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Sunny Jain

Sunny JainNew York City based drummer/composer Sunny Jain is a leading voice for the new music of Indo Jazz. His group, Sunny Jain Collective, intertwines jazz with music from his South Asian heritage, and all with a twist of modern effects.

In 2002, Sunny Jain Collective released their debut CD, As Is (NCM East Records), which featured many of Jain’s Indian flavored compositions & arrangements. The group received international acclaim for their organic blend of jazz, Indian music, and modern effects as John Chacona of Coda Magazine called it a “groundbreaking synthesis” (2004). SJC’s debut album, Mango Festival (ZoHo Music), was nominated by Cadence magazine’s Budd Kopman as one of the top ten jazz releases of 2004.

"And powering it all with shifting tempos, a vast array of percussive colors and rhythmic aplomb is bandleader Jain, bringing worlds together in seamless fashion….a fresh concept with brilliant execution," says Bill Milkowski (Jazz Times 2004).

Sunny Jain Collective has gone on to perform throughout the States and has toured India 3 times, headlining at all the major festivals. With such a strong debut, SJC’s CD was then signed to ZOHO Music and re-released as Mango Festival in March 2004. Most recently, SJC toured India for the 3rd time as part of the Seagram’s sponsored Legends Live Concert Series in October 2005. The group was then also featured on MSNBC’s In Style program, broadcast throughout India, Dubai, the UK and the States.

In June 2005, Jazz Hot magazine (France) did a spread on Jain in their drummer issue, which featured Lewis Nash, Horacio “El Negro’ Hernandez, Eddie Locke, Winard Harper and Byron Landham. Sunny was noted as a rising star for his fusion of jazz and Indian music. Most recently, Jain was awarded the Chamber Music America New Works grant to compose original music based around ghazals (Indian poetry).

Since Sunny Jain Collective’s debut release in 2002, Jain was also prestigiously selected for the Jazz Ambassador’s program sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and The Kennedy Center in 2002. In 2003 and 2004, Jain was a recipient of the Arts International grant to support international touring efforts. Jain has been spending the last few years composing, learning to use his laptop as an instrument, and playing a great deal of percussion. He played percussion, namely dhol, with Kenny Wollesen’s marching band, with performances at Lincoln Center and Celebrate Brooklyn. In 2004, Jain was called upon regularly as a percussion sub for the first ever Indian Broadway show, Bombay Dreams. In summer of 2005, Sunny played wooden sound sculptures, created by Lukas Kuhne, with master drummers Joey Baron, Robyn Schulkowsky, Gerald Cleaver and Kenny Wollesen at the Germany: A Sense-Sational Experience exhibit at Grand Central Station, NYC. Then in September 2005, Jain opened up the 105.9 FM La Kalle Block Party Concert at Madison Square Garden, NYC with a percussion/dance group.

Sunny Jain also works regularly as a sideman and is an integral part of Samita Sinha’s Kaash; Hayes Greenfield’s Jazz-a-ma-tazz; and the Steve Blanco Trio. He has performed with several world-renowned artists such as Kiran Ahluwalia, Eric Alexander, Joey Baron, Kenny Barron, Seamus Blake, Ted Dunbar, Kyle Eastwood, Kermit Driscoll, Gerald Cleaver, Norah Jones, Lonnie Plaxico, Greg Tardy, and Kenny Wollesen. His unique sound has taken him on tours to Europe, Japan, India, West Africa, Canada and the States. He has appeared at such notable venues as Blue Note (NYC, Japan), Atlanta Jazz Festival (GA), Ravinia Jazz Festival (IL), South Asian Heritage Festival (Canada), Cork Guinness Jazz Festival (Ireland), Vitoria Jazz Festival (Spain), Pescara International Festival of Jazz (Italy), Pizza Express (England), Marian’s Jazz Room (Switzerland), Jazz Yatra Festival (India) and the Musical Society of Nigeria (Nigeria).


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