Musical Director

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).

Jain musical directed the massive St. Ann’s Warehouse 2019 Gala, in which he brought together artists from around the globe to celebrate the sounds of migrating peoples and cultures. Backed by his band, Red Baraat, Jain weaved together a 90-minute program that included Emel Mathlouthi (Tunisian singer best known for her anthemic song for the Arab spring), Falu (Grammy-nominated Indian vocalist), and Sounds of Refuge.

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.”

In 2014, NPR commissioned Jain to write for “Make Music New York” day in.  His piece, “100+ BPM,” convened more than 350 musicians on the steps of the Brooklyn Public Library, including the drumlines of the New York Jets and Knicks, prominent brass bands from across the city, and a number of talented high school band students. 

Sunny Jain has been musical directing the annual multi-city tour, Red Baraat Festival of Colors, since its inception in 2001. In celebration of the Hindu holiday Holi, which famously involves the jubilant exchange of colors among rainbow-hued revelers, Jain’s festival highlights the South Asian diaspora in America through a diverse range of music. He’s curated a dizzying array of artists as he’s built the festival to a ten-city bacchanal. Jain also musical directed and co-curated Red Baraat’s Brooklyn Mela. The 2016 flagship event at the ever popular summer concerts of Celebrate Brooklyn brought together some of the top South Asian-American artists, including DJ Rekha, Karsh Kale, Falu, Bhi Bhiman and Shilpa Ray.

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