Kirtan / Music
2014 Kirtan Musical line-up
Watch: Jai Uttal Official Channel
Jai Uttal, a sacred music composer, recording artist, multi-instrumentalist, and ecstatic vocalist, combines influences from India with influences from American rock and jazz, creating a stimulating and exotic multi-cultural fusion that is truly world spirit music. Having traveled extensively in India, where he met many beautiful saints and singers, Bhakti yoga became his personal path. Jai has been leading kirtans around the world for more than 30 years, creating a safe environment for people to open their hearts and voices. His new album “Kirtan Kids” was recently released by Sounds True. www.JaiUttal.com
DONNA DE LORY
Singer and songwriter Donna De Lory has always followed divergent musical roads. The petite, vivacious brunette with the mighty voice happily dallied in the mainstream as Madonna’s sassy tour sidekick for over a decade, but her own parallel journey as a solo artist follows a more eclectic muse. A devoted student of yoga and spiritual teachings, De Lory’s lushly conceived solo albums are not only inspired by Western pop, but Indian devotional music, Sanskrit mantras, Northern African grooves, psychedelic arrangements, and dance beats. Donna unique, world music-meets-kirtan style has been called “the perfect combination of earth Mama and fairy child, with a voice that oscillates between the passionate laments of Janis Joplin and the crystal clarity of Enya.” http://www.donnadelory.com/ facebook
For a good time, sit next to the beat-happy, Krishna-crazed love machine known as MC Yogi (AKA Nick Giacomini) as he works his creative magic up in his Northern California studio, Photoshopping all kinds of dazzling personal India travel photos into wild collage art that will serve as backdrop for his “cosmic, electrifying” new shows with one hand, while simultaneously blasting tracks from his latest record, Pilgrimage, with the other.
Do this while Yogi casually spins the hip-hop, zig-zag, indie-flick story of his life to date. Do all this and be charmed, amazed and hooked.
The influences on Pilgrimage are all over the musical map. World beat, hip-hop, Bollywood, reggae, dancehall, house, dub. The late DJ Solomon, who suffered a freak accident in early 2012 while Yogi was in India, appears on this record, his final project. Karsh Kale shows up on Shedding Skin, a track that serves as homage to one of Yogi’s foremost teachers, the late Larry Schulz. Death and rebirth, you might say, are prominent themes. Then there are the world-renowned Indian musicians, from celebrated sitarist Deobrat Mishra to vocalist Mahesh Vinayakram (son of Grammy-winning Indian percussionist Vikku Vinayakram), all giving the record a rich, multi-instrumental feel like few others in hip-hop. mcyogi.com/
Dave Stringer has been widely profiled in publications all over the world as one of the most innovative artists of the new Kirtan movement. Stringer’s sound marries the transcendent mysticism of traditional Indian instruments with the exuberant, groove-oriented sensibility of American gospel. Initially trained as a visual artist, filmmaker and jazz musician, Stringer’s work underwent a significant shift when video editing work brought him to an ashram in Ganeshpuri, India in 1990. His work intends to create a modern and participatory theatrical experience out of the ancient traditions of kirtan and yoga, open to a multiplicity of interpretations, and accessible to all.
C.C. White’s distinct Soul Kirtan performances have won her wide recognition as “The Soul Queen, Mahalia Jackson, and Lioness of Kirtan” embodied in one exotic, soulful being. Her unique, soul-flavored chant performances effortlessly enrapture audiences, lifting their vibrations sky high with powerful, soaring call-and-response vocals and masterful musicianship. She’s been invited to sing for Amma 2 years in a row, and her CD’s being played on the popular independent radio station KCRW. C.C. has also just finished recording George Harrison’s song “My Sweet Lord” with Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders, as a beautiful, vibrant duet, produced by James Hood.
C.C. new CD “This IS Soul Kirtan!”, debuted at #11 on the “World iTunes Chart”, and features a thrilling mixture of Kirtan, Old School Soul, Southern Blues, Gospel, R&B, and Jazz. The CD continues to receive rave reviews in national publications (such as Origin Mag and Yoga Journal), and has sold out at every festival she’s played at on the East and West Coasts. It’s available on iTunes and www.SoulKirtan.com.
Watch: Lila (life of yoga)
Govindas and Radha are California-based kirtan singers, and as their spiritual names suggest -”servants of the divine”. They are the directors/owners of Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica CA. They are a husband and wife team and their commitment to love, service, and devotion is the essence which is reflected and transmitted through their music. Through repetitously chanting the names of God/Goddess from ancient India, Govindas and Radha will guide you on a musical meditation and yogic ritual deep into the essence of Bhakti—the yoga of the Heart, the yoga of Love and Devotion. Their music is best described as a “trance inducing mandala where voices open, hearts expand, and meditation, devotion, prayer and music merge together as One.” They lead evenings of kirtan, bhakti yoga workshops, and transformative retreats throughout the world. http://bhaktiyogashala.com/ or Facebook
SEAN JOHNSON & THE WILD LOTUS BAND
New Orleans mantra musicians Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band (Alvin Young and Gwendolyn Colman) are celebrated as one of the leading voices in western kirtan music, known for their dynamic sound that merges mantras, rock, funk, and world grooves. The band is a favorite headliner at festivals and conferences worldwide and they are the first kirtan band to ever play The New Orleans Jazz Festival. Their music has appeared on Nettwerk/Nutone Records, White Swan Records, Sounds True, and Putumayo World Music. The band tours the U.S. and abroad playing music festivals, yoga studios, retreat centers, concert halls, and celebrations year-round.
DEEPAK & THE BREATH OF LIFE TRIBE
Deepak and the Breath of Life Tribe are a world sacred music ensemble based in Los Angeles that was started in March of 2010. Their style is an eclectic blend of traditional East-Indian music and World Beats infused with an array of modern Western genres ranging from Rock, Pop, Funk, Blues, Jazz, and even Hip-Hop.
The Tribe is led by Deepak Ramapriyan who has played with many major artists and yoga teachers in the world including India.Arie, Jason Mraz, Jai Uttal, Dave Stringer, Donna Delory, Saul David Raye, Micheline Berry, Shyam Das etc… as well as being one of the lead kirtan artists that plays for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar when he is doing his discourses around the planet. http://www.breathoflifetribe.com
SCOTT AND SHANTI
Scott and Shanti Medina are a dynamic husband/wife duo combining the bhakti of devotional chanting with the deep captivation of mantra offering an ecstatic journey through the rhythms and potency of sacred sound. Scott’s classical guitar training and heartfelt spirit inspired him to begin sharing devotional chanting after being on staff at Omega Institute Rhinebeck, NY where he began his training in the art of kirtan over 20 years ago. Shanti began sharing her love of chanting over 10 years ago when she received her Yoga and Pranic Healing certifications. Their chants are universally accessible and easy to follow creating an atmosphere of ecstatic devotional connection and sweet bhakti bliss. Together they co-create inspiring community gatherings across the Front Range and beyond. Their home studio, Prajna, in Boulder, CO hosts a variety of events, teacher trainings, classes and retreats with mentors from across the globe. www.EnergizeShanti.com or find them on Facebook.
The Pushpams (sanskrit for flowers) are a fresh Boulder based band bloomin’ and groovin’ with shakti infused yoga and chant music. Formed just over a year ago by Mira Gale, Kalika Fortin, and Kumara Etzel, (all former members of Shiva’s Garden), their performances are an innovative fusion of beautifully arranged sanskrit chants and folksy original songs. Their music speaks to and from the heart and draws listeners in. Though the band is new, the members are seasoned yogis and veteran musicians who bring depth both spiritually and musically to their collaboration, which to them is nothing but a flowering of and offering to Spirit. Each of them lived for many years at Shoshoni Yoga Retreat, immersed in the daily practices of seva (service), yoga, meditation, and chanting. Pushpams is a Sanskrit word which refers to a ceremonial offering of flowers. The Pushpams perform regularly in the Boulder Denver area and are currently working on their first CD. http://www.thepushpams.com
After discovering the trance-ambient and ethnic-trance sounds of the early 90’s, Solomoon took up the art of DJing in ’94 and has traveled around the globe exploring the resurgence of the archaic trance-dance ritual. As a label DJ for both Ultimae Records (France) and Ovnimoon Records (Chile/USA), he has played a spectrum of inspiring gatherings around the US as well international festivals in places such as Italy, Greece, India, and South Africa. As a full-time yoga instructor, DJ, and producer, his trance and downtempo DJ sets seek to combine intelligent melodies, tribal rhythms, organic textures, and ethnic emotions in an attempt to transcend genres and cultures by consciously exploring the evolution of spirituality through technology. Solo(Moon
DJ TAZ RASHID
Taz Rashid (DJ TAZ) brings a high vibrational energy to any room instantly by mixing the beats and rhythms of Love, Ancient New World, House, Kirtan, Devotional, and all the cosmic sounds. His vision is to be a channel to cause the expansion of all those around by tapping into the creative wisdom of the body and allowing them to feel, let go and awaken.
He has been producing and part of creating conscious events in the midwest over the last few years and as a musician, he plays guitar, keyboard, Native American Flute, didgeridoo and hand percussion. He takes these instruments and connects to the Divine and what comes through has the ability to move his crowd to connect to their Divine higher selves. Recently he has been performing and DJing at events such as Bhakti Fest, Serendipity Festival, Denver Chant Fest, Lightworkers Midwest Conference, Greenheart Transforms, Bodhi Spiritual Center and many more conscious gatherings. In Chicago, he and his team produce Club Divine a monthly spiritual dance party with high vibrational DJs, healers, body workers, artists and amazing musicians. Dj Taz Rashid