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
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.
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 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?
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Wow! Such an honor for myself and the rest of my band-mates in Bhakti Messenger to be mentioned on this page with all the big names. Thanks for the shout out Brenda!