Sunny Jain is the Jimi Hendrix of the dhol. - Manchester Salon (UK)
Rising Star Percussionist - Downbeat Critics Poll (2012 & 2011)
Jain’s compositions are unique and stake out singular turf in this 21st Century world of cross-pollinating musical traditions. - Signal to Noise
Sunny Jain is a dhol player, drummer and composer. In 2008, he founded the pioneering Brooklyn Bhangra band, Red Baraat. “One of the best party bands around. Favorite Live Shows of 2011” (NPR). This past year Red Baraat performed over 100 club shows and festivals across the world, including Bonnaroo Music Festival, High Sierra Music Festival and a special performance at the White House and the Paralympics closing ceremony in London. “Banging out their high-octane fusion they’re irresistible: serial party-starters” (The Guardian, UK).
Born to Punjabi immigrant parents and raised in Rochester, New York, Jain is recognized as a lead voice in the burgeoning movement of South Asian-American jazz musicians. His 7 albums have all received international acclaim for their “groundbreaking synthesis” (Coda Magazine), as he brings together the ancient sounds of his cultural heritage, America’s greatest original art form and a host of other sounds.
Jain is also the drummer and dhol player for Junoon, the biggest rock band to emerge from South Asia. In 2011, they recorded the single “Open Your Eyes,” featuring Peter Gabriel, to raise awareness and funds for Pakistani flood victims. In 2010, Junoon delivered a Concert for Pakistan at the United Nations in NYC, for the displaced refugees in the Swat Valley. The band closed out 2007 with a milestone performance at the Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo, Norway, playing for Nobel Laureates Al Gore and Rajendra Paucharia. Jain played dhol/percussion in the first ever Indian Broadway show, Bombay Dreams (2004) and made his Hollywood debut playing dhol in the movie, Accidental Husband, starring Uma Thurman, Colin Firth, and Isabella Rossellini.
Jain has performed/recorded with Kiran Ahluwalia, Asphalt Orchestra, Joey Baron, Kenny Barron, Marc Cary, Samir Chatterjee, DJ Rekha, Kyle Eastwood, Peter Gabriel, Grupo Fantasma, Norah Jones, Junoon, Andres Levin, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Marching Fourth Band, Q-Tip, Soul Rebels, Martha Wainwright, Kenny Wollesen, and many others.
Jain has been a recipient of composition and performance grants from the Aaron Copland Music Fund, Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, globalFEST and received the Arts International Award in both 2005 and 2003 to enable touring India with his jazz group, Sunny Jain Collective. In 2002, Jain was designated a Jazz Ambassador by the U.S. Department of State and The Kennedy Center, for which he toured West Africa. Jain is the author of 2 instructional drum books for Alfred Publishing (The Total Jazz Drummer and Drum Atlas: India).