For Sunny Jain, it appears that evidently capturing the American immigrant expertise via sound is a continuing properly of inspiration. Together with his musical venture Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East, he does so with multilingual lyrics, intercontinental percussion, and a genre-bending power appropriate for a rowdy dance celebration or a heat Friday night on the Nationwide Mall.
On the 2022 Smithsonian Folklife Pageant, Jain’s ensemble consisted of Guyanese vocalist Ben Parag, African American saxophonist Alison Shearer, American guitarist Ryan Dugre, Israeli American bassist Almog Sharvit, and Colombian percussionist Daniela Serna. This instrumental piece, “Immigrant Warrior,” opens Jain’s Wild Wild East album, launched by Smithsonian Folkways in 2020.
This month, the band heads to Pakistan for a collection of live shows, workshops, and college packages, supported by the U.S. Embassy in Islamabad. He’ll be the primary in his household to return to the area, after the partition of India and Pakistan in 1947.
Elisa Hough is the editor on the Smithsonian Heart for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.