Ode to C.C. White

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Ode to C.C. WhiteI vowed to myself that, this year, I’d write something different. But I sat in the Soul Kirtan with C.C. White and these words flowed. If you’ve been in the presence of CC, I know you understand.

Dakini introduced C.C White as a “goddess woman,” and C.C. calls herself the “Spiritual James Brown.” She is as vibrant as the signature red she wears. When she performed at last year’s first annual Denver Chant Fest, her father had passed away just four days before. She came to perform, to be lifted up. This year, she honored this “sweet anniversary.”

C.C.’s deep sultry voice invokes the sensuality of the practice, the God as lover that Rumi wrote about. “It’s about love, it’s about peace . . .” she sings. She pulls the audience in close, holding them in the warm embrace of her voice. They dance and sway.

The ballroom is a cocoon bathed in soft blue light and love. Dakini joins C.C White and the band on stage. The music and the dance, all a slow groove to God. Hands raised overhead as the energy rises.

C.C. roots are deep in music made to stir the soul: old school funk, R & B, blues and gospel. “A spiritual barbeque,” she calls it. The room on their feet, my seat vibrating with the movement, the chant embodied in the dance.  

The vibration is so powerful, I feel like I can reach out and touch God in this celebration. C.C. shares new chants, including “so many ways to chant the names of the Divine.” The Classic Southern Rock feel, heavy on the guitar, is like an old favorite song you turn up on the car radio, with the windows rolled down as you drive down the open road, not caring who hears. “Hallelujah!” she sings. “Wahe Guru. Hare Krishna. Thank you.”

We chant with her, to the mothers and “the mother in us all.” “Chant to your mother, chant to your daughter, chant to your sister,” she tells us.

The power in her voice comes straight from her heart. It’s easy to see the beloved in everyone when in the presence of C.C. Waves of the collective voice in the silence chant “Jai Ma” as C.C. sits on the stage steps to listen. The energy extends well beyond the walls to those for whom our love spills out.

C.C. promises to be back next year. In the meantime, she’ll be available for pictures and signing CDs in the vendor village today at 3 pm.