New York City based drummer/composer Sunny Jain is one of a handful of players to emerge from the South Asian Diaspora as a vibrant voice for the new music of Indo Jazz. His group, Sunny Jain Collective has released 2 albums, toured India, Nepal and the States and has received international acclaim. Sunny Jain Collective was recently featured on MTV Desi cable channel for their 2006 JVC Jazz Festival performance. SJC was also featured on MSNBC’s In Style program in October 2005, broadcast throughout India, Dubai, the UK and the States.
The group’s second CD, "Avaaz" (Sinj Records), is a truly innovative step in the new music of Indo Jazz. "Avaaz" features a stunning array of pan-Indian influences from Jain’s bhangra-inspired original, “Sialkot,” to the 1951 Bollywood classic, “Awaara Hoon,” to the bhajan, “Meri Bhavana,” to Jain’s raga based melodies on “Johnnie Black” and “Baraat.” Featuring Rez Abbasi on guitar/sitar guitar, Steve Welsh on tenor and soprano saxophones/effects, Gary Wang on acoustic bass, Samita Sinha on vocals and Jain on drumset/dhol/laptop, Avaaz maintains the spirit of the Collective by weaving the multi-cultural threads of the East and West into a colorful musical tapestry, the common ground being the spirit of the drum.
Sunny Jain is a 2006 recipient of the Chamber Music America New Works grant, which commissions adventurous composers to write new music for their projects. Past recipients have included Dave Douglass, Andrew Hill, Benny Maupin, Jason Moran, Greg Osby, Dafnis Prieto and David Sanchez.
In June 2005, Jazz Hot magazine (France) did a spread on Jain in their drummer issue, which featured Lewis Nash, Horacio “El Negro’ Hernandez and Winard Harper. He was noted as a rising star for his fusion of jazz and Indian music.
Sunny Jain has performed with several world-renowned artists such as Joey Baron, Kenny Barron, Seamus Blake, Ted Dunbar, Kyle Eastwood, Kermit Driscoll, Gerald Cleaver, Norah Jones, Robyn Schulkowsky and Kenny Wollesen. He has toured Europe, Japan, India, West Africa, Canada and the States extensively, appearing at such notable venues as Madison Square Garden (NYC), Blue Note (NYC, Japan), Lincoln Center (NYC), 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). He was the recipient of the Arts International Grant Award in 2003 and 2005. In 2002, Jain was selected as a Jazz Ambassador by The U.S. Department of State and The Kennedy Center.
SUNNY JAIN COLLECTIVE
Sunny Jain – drums/dhol/laptop
Rez Abbasi – guitar/sitar-guitar
Steve Welsh – tenor and soprano saxophones/effects
Gary Wang – bass
Samita Sinha – vocals
"Powering it all with shifting tempos, a vast array of percussive colors and rhythmic aplomb is bandleader Jain, bringing worlds together in a seamless fashion…a fresh concept with brilliant execution."
- Bill Milkowski, JazzTimes - November 2004
“...the total effect was electrifying and mesmerizing...Outstanding music played by musicians with fire and intellect..."
- Budd Kopman, All About Jazz – 2006 JVC Festival performance
"Sunny Jain stands out from other mainstream Jazz in North America and across the world as one who has had the courage to experiment with 'sounds.'"
- Sonu Shankar, RSJ (India) – Jazz & Blues Revival Festival [Chennai, India], January 2005