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Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East encompasses myriad facets of Jain’s identity both as a first-generation South Asian–American and as a global musician, from his own family’s immigration story to his eclectic musical upbringing. In recasting the immigrant—steeped in the courage to leave a familiar homeland for a new beginning—as the modern-day cowboy and cowgirl, Jain sources musical inspiration from the scores of Bollywood classics and Spaghetti Westerns, Indian folk traditions, jazz improvisation, and rollicking psychedelic and surf guitar styles. Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East is rooted in the contemporary American soundscape, singing in a new voice, “I am large, I contain multitudes.”
His debut release for Smithsonian Folkways Recordings (2020) has been hailed by New York City press:
“Sunny Jain, the drummer who leads the Red Baraat brass band, vastly expands his palette on ‘Wild Wild East,’ a furiously propulsive song. Bollywood meets New Orleans, new age, rock and whatever else it takes to make this five-minute track hurtle forward with a new fusion at every junction.” - Jon Pareles, The New York Times
“It sounds like the middle ground between a Western score and a Bollywood score, with a little free jazz in the mix too, and Sunny Jain fuses these things to the point where they sound like one focused style of music.” - Andrew Sacher, Brooklyn Vegan
Ganavya – vocals
Roopa Mahadevan – vocals
Grey Mcmurray – guitar
Pawan Benjamin – tenor saxophone, shehnai, bansuri
Kenny Bentley – sousaphone
Sunny Jain – drumset, dhol