This project started through a desire and a sense of obligation to use my music as a platform to address social justice issues permeating the world, and that specifically speak to the South Asian community, where these matters are often considered taboo: sexual identity, inequality and violence from men upon women, and the juxtaposition of religions. The artistic inspiration was derived from ghazals, love poems that have its origins in the Arabian Peninsula and eventually made its way to India in the 12th century. Ultimately, I wasn’t looking to create compositions based around love poems, but rather utilize the writings of modern day poets and lyricists in addressing the said issues.

Each composition draws upon one Indian raga in order to present a mood specific to each work. While the music in its entirety is influenced by the South Asian and African diasporas, the players bring their own unique musical personalities and collectively, we aim to blur the lines of genre. At the end, I hope this music reflects the creativity of humans, connects to your heart, and inspires you to greater heights of goodness towards all living beings. (Album released May 10, 2010)

“On the fearsomely cosmopolitan, Taboo, a complex disc with a formidable agenda, Sunny Jain provides the bottom playing drums and the Indian percussion instrument known as the dhol during seven fascinating, challenging tracks designed to liberate. This album is a live wire.” – JazzTimes

Sunny Jain – drums, dhol
Marc Cary – piano
Nir Felder – guitar
Gary Wang – acoustic bass
YaliniDream – spoken word
Achyut Joshi – vocals
Sheetal Karhade – vocals
Shayna Steele – vocals
Sachal Vasandani – vocals
Samita Sinha – vocals