Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East encompasses myriad facets of Jain’s identity both as a first-generation South Asian–American and as a global musician, from his own family’s immigration story to his eclectic musical upbringing. In recasting the immigrant—steeped in the courage to leave a familiar homeland for a new beginning—as the modern-day cowboy and cowgirl, Jain sources musical inspiration from the scores of Bollywood classics and Spaghetti Westerns, Indian folk traditions, jazz improvisation, and rollicking psychedelic and surf guitar styles. Wild Wild East is an album rooted in the contemporary American soundscape, singing in a new voice, “I am large, I contain multitudes.”
The beating heart of the vibrant and varied career of Sunny Jain is a celebration of cultural diaspora: deep-rooted tradition that ripples outward, changing – and being changed by – the cultures that it touches. Jain is best known as the dhol-pounding bandleader of Red Baraat, the frenzied fusion of bhangra, hip-hop, jazz, rock, and unbridled energy that NPR called “the best party band in years.” The drummer and composer has collaborated with jazz artists Vijay Iyer, Donny McCaslin, Norah Jones, and Kyle Eastwood; the Sufi rock band Junoon; rapper Himanshu Suri (aka Heems), producer Andres Levin and singer Peter Gabriel. Jain has been commissioned to write new music by NPR, Aaron Copland Music Fund, Chamber Music America, Meet the Composer & MASS MoCA. In 2019, Jain served as musical director for the OBIE award-winning theatrical show, The Jungle, as well as Lincoln Center’s 60th Anniversary celebration.