Folkways@Folklife: Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East and REBOLU
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This concert further proves that America’s sonic landscape has never been more vibrant and diverse. Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East encompasses myriad facets of his 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. 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. His band includes vocalist Ben Parag, saxophonist Alison Shearer, guitarist Ryan Dugre, bassist Almog Sharvit, and percussionist Daniela Serna.
Leaders in the New Colombian Music movement of New York City, their adopted home, REBOLU performs vibrant, salsa-inspired music rooted in the diverse Afrocentric rhythms of Colombia’s Caribbean coast. Founded in 2004 by composer Ronald Polo and tambor alegre master Moris Cañate, their debut album on Smithsonian Folkways, Mi Herencia (My Heritage), also features percussionist Erica “Kika” Parra and lead singer Johanna Castañeda. This top-drawer band brings a battery of percussion, commanding gaita flute melodies, and make-you-move vocal stylings into the spotlight as they exuberantly reinvigorate generations-old traditions.
The inaugural season of Folkways@Folklife is dedicated to our dear friend, audio engineer, and sound production supervisor Pete Reiniger (1949–2022).