Live Concert Photography: Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East at Mercury Lounge 1/9/20
Founded in 2005 Winter Jazzfest was founded to celebrate jazz as a vital, living entity — one that honors and reveres its past while embracing innovation and creativity. But at its heart, the festival is centered around several fundamental question for those who love and know jazz: “What exactly is jazz? What can jazz be — and sound like?”
Initially started as a single-night, one-stage showcase, the festival has expanded exponentially while becoming a hotbed of exciting new sonic and aesthetic developments within the jazz world: by 2017. the critically applauded festival spanned 14 stages in venues across Downtown Manhattan, Brooklyn and elsewhere, featuring over 700 artists and 150 groups from all over the world.
Winter Jazzfest has become a home for exciting and forward-thinking contemporary jazz being created and played right now, and as result it manages to attract a deeply engaged, discerning audience that includes a diverse range of fans, critics, journalists and tastemakers from across North American and over 20 countries quickly becoming a key destination for those looking for new talent and new sounds.
Although 2020 has finally come to a close, there’s something that most of us can agree on: last year was a real fucking asshole. The pandemic and my mom’s health threw both career plans and coverage plans out of the window for a variety of reasons. Originally, I was going to write an extensive review of Winter Jazzfest — but 2020; however, I took some great photos that I’ll be sharing throughout the early part of this year.
My second night of coverage was pretty busy. I started my night with at a stop at Mercury Lounge to catch JOVM mainstay, bandleader and percussion Sunny Jain and his newest Western jazz meets Eastern music project Sunny Jain’s Wild Wild East. Interestingly, the project draws from the immigrant experiences of the South Asian Diaspora and his own parents in a gorgeous and thoughtful fashion. Check out photos below.