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Kirtan Lila with Jai & Shyam at Omega’s Finale

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The Bhakti Beat @ Omega Chant: The closing sessions at Omega’s chant weekends are the ones you can’t wait for, because something unexpected never fails to materialize when you get a dozen or two kirtan wallahs on stage together…

Witness the playful interaction between Shyam Das and Jai Uttal (with son Ezra Gopal on and off his lap) during the final all-wallah wallop Sunday at Omego Spring Chant:

Jai is just having a blast playing with Ezra, who at one point is painting something white onto Jai’s nose while he’s trying to lead the chant. Shyam Das, who’s sharing a mike with Jai center stage, keeps whacking Jai on the shoulder to get his attention back to the chant when it’s Jai’s turn to sing. All the while the chant rolls on…

Musically, these two bhakti brothers show a hint of their distinctive styles here, with Shyam chanting Radhe Govinda in his soulful yearning way and Jai, almost impetuously, responding with a joyous Hari Bol! Hari Bol! Hari Bol! They go back and forth with this, the musicians behind them in sync, the crowd before them on their feet, dancing and singing back, becoming part of the interplay… It’s pure spontaneous kirtan lila, like a bunch of old buddies having a blast making divine music surrounded by their friends.

And that was just the beginning of the rollicking ride that closed out day 3…

Shot May 8, 2011.

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Daniel Paul on…Harmonica???

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The Bhakti Beat @ Omega Spring Chant: If you thought Daniel Paul was “just” a tabla player, watch this. Here he lets it rip on an instrument of another stripe during Jai Uttal’s set at Omega Spring Chant weekend, for this sweet Jai Ma in honor of Mother’s Day.


Shot May 8, 2011.

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