May 24, 2022

Prof. Sundar Viswanathan’s Avataar wins 2022 Juno Award

Music Professor Sundar Viswanathan’s world jazz group Avataar took home the 2022 Juno for Jazz Album of the Year – Group with their latest album WORLDVIEW at the 2022 Juno Opening Night Ceremony.

Conceived and created during the pandemic lockdown, WORLDVIEW is a reflective look on honesty, compassion and world leadership in times of crisis. The songs are a ‘gut reaction’ to the treatment of the ‘world’s most vulnerable’, children, through the lens of nostalgia, memory,  and homesickness. Collectively the pieces comment on the fragility of children faced with a world of uncertainty and confusion created by adults.

Viswanathan leads the sextet on the saxophone with features from vocalist Felicity Williams, guitarist Michael Occhipinti, bassist Justin Gray, tabla player Ravi Naimpally, and drummer Max Senitt. The record also has contributions from Aaron Lightstone on oud and Todd Pentney on keys.

The group finds inspiration from India, Africa, and Brazil’s deep musical traditions while remaining rooted in the framework of modern jazz. Avataar’s signature driving grooves intersect with cinematic atmospheres and soaring melodies in an innovative marriage of ancient and contemporary, creating a fresh sonic experience.

Watch Avataar receive their Juno here.