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Drumroll for brass bands: Wedding season keeps Mumbai's iconic street musicians busy


Updated on: 01 February,2023 10:32 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Nascimento Pinto |

The bouncing tunes of brass bands are intrinsic to getting any marriage procession going. Even as electronic disc jockeys have threatened to eclipse them in recent wedding seasons, three brass band musicians from Mumbai's East Indian community talk about the joy of ensemble performances, changing tastes, and the pandemic's harsh effect

Drumroll for brass bands: Wedding season keeps Mumbai's iconic street musicians busy

Greenidge Nunes has been playing with the Vailankanni Band Group since he was a teenager. He started by playing the bugle, followed by the bass drum but eventually moved to the trumpet. Photo: Greenidge Nunes

George Edward Misquitta has been playing the trumpet since 1973, when he was still a teenager studying at the St Francis D’Assisi boarding school in Borivali. Misquitta gravitated towards the instrument because he had access to one at home. His father had been a trumpeter too, as part of a brass band called St Cecilia. Almost 48 years later, ‘Georgieboy’, as he is fondly called by people, leads the ‘St. Francis Brass Band’ and still exudes a tireless passion for the instrument. “I went to play for an Umbraacha Paani (an East Indian pre-wedding ritual) last night and returned home at 2:45 am,” he informs. While they charge for the official time of 7 pm – 10 pm, the band clearly love entertaining people. “Since people are dancing and enjoying themselves, we can’t stop. We go on playing.”

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