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
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 Center. Bhakti 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 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?