Sunny Jain

Sunny Jain’s special recipe for Fusion Music

Sunny Jain is a Brooklyn-based collaborator. A composer, drummer, and a dhol player who has played as a sideman with some of the top musicians like Peter Gabriel, Norah Jones, Heems, and Martha Wainwright.

Sunny has played drums for the Pakistani Sufi rock ensemble Junoon. But his latest release has turned out to be one of his most ambitious and creative projects. Sunny released Phoenix Rise, a project that involves art, music, photography, and food in May. This album was created during the lockdown and features about 50 musicians.

The album includes a 72-page vegan cookbook with 22 recipes contributed by some of the musicians paired with photographers. The proceeds from the project will be diverted to the Centre for Constitutional Rights, a US-based non-profit legal advocacy organization. This NGO focuses on activism related to civil liberties and human rights. The 10 tracks on the album cross a magnificent range of genres. There is classical Hindustani music; soul, rock, and hip hop; Kathak dance music and Punjabi tunes; and African folk music. It’s that kind of diversity that gracefully pervades genres and can be called a perfect recipe for fusion music.

Phoenix is a well-designed feat. The track Pride in Rhythm is written in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. Also, the title track, Phoenix Rise, where Sunny Jain’s dhol and Marc Cary’s piano lay a beat while Lauren Sevian’s saxophone plays free jazz phrases. Even in Ja Ja Re Apne Mandirwa featuring the jazz guitarist Jonathan Goldberger and the Guyanese – American Indian classical singer Ben Parag.

Being brought up by Punjabi Parents, Jain’s music taste was influenced by old Hindi songs, Bhajans, and Jazz of John and Max Roach. While making his own music Sunny tries to bring those different sounds and genres together that he grew up listening to. And much often he can do that with rarely spotted panache.

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