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Where’s the Bhav This Weekend? Jan. 26-30



What’s ahead: A weekend with KD at a former monastery; John de Kadt and friends nourish New England; Girish heads (a little) east , Larisa Stow heads (a little) south and David Newman heads (a lot) west.  Plus, an open-mic kirtan bhavs on near Boston.  And more… Here’s where you can find the bhav this weekend (Jan. 26-30, 2012).

Don’t forget to tell us where you’ll be chanting — and send in your events for upcoming editions of Where’s the Bhav?

Best of the Weekend Bhav

Krishna Das at New York’s Garrison Institute

KD workshops: time to go deep. (Photo by The Bhakti Beat)

Krishna Das makes our top picks the second week in a row because, well, he’s Krishna Das.  And because a weekend retreat with the chantmaster himself is a very special treat that doesn’t come around that often.  This weekend KD and friends will convene at the Garrison Institute, a former Franciscan monastery in a sleepy little Hudson Valley hamlet just up the train line from Manhattan.  The friars are gone now, but the old walls will be resonating with sacred sounds from Friday night to Sunday afternoon: kirtans both nights, afternoon “workshops” with KD, daily chanting of the Hanuman Chalisa, and morning asana class with Jeremy and Lily of the Brooklyn Yoga School.  The full weekend is still open, as are the public concerts, if you hurry.  Stay tuned to this space for full coverage.  And if you can’t make this one, there are a few more KD retreats coming up: at Sivananda Ashram in the Bahamas, Blue Spirit in Costa Rica, and in Orlando.  (Do you see a sun-oriented theme there?) See KD’s schedule for deets. 

John de Kadt & Paul Fran-zik Nourish New England — and Haiti

John de Kadt pairs his divinely inspired drum poetry with the conscious-folk music of singer/songwriter Paul Fran-zik to help feed children in Haiti — and you might say, hearts in New England.  The Nourish mini-tour kicks off outside Boston, at Bliss Life Yoga in Rehoboth, Mass., with a concert Friday night, then heads to Portland, Me. on Saturday (Bhava Yoga School) and Montpelier, Vt. on Sunday (Yoga Mountain Center) for afternoon workshops and evening concerts at each stop.  Proceeds benefit Fran-zik’s Feed Them With Music charity.

You know John de Kadt, right?  Drum Poetry, Rhythms of the Infinite — his CDs are amazing, and his live performances never fail to move.   And then there’s this little bombshell of a music video he dropped last fall, which never fails to blow me away:

Girish ReMixes It Up in Sedona & Vegas

Girish heads East (a little). Photo from www.kirtanlasvegas.com

Okay, Sedona is a natural for sacred music, right?  With all those energy vortices, soul gatherings, and its own Bhakti Tribe, it’s definitely a stop on the kirtan path of many touring chanters — and will be for Girish on Sunday night for a concert benefiting the local Desert Star School.  But Vegas?  The Sin City  may not exactly be synonomous with a kirtan hot-spot, but hold onto your kartals, because it’s getting there.  Thanks largely to the efforts of Shivani, a local chantress, Las Vegas kirtan thrives — it even has its own Web site.  Bhav on Vegas!  Girish is at Blue Sky Yoga on Monday night.  Don’t miss the latest album from Girish, “Remixed,” which takes nine of his most-loved songs and makes them even yummier with some dubstep, dance and reggae grooves.  Sublime!

Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe Road Trip + Durga Das in Cali

Larisa Stow at Bhakti Fest 2011 (Photo by The Bhakti Beat)

Our favorite Tribe of Long Beach, Calif.-based mantra rockers will be stirring it up at Yoga Soup in Santa Barbara Saturday night, then onto Ventura for a Sunday morning “service” at the Ventura Center for Spiritual Living that the Tribe says will be “a music-filled celebration of the Highest within ourselves!”  You can count on that — Larisa Stow & Shakti Tribe have a way of getting under your skin and going straight to the heart.  You’ve heard their latest CD, right?

In Santa Monica, Bhakti Yoga Shala junkies will not be disappointed this weekend, when David Newman aka Durga Das kicks off a mini-California tour there Saturday night, along with Mira and Philippo Franchini.  Then David heads north for gigs with Girish in San Francisco and Santa Cruz next weekend.

Open Mic Kirtan Is the Bhav Near Boston

Who needs “big-name” chanters anyway?  Community kirtan is where it’s at, and it’s happening coast to coast.  In West Concord, Mass., for example, they’re going on their 4th straight year of last-Saturday-of-the-month kirtans, according to John Calabria, who started the Boston Kirtan and Satsang group on Facebook to connect local kirtaniyas online. A tight group has built up around these “for the people, by the people” events — people have been known to brave Nor’easters to get to them!  If you’re anywhere near Boston, check out this grass-roots chant-along, where anyone who wants to leads the call, Saturday at Yoga and Nia for Life.

The Rest of the Weekend Bhav

Here’s a quick round-up of what else is going on this weekend in the kirtan world.

Deepak Ramapriyan at Bhakti Fest 2011 (by The Bhakti Beat)

West Coast

A triple play of bhakti love with Deepak Ramapriyan and the Breath of Life Tribe, the Temple Bhajan Band, and Bhakti Dance.  Saturday 1/28, 7 p.m. at Naam Yoga, Santa Monica.  Can you say bhaktified dance party?


  • Bhagavan Das kicks off a southern tour in Charleston, S.C. this weekend, with satsang Friday night, a Nada Yoga workshop Saturday afternoon and a kirtan concert Saturday night.  All at Jivamukti Yoga Charleston; details here.
  • Texas wallahs the Bhakti House Band are back in their home turf and leading kirtan in Fort Worth Friday and Dallas Saturday.  Never heard the Bhakti House Band?  Well listen up here.  We’re loving their vibe, and they have a new CD that’s oozing with bhakti love.
  • Community kirtan is alive and well in Columbia, Md., where Sacred Chants Kirtan has been gathering friends in the DC-Baltimore area to chant together for more than 10 years! At the Yoga Center of Columbia, Saturday 1/28, 7:30 p.m.
The Star House, Boulder, CO


  • While we’re talking about community kirtan, can we just say: Colorado kicks it.  The scene is thriving in Boulder, Denver and elsewhere.  Yoga Rocks the Butte, a kirtan & music fest in Crested Butte, is coming up Feb 10-12, bringing in Dave Stringer, Govindas, Steve Gold and more for a kirtan infusion.  This weekend, Coloradans can warm up those vocal cords at Star House Kirtan in Boulder, or with Tom Fuhrman, who’s hosting a house kirtan in Littleton on Saturday.


In Woodstock, N.Y., long-time kirtaniyas Ned & Lynn are celebrating the release of their first CD, Bhakti Treasure, with a CD-release party at MaMA’s in Stone Ridge, N.Y., Friday night at 7:30.

Devadas at the Burlington Yoga Conference, January 2011

In NYC (Brooklyn actually), Devadas is holding space at the Brooklyn Yoga School’s weekly Friday night kirtan, beginning at 8 p.m.  Pure devotional chanting from an Amma devotee.


Okay, your turn.  What did we miss?  Where are you chanting this week?

Please send events to bpatoine@aol.com, or post them to The Bhakti Beat’s Facebook page.  Or Tweet us!


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Where’s the Bhav This Weekend? Jan. 20-22


Bhakti Benefits Bonobos, Saturday in Santa Monica

KD’s in TX; Jai’s back from the beach in Brazil while David Newman hits the beach in Bermuda, and endangered bonobos in Africa will benefit from a bhakti bash in Santa Monica.

Best of the Weekend Bhav

First, the bonobos.  Southern Cali bhaktas will be going ape over the line-up at this benefit concert Saturday night in Santa Monica, the dreamchild of Wynne Paris, an East Coast kirtaniya who’s played with just about everybody and has recently released his own CD, Groovananda (a jazz-rock-gospel-kirtan fusion that is definitely worth the download).  On the ticket are JT Thomas (organist for the Bruce Hornsby Band), Meena Makhijani, Cooper Madison Ladnier, Krishna’s Kirtan (Jason & Pia Rotman), Shivani and friends from Las Vegas, and Govindas, co-owner of the Bhakti Yoga Shala where it’s all happening.  The event raises money for the D.C.-based Bonobo Conservation Initiative, which works to protect this rare primate species, said to be the closest evolutionary relative to homo sapiens (that’s us).  Jai Bonobo!

Krishna Das and Arjun Bruggeman setting up for live chanting on radio station KUT, Austin, TX. (Photo by Archit Dave for Krishna Das)


Krishna Das is deep in the heart of Texas with a sold-out show Friday night and a Saturday workshop (still open), both at the Central Presbyterian Church in Austin.  The chant master made a live appearance on an Austin radio station Friday morning, answering questions his Guru, his musical journey from rock and roll to kirtan, and how his latest CD, Heart as Wide as the World, “aimed for more of a rock-and-roll sound.”  He even sang a few chants — including the “fastest Sita Ram in three decades of chanting,” KD joked.

Jai Uttal has been basking in Brazil for the past few weeks, but he’s baaaaack!  No wonder his show Sunday night in Los Altos (South San Francisco Bay area) is sold out; California Jai junkies have been chomping at the bit.  Sunday’s show features long-time back-up singer Prajna Vieira and Ramesh Kannan on tablas/percussion.

Meanwhile, David Newman aka Durga Das is off to the beach — in Bermuda.  But with a Saturday workshop, Saturday night kirtan, and Sunday afternoon family kirtan (all at the Spirithouse in Devonshire), he, Mira and baby Tulsi will be bathing in bhakti along with that Caribbean-blue sea.

California Dreaming

Our personal favorite mantra-rock mover and shaker, Larisa Stow, is leading a mantra workshop Friday at the Sangha Center in Huntington Beach, a rare opportunity to get up close and personal with this edgy and adorable kirtan rocker with a heart of gold.  And save the dates for Larisa and Shakti Tribe in Santa Barbara Jan. 28 and Ventura on the 29th.

Big Apple Bhav

Cut to the East Coast.  The Bhakti Center (25 First Ave.) is holding its monthly 6-hour kirtan marathon on Saturday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m.  The schedule has just posted, and includes some of the best and brightest of New York’s chanters for a full-on Krishna love party.  Across the East River in bhaktified Brooklyn, Jeremy & Lily Frendel, the husband-and-wife team behind the Brooklyn Yoga School, will be leading the bhav on Friday night as part of the studio’s weekly kirtan series.  (Next week, Devadas holds the space.)  Here’s a taste of the Frendels’ bhakti:

And if you like the Chalisa, you’ll want to head over to Dharma East (297 3rd Ave. at 23rd St.) Friday night for 11 rounds of the 40-verse prayer to Hanuman, part of a series every third Friday. The grace starts flowing at 8:45 p.m.  Dharma East also hosts occasional kirtans on the first Friday of the month.

New England: Singing Bowls; Tapping Hammers

In Northampton, Mass., Dave Russell will be pairing up with a chorus of….singing bowls! for a two-part evening of sound-healing (kirtan then crystal bowls) to benefit the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts.  Dave will be joined in his set by Holly Hartmann (vocals), Charlie Braun (guitar & vocals) and Charlie Shew (percussion); Joa Agnello-Traista and Julian Traista will sing and “play” the crystal bowls.  The Food Bank supplies emergency food in four counties around Springfield; every donated dollar brings in $13 of food for the hungry.

Is it me, or is Maine becoming a little hotbed of bhakti love?  Still not many “big names” making the trek to the land of moose and mist, but community kirtan is alive and well.  Example #1:  Portland, a sweet little seacoast city where the bhav always seems to be flowing.  Stirring it up on Sunday are local wallahs Parks McKinney, David Yearwood and Todd Glacy — aka Kirtonium — at Dragonfly studio on St. John Street.  (Which just so happens to be around the corner from my new favorite Victorian B&B for under 50 bucks a night, the Inn at St. John.)

Straight up into moose country, in Lovell, Me., local charities benefit from the bhav at Full Heart Community Kirtan on Saturday at the Blue Pearl Yoga Studio, which, its website says is “above the Lovell Hardware Store”).  Love that!  Can’t you just envision the hammers and nails on the shelves below tapping and pounding in sync with the rhythm?

DC & South:  Nada Yoga Master; Wah Rocks On

Bhagavan Das, looking ethereal in his Nada Yoga Workshop in Portland, Me.

Bhagavan Das is in Baltimore (okay, Towson) Saturday for kirtan at Lifeline Power Yoga, the start of a southeastern tour that takes the Nada Yoga master to the Carolinas, Georgia and Florida in the coming weeks.  Full schedule here.  If you get a chance to do a workshop with him, take it.  I did one recently at the Bhava Yoga School in the aforementioned hotbed of bhakti, Portland, and it was sublime.  BD’s partner, Kali, lives up to her name.  That’s all I’m going to say.

Down in Georgia, Bhakti Messenger, the Atlanta-area kirtaniyas who are putting together Chantlanta, a sacred music fest slated for March 9-11, are warming up the bhav over the next several weeks, including a workshop and kirtan Saturday.  Remember this band; they’ve just been invited to Bhakti Fest and are doing great things to spread the bhav in the Southeast; check out their music here.

And last, but never, ever least, Wah! continues to make her way through the Sunshine State with a concert in Naples Friday before heading to Miami Beach Saturday for an acoustic show (presented by Synergy Yoga), then on to West Palm Beach for a Sound Workshop Sunday afternoon.  After that, back to Cali for Wah!, who just announced a forthcoming CD that’s been two and a half years in the making. Stay tuned for more details.

And there’s more…oh so much more. Where will you be getting your chant on this weekend?

Want your event listed here? email bpatoine@aol.com or post to The Bhakti Beat facebook page.  Or, Tweet us!



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Where’s the Bhav this Weekend? Jan. 13-15


Here are our top picks for where to find the bhav this second weekend of the year.  Don’t forget to send us your events for upcoming stories!

Florida Rocks the Bhakti

Wah! brings her devotional kirtan to Florida

Sarasota, Fla. is Ground Zero for the bhav this weekend, with a brand new 3-day kirtan fest featuring Wah! and Shantala (aka Benjy and Heather Wertheimer), plus a slew of local kirtaniyas who will keep the chants flowing all weekend long.   Rock the Bhakti Festival starts this afternoon with a Path of Kirtan workshop with Shantala, who will also lead kirtan Friday night.  Saturday the fun is home-grown, with workshops and kirtan all afternoon, culminating in an evening chant-along with local group Palms Together, led by Cheryl & Tim Chaffee and friends.  Wah! rolls into town Sunday for a very special channel-opening afternoon yoga class before hitting the concert stage Sunday night to close out a bhakti-rockin’ weekend.  It’s all happening at Cheryl Chaffee’s Garden of the Heart Yoga Center; check the Facebook event page for the full line-up.  It’s going to be a good weekend in Sarasota.

After the Sarasota bash, Shantala heads on to Orlando for a concert at Shine On Yoga, and Wah! continues her Florida tour (she’s in Lake Mary Friday and Tampa Saturday, then off to Naples and Miami next week.)

And since we’re in Florida…Mirabai Ceiba has three concerts this weekend in Altemonte Springs and Miami.  If you have not heard this husband-and-wife dream team of Markus Sieber and Angelika Baumbach, you are missing two of the most angelic voices in sacred chant.  Their kirtan is in the kundalini tradition — soft, prayerful and incredibly beautiful — and deeply influenced by her Latin roots.  One of my all-time favorite songs is their version of a Rumi poem set to music; check it out:

Rocking Krishna & Kali

The big weekend news for the West Coast comes from the chantmaster himself, Krishna Das, who is headlining the Yoga Journal conference in San Francisco Friday night before he heads to Texas for events in Dallas, Houston and Austin.

In Brentwood, Calif., Bhakti Rasa Kirtan will be rockin’ the house at the Brentwood Yoga CenterBhakti Rasa is comprised of a group of Northern California yogi-musicians who decided to start chanting together in 2009 and haven’t stopped yet.  At Bhakti Yoga Shala in Santa Monica, SoCal kirtan rockers Krishna’s Kirtan will be burning down the house with their brand of high-energy ecstatic devotional chanting.

Kali Kirtan in Colorado

Kali will be the main object of a devotional puja (sacred ceremony) by Aditi Devi and kirtan led by Vamadeva Jaya in Boulder, Colo. Saturday night.  I’m in love with this poster they’ve created for the event!

Big Apple Bhav

Back East in the Big Apple, the Integral Yoga Institute will host Saturday night kirtan with Sat Darshan Singh and the Kirtan Caravan, who brings chanting in the kundalini tradition to one of the NY’s hottest spots for sacred chant.  At Jivamukti’s flagship studio on Broadway, Manorama will be leading a mantra workhop where she will explain the meanings of various mantras and lead participants in chanting.  This will be a great “intro to mantras” for any who are interested in learning more about these ancient sounds and syllables.

In Woodstock, NY, one not to miss:  a Divine Listening workshop with Ishwari of SRI Kirtan — one of my most favorite rockin’ bhakti bands.  I’m not sure what this workshop is going to entail, to be honest, but I do know that any time spent listening to Ishwari is divine indeed.

David Newman (aka Durga Das) is leading a two-day workshop intensive called “Kirtan and the Bhakti Mandala: Healing through Chant” at Yoga on Main, the studio he founded in Manayunk, Penn.  He also has a concert Saturday night at Dig Yoga in Lambertville, NJ before he heads to Bermuda, then on to his California tour in late January and February.

Boston & Beyond

Last but not least, Beantown and environs will get their bhav on this Friday night with Gurunam Singh Khalsa, who will lead chants in the kundalini tradition at Kundalini Yoga Boston.  And Satya Franche and Ma Kirtan will be in the area for a an evening of chanting and drummin  at the Solstice Healing Arts Center in Medway, Mass.on Friday night, and a house kirtan and vegan potluck in Harvard on Saturday hosted by local bhakta Diana May Schilke.

Okay, now it’s your turn:  where will you be chanting this weekend?

Got an event you want listed? Contact me at bpatoine@aol.com or post it to The Bhakti Beat’s facebook page. Hari Bol!



Where’s the Bhav This Weekend?



Did you chant in the New Year with any of the bhavalicious celebrations out there over New Year’s weekend? Many did.  And the 2012 bhav keeps flowing strongly with a slew of kirtan events across the country.

Here are some highlights of what’s happening in kirtan corners of the country this weekend, starting with my personal favorite:

Deva Night in NH

Friday Night in Concord NH, two of my favorite kirtan devi, Irene Solea and Joni Allen, are reuniting for a one-night stand at the At Om Yoga center along with Irene’s band (Danny Solomon on bass/keys; Ezra Landis on guitar, and Derik Newton on drums/percussion.  We fell in love with Irene Solea’s music — and the Solea-Allen duo — at the Boston Yoga and Chant Fest last summer.  Watch this Saraswati chant by them and you’ll see why.

NYC: 3 Rising Stars, 2 ‘Old’ Faves & a Dancing Violinist

Three rising NYC kirtan artists, Devadas, Nina Rao and Anjula Prasad, will lead kirtan at the Broome Street Temple in Brooklyn, starting at 7 Friday night.  (And on Saturday, Devadas heads north to Burlington, Vt (woot!) for a special kirtan at the winter Burlington Yoga Conference, at UVM’s Davis Center.)

Also Friday, at The Bhakti Center in the East Village (25 1st Ave, between 1st and 2nd streets, NYC), Jahnavi Harrison and Akincana Krishna lear 2 hours of kirtan. Free admission; donations will be accepted to support The Bhakti Center’s programs, which you can learn more about in their current newsletter.

On Saturday, Woodstock, NY-based bhakti rockers SRI Kirtan (Sruti Ram & Ishwari) hit the Big Apple at Bija Yoga NYC (Union Square), with Sri Kala on mrdanga.  They’ve got a 3-hour slot, and you can be sure the joint will be rockin.  Bija  Kids in  Brooklyn location, meanwhile, is hosting Nina Rao and friends — and kids — for a special children’s chanting session to close out a day-long kid-friendly Open House.

And as if that’s not enough bhav flowing in Manhattan, New Orleans kirtan funksters Sean Johnson & the Wild Lotus Band will be bringing their signature blend of known mantras, rock, funk, and world grooves to the Laughing Lotus Yoga Center on 19th Street, Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Boston: Kitchari with Your Kirtan?

In Boston, (okay, make that Cambridge), Tom Lena has some special guests joining his Kitchari Kirtan party Jan. 6:  the Shiva Lila Band from the Hridaya Hermitage in the  mountains of Maine.  We have yet to chant with Shiva Lila, but we’ve seen some videos (like this one from Shunyam) and have heard nothing but great things about their high-energy,  bhakti exuberance.  The event is a fundraiser and awareness-booster for the Hermitage, a yoga and healing retreat.

Across town at South Boston Yoga, Donna De Lory will be singing for extended savasana for a 4 p.m. class, then chanting the night away with kirtan at 7.

Santa Fe: Yoga for Schools Benefit

Geoffrey Gordon is in Santa Fe for a kirtan fundraiser for Yoga for Schools at the Santa Fe Community Yoga Center on Saturday, where he will be joined by local musicians for chanting and satsang.  Kids are welcome.  We first saw Geoffrey perform at Bhakti Fest last fall, where we fell in love with his genre-bending brand of “cross-cultural kirtan.” Here’s a video of him playing in Santa Fe last February.

Shakti in the South

There’s a reason kirtan artists choose January to tour the South.  It’s called the sun.  Shantala, the husband-and-wife duo of Benjy and Heather Wertheimer, is shining in South Carolina with stops in Charleston, Columbia and Asheville this weekend.  It’s the kick-off to to the Southeast tour of this endlessly touring couple, who will be headlining the Rock the Bhakti Kirtan Fest Jan 13-15 in Sarasota, Fla.

Wah! will be at the Sarasota festival as well, and is chanting her way across Florida to get there.  This weekend she kicks it off with yoga and a concert at Discovery Yoga in St. Augustine.  Doing yoga with Wah! is an exercise in opening every channel of your body/mind/spirit — including some you may not have known you had — into which she will then pour forth liquid nectar in the form of divine mantras to fill you with pure love until you overflow.  No exaggeration.  I’m talkin’ Bucket List item here.

Garden Party with Girish; Never-Ending New Year at the Shala

Kristin Olson’s Urban Yoga in Palm Springs will host Girish for a special “season-opening” party and pre-Bhakti Fest bash Jan. 7  (yes, Bhakti Fest is still 9 months away, but…any excuse for a “pre-Bhakti Fest” bash, right?).   And, the New Year’s Bash continues at the Shala.  Santa Monica’s Bhakti Yoga Shala, the West Coast temple to kirtan love, threw an epic New Year’s Eve party last weekend, followed by 108 Sun Salutations on New Year’s Day, and there are no signs of the bhav slowing anytime soon.  This Friday, Andres Salcedo and the Bhakti Experience take center stage for “New Year’s Kirtan” and an “intoxicating night of healing vibrations.”


Soooo, where’s the bhav in your neck of the woods?  Tell us where you’ll be chanting this weekend, and send your future events to bpatoine@aol.com to be considered for upcoming “Where’s the Bhav” articles.

Bhav on.


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