There’s a hometown vibe in much of the country this weekend. David Newman releases STARS in his home ‘hood, Jaya Lakshmi & Ananda take their Altar of Love on the road, Irene Solea gets a home-studio welcome in Boston, Devadas sings for Amma in NYC, DC showcases home-cooked community kirtan, and Saul David Raye brings the bhav to your own home with Tele-Satsangh. Here are our highlights for the Weekend Bhav.
David Newman Stars Party; Philadelphia (3/16)
DAVID NEWMAN celebrates his newest offering, Stars, with a CD release party in his home hood of Philadelphia, at the Tin Angel Friday 3/16. David, aka DURGA DAS, talked about the making of the CD — his first since the birth of his daughter Tulsi and the first for the White Swan label — on GARY GOLDBERG’s In The Spirit radio show Thursday, offering commentary on each track’s genesis. The song “We Are What We Are” is one of his favorites on the disc, he said: “It came through to me right before the 11/11 shift…Recording it was really a magical moment for me.” There are other magic moments on this record as well, like “Tulsi’s Bliss (Maha Mantra),” where the bhakti baby herself makes her recording debut with a gurgling girl giggle at its opening (did she say Rama?). All around, a beautiful new recording that showcases David’s lyrical poeticism and singer-songwriter prowess, seamlessly melded with ancient chants. Get Stars here.
Jaya Lakshmi, Altar of Love; Santa Cruz (3/16-18)
All I can say about this weekend workshop series is wow! Just look at this line-up with JAYA LAKSHMI and ANANDA: Sacred Music Kirtan Friday night; Kirtronica Ecstatic Dance Saturday night, plus workshops on Couples Yoga, Bhakti Yoga/Kirtan, Kundalini Yoga and Meditation, and a Cacao Ceremony. Yes, cacao, but not just any chocolate, mind you. This will involve “a very special type that a cacao shaman selected personally for its energetic qualities.” Jaya has been a pioneer in the fusion of live Sanskrit chanting with electronica dance beats, a musical hybrid that is growing coast to coast beyond its roots in conscious dance parties for urban hipsters. She’s taking her brand of kirtronica on the road for the next two months, leading up to a Friday night set at BHAKTI FEST, right after JAI UTTAL plays. Check out the description on the Altar of Love Weekend Immersion (even if you can’t get to Santa Cruz). At DiviniTree
If you’re anywhere near Boston, the place to be Friday night is with IRENE SOLEA at her “kirtan homebase,” South Boston Yoga. Boston bhaktas are stoked. Irene will be joined by EZRA LANDIS (guitar), OWEN LANDIS (drums), DANNY SOLOMON (keys/bass), McKENNA LONGACRE (cello), special guests KULA KULA, plus “another surprise guest or two,” Irene says in her invite with a 🙂 hmmmm…
Devadas, Integral Yoga Institute, NYC (3/17)
NYC’s DEVADAS has been busy! Prepping for a West Coast mini-tour next weekend, producing NINA RAO’s upcoming debut CD, recording with the Brooklyn Yoga School’s upcoming live CD, and planning a “duo tour” with ANJULA PRASAD. Amidst all that (plus a night job as a graphic designer and a young daughter, btw), he manages to still keep the devi bhava flowing in his regular hometown chanting spots in Brooklyn and Manhattan. How does he do all that? “I don’t sleep much,” he told us in an interview recently. A devotee of Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi), Devadas offers up his heart to his beloved guru with every song. He’ll be at Integral Yoga Friday 3/16 , joined by TERRENCE POMPEY on dholak and SUNDAR DAS on bansuri flutes.
DC Region Community Kirtan (3/17)
Let’s hear it for community kirtan in the country’s capital region — we could use all the good vibes we can get flowing down there, right? Thankfully, the bhakti love vibrations are plentiful, including a double-dose of home-cooked kirtan this Saturday 3/17. First, there’s KIRTAN CIRCLE at Sun & Moon Yoga in Arlington, Va., with RAIMA LARTER & friends leading BYOI kirtan (Bring-Your-Own-Instrument). Then, DC SUPERSONIC KIRTAN takes off at Pure Prana Yoga in Alexandria, Va., described as “transcendental kirtan party that’ll rock your socks off!” Who could resist that? Socks optional, I think.
Saul David Raye, Tele-Satsangh (3/19)
Available right from your own hOMe, the next best thing to being live with SAUL DAVID RAYE is the Spring Equinox 2012 Soul Family Tele-Satsangh, the latest in a series of worldwide teleconferences with one of yoga’s most beloved bhaktas. On Monday 3/19, the eve of the Spring equinox, Saul and special guest Astrologer DIVINE HARMONY offer wisdom, meditation, sacred chants and astrological insight amidst the healing, connecting power of sangha. This donation-based event is open to all; find out how to join here.
More Hometown Bhav
In the Bay area of Northern California, BHAKTI RASA KIRTAN, Pleasanton, Calif.’s “very own original home-grown kirtan band,” will be in residence at Downtown Yoga Saturday 3/17 for the studio’s 10-year birthday bash, an open house that includes food, raffles, prizes, demonstrations, and meet-the-teacher opps. Bhakti Rasa Kirtan is ANDY & MARIA ALLEN, JIM COUGHLIN, SANDY CARMELLINI, plus “a special guest tabla player.”
Down the California coast in Santa Monica, another birthday bash: this one for GOVINDAS, one half of GOVINDAS & RADHE, in the studio he co-founded, Bhakti Yoga Shala, aka Ground Zero for SoCal bhav. This event was just announced publicly, but we have a feeling the word is out and the bhakti brothers and sisters will be out in force to sing “appearance-day” praises to the much-loved yogi on his 41st birthday. The Shala-shaking starts at 9.
Back East, Boston welcomes New York-based BHAKTI BAND to the MIT Center in Cambridge Saturday 3/17, reportedly the first time the group is playing in Beantown. Bhakti Band musicians “fuse their diverse backgrounds in rock, soul, world and jazz music with their love for meditation and yoga to bring expression to this beautiful form of meditative singing” and have played at New York City’s Town Hall and Lincoln Center, the United Nations, and Jakkur Airfield in Bangalore, India, in front of a crowd of millions. Sounds like a can’t-miss to us.
In Portland, Maine, we can’t not mention this little band of bhaktas who are making some big noise in New England kirtan circles. The SHIVA LILA BAND is back in its home ‘hood (back to that theme) with what is certain to be a high-vibe, raise-the-roof kirtan at Sadhana Meditation Center in S. Portland.
And in Framingham, Mass., there’s Home Kirtan with JAISHREE & THE PREMA BHAKTI BAND on Sunday 3/18, hosted by Alan Krentzel. Vegan Potluck dinner follows chanting; RSVP’s are requested.
In Mount Kisco, NY, SATYA FRANCHE returns for her monthly chant night at the U.U. Coffee House on Saturday 3/17 for an evening of MA KIRTAN and “maybe even some green prasad, and Gaelic sounds” in honor of St. Patrick.
Where’s your bhav this weekend?