Literature Festival ’15. JUST ANNOUNCED! Barmer Boys to perform at the 2015 Winnipeg Folk Festival in Canada!
“Incandescent Sufi voices that incite ecstacy” - Songlines, Sep 2014
“Barmer Boys steal the show.. with their unique folk tunes, truly stood out at the festival” - IBNLive at NH7Weekender Festival, Nov 2014
“Mangey Khan’s voice needs to be heard to be believed” - Hindustan Times, Feb 2012
"The music rose above the repetitive tunes we hear in today’s clamorous folk market and was like a whiff of fresh air" - Indian Express, Nov 2012
The group formed in 2011, and their music is a harmonic blend of distinct performance styles and personalities. Mangey Khan, who belongs to a family of illustrious singers, has an electrifying voice and is equally at home singing traditional Marwari wedding songs or belting out Sufi qawwalis. He also plays the harmonium (similar to the reed organ or the accordion). Tarif Khan plays the dholak (a hand drum widely used in North Indian folk music) and lays the percussive bed for the group's vocal and instrumental pieces. Rais Khan rounds out the trio with a second layer of percussion, featuring instruments such as the morchang (or Jew's harp), the bhapang (a single stringed 'talking' drum) and the khartaal (a pair of rosewood castanets). This instrument is essential to Rajasthani folk, and wielded in the hands of Rais it takes on magical notes. A keen experimenter with sounds, he has also added beat-boxing to his repertoire.
Barmer Boys have shared the stage with artists such as Vieux Farka Toure, Bombino, BaBa ZuLa, Painted Caves, Lakha Khan, Madou Sidiki Diabate, and more. Their debut album "At Home: Barmer Boys" was released on Amarrass Records in 2012. Their next release 'Barmer Boys and Friends' is scheduled for release in 2015.