Sunny Jain

Sunny Jain
Background information
Born 1975 (age 4041)
Rochester, New York, United states
Genres Jazz, world, bhangra, drum & bass
Occupation(s) Dhol player, drummer, composer, producer, bandleader, singer
Instruments Dhol
Years active 1993–present
Labels Sinj Records
Associated acts Junoon, Red Baraat

Sunny Jain (born 1975 in Rochester, New York) is an American dhol player, drummer, and composer. He is recognized as a lead voice in the burgeoning movement of South Asian-American jazz musicians.[1] His seven 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 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, Himanshu Suri, 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,[2] for which he toured West Africa. Jain is the author of 2 instructional drum books for Alfred Publishing: The Total Jazz Drummer[3] and Drum Atlas: India.[4][5]

In 2007 Jain became the first artist endorser for India’s largest and oldest musical manufacturer, Bina Music, and he exclusively uses Vater drumsticks.[6]

Red Baraat

Red Baraat
Origin Brooklyn, New York, United States
Genres Bhangra, world, jazz, go-go
Years active 2008 (2008)-present
Labels Sinj Records
Members Sunny Jain
Rohin Khemani
Tomas Fujiwara
Mike Bomwell
Sonny Singh
MiWi La Lupa
Ernest Stuart
John Altieri

In 2008, Jain founded the Brooklyn Bhangra band, Red Baraat. "One of the best party bands around. Favorite Live Shows of 2011" (NPR).[7] 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 performance at the White House and the Paralympics closing ceremony in London. "Banging out their high-octane fusion they're irresistible: serial party-starters".[8]

In just four years, the Brooklyn dhol ‘n’ brass party juggernaut Red Baraat have made a name for themselves as one of the best live bands playing anywhere in the world. Led by dhol player Sunny Jain, the eight piece band consisted of dhol, drumset, percussion, sousaphone and five horns, melds the infectious North Indian rhythm Bhangra with a host of sounds, namely funk, go-go, Latin, and jazz. Simply put, Sunny Jain and Red Baraat have created and defined a sound entirely their own.

The band will release their 2nd studio album, Shruggy Ji, in early 2013.

The group's 2011 release, Bootleg Bhangra, is the band’s live show captured at Brooklyn’s Southpaw on the band’s second anniversary. With songs pulled primarily from their debut album, Chaal Baby, the group was mindful of the challenge to capture a rapturous live sound on record. Well, it happened on this night, and the resulting document places you squarely in that small Brooklyn club jammed from front to back with hip shaking beauties - hands raised to a ceiling dripping with condensation.

The title track from their debut album, Chaal Baby, was used as the background music for the promo ads for the hit FX TV show It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia. After the group’s performance at the 2011 globalFEST, Red Baraat was a top pick favorite and featured on PRI’s The World, NPR’s All Songs Considered, New York Times, The Village Voice and Mother Jones magazine. The group's debut CD was voted as a top world music release of 2010 by The Boston Globe.[9]

Since their inception in October 2008, Red Baraat has performed at globalFEST, Montreal Jazz Festival, Sunfest, Festival De Louisiane, Quebec City Summer Festival, Chicago World Music Festival, Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, Madison World Music Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival, Pori Jazz Festival (Finland), Molde Jazz Festival (Norway) and Chicago Folks & Roots Festival, among many others.

Red Baraat appeared on John Schaefer's Soundcheck WNYC-FM 93.9, an NPR affiliate, in which they were picked as a top live radio performance of 2009.[10] They also recorded the credit roll theme song for the movie The Yes Men Fix the World and performed for the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week (NYC) for Ports 1961 runway models. Red Baraat has been featured in National Geographic,[11] The Wall Street Journal,[12] The New Yorker,[13] Relix,[14] PopMatters,[15] and Songlines, among many others.


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.[16] 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 Indian Broadway show, Bombay Dreams (2004) and made his Hollywood debut playing dhol in the movie The Accidental Husband,[17] starring Uma Thurman, Colin Firth, and Isabella Rossellini.


With Red Baraat
As a sideman

Written works


  1. "Sunny Jain". Jazziz. December 2011. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  2. "Sunny Jain". The Kennedy Center. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  3. Jain, Sunny (2007). The Total Jazz Drummer. Alfred Publishing. pp. 1–127. ISBN 9780739038529.
  4. Jain, Sunny (2009). Drum Atlas: India. Alfred Publishing. pp. 1–48. ISBN 9780739053003.
  5. "Sunny Jain". Alfred Music Publishing. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  6. "Sunny Jain". Vater Percussion. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  7. Boilen, Bob. "Bob Boilen's Favorite Live Shows of 2011". All Songs Considered. NPR. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  8. Iqbal, Nosheen (5 September 2012). "Red Baraat: Indian wedding sounds with attitude". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  9. Mitter, Siddhartha (19 December 2012). "Siddhartha Mitter's top 10 world music CDs of 2010". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  10. "Red Baraat". Soundcheck. New York Public Radio. 10 September 2009. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  11. Dede, Mehmet (19 January 2010). "The Nat Geo Music Interview: Red Baraat". National Geographic. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  12. Catton, Pia (7 July 2010). "A Big Band for the World". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  13. "Goings on About Town". The New Yorker. 22 March 2010. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  14. Jarnow, Jesse (12 April 2010). "Red Baraat". Relix. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
  15. "Red Baraat perform at Brooklyn Masonic Temple on December 14, 2012". PopMatters. 21 December 2012. Retrieved 5 February 2013.
  16. Concert for Pakistan @ The United Nations (part 1) on YouTube
  17. Sunny Jain at the Internet Movie Database
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