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Where’s the Bhav This Weekend? February 3-5


What’s Ahead: Jai Uttal gets silly with kids kirtan; David Newman pairs up with Girish; the vibe gets high in NYC, and Dave Russell goes head to head with Tom Brady in Northampton, Mass.  Community kirtans shine everywhere.

Best of the Weekend Bhav

Stillness and Silliness with Jai Uttal

We’re loving this trend of kids’ kirtans , and JAI UTTAL, with his effervescent playfulness and not-gonna’-grow-up nature, strikes us as the perfect artist to run with it.  This Sunday, 2/5 (1-3 p.m.) at the Open Secret Bookstore in San Rafael, Calif., Jai Uttal is having a birth bash — an official CD release party that is — for his Kirtan Kids CD.  Have you heard this?  Kids or not, you can’t help but sing along with the child-friendly chants and listen raptly to Jai’s retelling of classic stories about Krishna, Ganesha and Hanuman.  Joining Jai for the jam will be BEN LEINBACH, who co-produced the kids CD, and PRAJNA VIEIRA, Jai’s long-time vocal accompaniment.  All parents are asked to remain in their cars.  Or maybe that was a joke…

Before he gets silly with the little ones, you might another side of Jai at a chanting and meditation workshop with Deborah Chamberlin-Taylor called Entering the Still and Boundless Heart.  Saturday, 2/4 in Woodacre, Calif.  We’ve never seen Jai Uttal sit still for long, but his boundless heart is always on display.  Sorry kids, this one’s for grown-ups.

Shakti Flows North: David, Mira, Girish & Philippo Franchini

Apparently Northern California is the place to be this weekend. (Now where’s that transporter when I need it?)  DAVID NEWMAN and MIRA are teaming up with PHILIPPO FRANCHINI and GIRISH for two dates: Friday, 2/3 in San Francisco at St. Cyprian’s Church, and Saturday, 2/4 for the Shakti Music Fest in Santa Cruz, to raise funds for Santa Cruz schools.  They were all together at Bhakti Fest last fall (above), and it was sublime.  Beam me there, Scotty.

High Vibe Dance Party Bliss-Out in NYC

This is the latest in an ongoing series of music-dance-chant events put together by a tribe of conscious hipsters in New York, and they seem to just keep getting better.  The line-up for this shakti-shaking gathering of the tribe includes LOTS of pump-up-the-vibe music — live and spun — plus drumming, sacred songs, and, oh yeah, kirtan, with SRIKALOGY, JESSE JOHNSON, ALOKANANDA and more.  Do you know about SriKalogy?  SriKala Kerel Roach is a singer/musician/turntablist who is fusing traditional Sanskrit chants with hip-hop riffs and dubstep beats to take chanting in a whole new direction.  A new CD, “Kirtan Sessions: Vol. 1” will release this month, and you can get a teaser track for free right now.  (You’ll want to.) For a taste of what can be expected this weekend, check this:

 Superbowl Kirtan?  Yeah!

We love this so much we couldn’t possibly NOT highlight it:  DAVE RUSSELL, the Massachusetts-based bhakta who’s been spreading his kirtan love all around the Northeast for like 40 years, isn’t going to stop for some silly football game.  Oh wait, it’s the Patriots vs. the Giants… Never mind, the chanting at this gathering in Northampton Sunday, 2/5 will be directed at a divine force even greater than Tom Brady.  It’s Dave’s fifth annual Superbowl Kirtan, and it’s happening at Yoga Sanctuary, 150 Main St., Northampton, Mass., at 7 p.m.

The Rest of the Weekend Bhav

New England Leads

Back to Northampton, Mass. Who knew it was a hotbed of bhakti?  Well, Dave Russell does, apparently (he’s competing with Tom Brady on Super Bowl Sunday in Massachusetts after all).  So does ADAM BAUER.  The ubiquitous bass player to so many wallahs will be singing in his home ‘hood at a kirtan and Bombay Beats electro dance party Saturday, 2/4.  Set the vibe high with Adam’s call-and-response, then let it flow into ecstatic dance with DJ’s Ravinhead & Brando spinning Indian and Middle Eastern electro-grooves.

In Cambridge, TOM LENA’s Kitchari Kirtan is back this Friday, 2/3, offering “homemade kitchari (a vegetarian rice and beans dish from India), chai tea, and chanting by the fire.”

In Boston, a ‎6-Hour Kirtan at ISKCON Boston (72 Commonwealth Ave.) on Sunday 2/5 will celebrate the appearance of Lord Nityananda, a Vaishnava saint and disciple of bhakti pioneer Chaitanya Mahaprabhu.  RAMA RAYA DASA from Vrindavan, India and several others will be leading chants.  Kirtan from 11 a.m.-5 p.m., followed by special Sunday Feast (free).

In Ayer, Mass., NE of Boston, you can lead the chants at Open Mic Kirtan Songs of Peace at the Wholesome Cafe & Bookstore, where the bhav will be flowing in the back room and the kitchen will be open for snacks.

In Ridgefield, Conn., SATYA FRANCHE & MA KIRTAN will lead their monthly kirtan at Touch of Sedona, Friday, 2/3, 7 p.m.

New York City Resonates

In addition to the HIGH-VIBE DANCE PARTY on Saturday (see Best of the Bhav, above), the Broome Street Temple (430 Broome St.) will be resonating with sacred sounds from NINA RAO, DEVADAS, ANJULA PRASAD, SUNDAR DAS and TERRENCE for the regular first-Friday kirtan, 2/3 at 7 p.m.  (Hold the date for Maha Sivaratri weekend at the temple Feb. 18-20, which includes a 6-hour kirtan and all-night Shiva puja.)

New York’s Bhakti Center (25 First Ave.) will honor Nityananda’s appearance day with a festival featuring bhajans and darshan, teachings on Nityananda, and a feast, all Sunday, 2/5, beginning at 10:30 a.m.

The South: Community Kirtan Lives 

Community kirtan is alive and well in the South!  In Columbia, Md., Rufus Juskus leads SACRED CHANTS KIRTAN at the Owen Brown Interfaith Center again this Friday 2/3, part of a long-standing community kirtan group in the DC/Bethesda area.

In Sarasota, Fla., CHERYL & TIM CHAFFEE, the forces behind the recent Rock the Bhakti festival featuring Shantala and Wah!, will be continuing the bhav with community kirtan at their yoga studio, Garden of the Heart Yoga Center Friday, 2/3.  Tim and Cheryl’s band, PALMS TOGETHER, is rumored to be putting together a CD of recordings from the festival.

And in Atlanta, BHAKTI MESSENGER will join SUNMOON PIE for an evening of kirtan and Hebrew chanting at the Selah Center on Saturday, 2/4.

Wisconsin Jams

In Hartford, Wisc., DENNIS HAWK is doubling up his chant calendar this weekend, with two Yoga Jam and Kirtan events, first for kids on Sunday afternoon, followed by a grown-up version.  If you’re in Wisconsin and like to chant, you must know Dennis Hawk, right?  Just take a look at the schedule he’s got coming up, with gigs all over the state and beyond.

Colorado Calls

Kali Kirtan in Colorado

Mountain State bhaktas should be pumped for next weekend’s Yoga Rocks the Butte with DAVE STRINGER, STEVE GOLD, GOVINDAS, JOEY LUGASSY, DJ DREZ and more.  You can win two free passes to Yoga Rocks the Butte at this week’s Kali Puja and Kirtan at Om Time Temple on Saturday, 2/4, where you’ll find Kali-invoking kirtan with VAMADASA and puja (sacred ceremony) led by ADITI DEVI.   Jai Kali Ma!

If you’re fast, you can get your chant on at Friday Night Yoga Club, Boulder, 2/3, when this weekly kula hosts “YogaKirtan Infusion” at Shine.  Kirtan led by SHANTI & SCOTT MEDINA and their band will be followed by a dance party with PAUL TEMPLE & MANTRAMATRIX, which describes itself as “a sonic kaleidoscope of chant, dance and electronic music that calls on the power of mantra to generate an energy field of Divine Bliss.” Advance tickets for this bhakti bash are sold out, but a few will be available at the door.  Hurry.

West Coast Feels Good

Want to feel good in San Diego? Join the CHAD SCOTT BANDSTEVE GOLD with his band STONED ON SHIVA, and REAL BREW for the Feel Good Festival at the Griffin, Saturday, 2/4.  The event supports the Feel Good…Music Project a non-profit effort to support at-risk youth with positive music and healthy lifestyle choices.

At San Diego’s kirtan temple, Bhakti Yoga Shala, ANDRES SALCEDO & THE BHAKTI EXPERIENCE hold the space Friday night beginning at 9 p.m., with Dhaveed Haribol Das on percussion, Emily Michelle on dolhak, and Manohar Gurung on tabla.  Shala co-founders GOVINDAS AND RADHA lead chanting Saturday night, 2/4.  And the studio almost always offers a bhakti vinyasa flow class to round out the weekend

In Los Angeles, two events with VAISESIKA DASA, a Vedic scholar and spiritual leader who has been immersed in kirtan and bhakti yoga for more than 40 years:  Friday, 2/3 at Core Power Yoga (11819 Wilshire Blvd.) for kirtan and discussion of bhakti yoga, and Saturday 2/4 at the Temple Room (3764 Watseka) for a discussion of the Bhagavad Gita, the sacred Hindu text.  Details here.

Up the coast a bit in Long Beach, LARISA STOW & SHAKTI TRIBE will be doing some Soul Transformation at a rockin’ kirtan party at Ja Yoga, Friday, 2/3.  “Come prepared to dance!” the Tribe says.  Oh yeah.

Bhav on.  Sat Nam.


Heads up Bhaktas!  We try to stay on top of what’s happening in the kirtan scene, and while we can’t cover everything, we know we’re missing great stuff that we want to write about!  Tell us!  Email us, post links on our Facebook page, or Tweet us







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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