Sunny Jain and Red Baraat

Sunny and his band Red Baraat are gaining fans in Chicago and all over the United States. They will appear at three Chicago-area venues this week, including free concerts at Chicago's SummerDance in Grant Park and at the Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival. They will also perform in Madison and Milwaukee this week.

Red Baraat is the first and only dhol 'n' brass band in the United States, melding the infectious North Indian rhythm Bhangra with brass funk. Comprised of dhol (double-sided, barrel-shaped North Indian drum slung over one shoulder), percussion and horns, this 9-piece group is based in New York. They are known for their explosive stage performances and improvisations.

Touted as an Indian-American trailblazer in contemporary Indo-Jazz music, Sunny has released 5 CD's since 2002 that have received international acclaim. The most recent Taboo was released last month. The album is a set of new jazz works inspired by ghazals (ancient poetry) and addressing social justice issues such as sexual orientation, inequality, and violence against women.

Sunny draws inspiration from modern India and ancient classical forms. His Punjabi roots and appreciation for Bollywood classics are audible in his work. Allusions to Indian dance rhythms find resonance with ragtime, swing, and syncopated jazz.

Sunny Jain was selected as 2002 Jazz Ambassador by the U.S. Department of State and The Kennedy Center. He is the recipient of the Arts International Award (2003 and 2005), Chamber Music America New Works grant, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, and performed at the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize concert with the famed Sufi-rock group, Junoon.

Red Baraat recently recorded the credit roll theme song for the movie The Yes Men Fix the World, performed for the 2009 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York and released their debut album, Chaal Baby.

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Wednesday, July 14 at 8 pm: Martyrs Pub, 3855 N. Lincoln, Chicago; 773.404-9494; Tickets are $15.

Thursday, July 15 at 7:30 pm: Chicago's SummerDance Festival, Grant Park; Free admission.

Saturday, July 17 at 2 pm: Evanston Ethnic Arts Festival, Dawes Park, 847.448-8058; Free admission.

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