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Red Baraat at the Max -- Three things to know
Keeping tabs on Sunny Jain is no easy task.
The master percussionist from Rochester, N.Y., has been a moving target for most of his career, with his own ensembles Red Baraat and Junoon and in collaboration with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Kenny Barron, Norah Jones, Grupo Fantasma and many others. He's a first-call for anyone needing exotic instrumental flavors and inventive ideas.
Jain, 41, is still feeding his relentless creative drive, delving into what he calls "sensory percussion" as well as gearing up for a new Red Baraat recording project. We caught up with him by phone in his Brooklyn studio -- not surprisingly, playing with some new technology...
Founded in 2008 to play Indian Banghra music, Red Baraat remains Jain's primary endeavor, with only subtle changes during the past eight years. "I don't know that it's changed a ton in the sense that I've always wanted to keep it an open avenue for ideas and thoughts to come through from other band members and not be tethered to the past," he explains. "We're not tethered to a sound or an article or a phrase that people use to describe us. It's about making sure that we're pushing and challenging ourselves as musicians, on stage and off stage, whether it's writing music or just developing the show more. It's an organism that's living and breathing and changing all the time."
Red Baraat's last album, "Shruggy Jr.," came out in 2013, though a five-track EP came out earlier this year that Jain says "most accurately represents what the band sounds like nowadays. We are gearing up to record new material in 2017; I'm in the process of writing a hunch of new stuff, so hopefully we'll get in and record it soon."
One of the EP tracks was remixed by former Police drummer Stewart Copeland, a friend and personal hero of Jain's -- which made the collaboration particularly thrilling. "He's always been a favorite drummer of mine, just growing up," Jain says. "We we in a care one day driving back from a gig with (Red Baraat's) drummer, listening to 'Ghosts In The Machine' and talking about Stewart. I started wondering what he's up to nowadays and I found out an old friend of mine is managing him. So I called and said, 'Hey man, any way Stewart might be interested in doing something wtih Red Baraat?' We started sending tracks back and forth to each other -- he was in L.A. at the time -- and we banged something out in about two, three months that was awesome. He hasn't seen the band live just yet, but he's always cool with getting back to me and staying in touch. It was just neat and cool having him do that (track)."
7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 12.
Mix @ the Max at the Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center, 3711 Woodward AVe., Detroit.
Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.
Call 313-576-5111 or visit dso.org.
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