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“Kirtan is food for the spirit – a life raft of song.” – Jai Uttal
KIrtan leads toward a direct experience of the union that lies at the heart of yoga. This fall we’ll have four Friday evenings dedicated to singing together in praise.
Updates and artist profiles are always posted on our Facebook page
One of New England’s newest devotional music groups, Heart Centered Kirtan is an eclectic collection of Pioneer Valley, MA, folks dedicated to offering an accessible pathway into the mysteries of the heart. In their modern adaptation of this traditional practice, they weave Sanskrit hymns, prayers and inspirational texts from ancient India into their own original blend of rock, folk, blues, and reggae. In honor of Earth Day, the focus of this Friday’s kirtan will be personal and planetary healing including two new songs from the tradition of Thomas Ashley-Farrand (Namadeva Acharya): Om Sharavana Bhavaya Namaha (for healing misunderstandings in relationships) and Narasimha Ta Va Da So Hum (for destroying negative forces/for protection). Wallah Libby Volckening (harmonium/vox) with James Robinson (guitar/vox), Melissa Stevens (vox), Thomas Matherly (bass) and Amanda Turk (percussion). Come let the music relax your mind and soften your heart.
Matthew Andrews – May 18th
Matthew has been exploring kirtan since 2000, but only recently started leading. His first public kirtan was at YCA in January of this year, and it was a beautiful experience. Matthew’s music combined ancient sanskrit chants with original English lyrics, uses a call and response format for most songs, and weaves together his nearly 2 decades of serious commitment to a spiritual path with his profound love of India and Bhakti yoga. Matthew will be joined by Onatah Stoll (response vocals), Amanda Turk (drums), and Tom Mathearly (bass).
Benjy and Heather Wertheimer have been leading kirtan (sacred chanting) worldwide since 2001 as the duo Shantala. They are known for their special gift of bringing the audience into a vast and loving experience through their unique blend of exquisite voices with instruments of India and the West. Together they create music with beauty, passion, and reverence. Heather and Benjy have released five beautiful and well-loved albums of sacred chant music since 2003, including Living Waters, Jaya, LIVE in love, Sri, and The Love Window.
Shantala has performed and recorded internationally with such sacred music luminaries as Krishna Das, Deva Premal & Miten, and Jai Uttal. They were named as one of the top Kirtan “Wallahs to Watch” by Yoga + Joyful Living Magazine. Kirtan is a celebration of spirit through the chanting of sacred names, carrying the audience into a state of heightened awareness, bliss, and devotion. The audience is invited to participate fully through call-and-response chanting, dance, and meditation.