Debut album on Smithsonian Folkways Recordings

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.

Red Baraat Festival of Colors, March 2020 ANNOUNCED

Red Baraat Festival of Colors hits the road this March 2020! The 9th annual festival celebrates the Hindu holiday of Holi.

Tickets are on sale. Check below for a venue near you

Mar 05 | PHILADELPHIA, PA | World Cafe Live | Tix: bit.ly/FOC2020_Philly
Mar 06 | WASHINGTON DC | The Hamilton | Tix: bit.ly/FOC2020_DC
Mar 07 | MIAMI, FL | SMD Cultural Arts Center | Tix: bit.ly/FOC2020_Miami
Mar 08 | BOSTON, MA | The Sinclair | Tix: bit.ly/FOC2020_Boston
Mar 10 | NEW YORK, NY | Symphony Space | Tix: bit.ly/FOC2020_NYC
Mar 11 | LOS ANGELES, CA | The Mint | Tix: bit.ly/FOC2020_LA
Mar 12 | SAN DIEGO | ArtPower UCSD | Tix: bit.ly/FOC2020-SD
Mar 13 | PHOENIX, AZ | MIM | Tix: bit.ly/FOC2020_Phoenix
Mar 21 | SEATTLE, WA | Tractor Tavern | Tix: bit.ly/FOC2020_Seattle
Mar 22 | SAN FRANCISCO, CA | SFJAZZ Center | Tix: bit.ly/FOC2020_SF

MORE DATES TBA. STAY TUNED!

Dhol on NBC

Sunny Jain had the great pleasure of recording his dhol to the new NBC TV show, Sunnyside.

Starring Kal Penn, Sunny also contributed some horn arrangements to original the score composed by Siddhartha Khosla.

Lincoln Center 60th Anniversary Celebration

In May 2019, Jain served as Musical Director to Lincoln Center’s 60th anniversary celebration in which he programmed 4 artists: Plezi Rara, Opera Noire of New York, Fogo Azul and Red Baraat PLUS. The special day culminated with over 135 musicians coming together to perform a finale piece that Jain arranged and led on the Josie Robertson Plaza. In the spirit of the day, Jain’s arrangement started with the intro to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” before segueing to the Alicia Keys and Jay-Z hit, “Empire State of Mind.”

 

The Jungle

Sunny Jain serves as Musical Director to the theatrical show, The Jungle. After its 2019 sold out premieres at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY and the Curran Theater in San Francisco, it will return to Brooklyn in 2020. The London based, Obie Award winning show, memorializes a bulldozed camp in Calais, France, where thousands of refugees who had escaped drought, war, and strife-torn countries, waited for their good chance passage to Britain. Hailed by critics as “thrilling…ravishing…devastating” (New York Times) and “a significant event in which theatre shakes hands with the world” (The Sunday Times).

Red Baraat Festival of Colors

Red Baraat Festival of Colors celebrates the Hindu holiday of Holi by featuring artists from the South Asian diaspora.

Musical directed and curated by Sunny Jain since it’s inception in 2011, this year’s 8th annual iteration features YouTube sensation Vidya Vox and will travel to 7 cities.

Red Baraat’s Brooklyn Mela

Red Baraat brought their first ever MELA to the esteemed stages of Celebrate Brooklyn on July 7, 2016. Curated by Sunny Jain and BRIC, the evening brought together some of the top South Asian artists in the US: Karsh Kale, DJ Rekha, Heems (Das Racist / Swet Shop Boys), Bhi Bhiman, Falu and Shilpa Ray.  Thousands rocked all night long and there was a surprise appearance by Top Chef judge and model, Padma Lakshmi, during an impromptu dance off on stage. Find more pics HERE.

Premiere of Sunny Jain’s NPR Commissioned “100+ BPM”

We are so pleased to show you NPR’s short-film of the premiere of Sunny Jain’s 100+BPM, which happened on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library on June 21, 2014. Click the photo below to bring you to the video. We’ve re-posted NPR Producer Anastasia Tsioulcas’ All Things Considered report from June 22 here, which captured this day so well. So many people came together to make this premiere possible and we can’t overstate our gratitude to all.

From Anastasia Tsioulcas’ All Things Considered:  
On this absolutely gorgeous Saturday afternoon, about 350 musicians assembled on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library to play Jain’s 100+ BPM. Young, older, professional drumlines, community marching bands, seasoned jazz players, Indian wedding band musicians, Brazilian samba drummers and scads of amateur players came out to play. It was just incredible.