Bhakti Fest, the originator of yoga and kirtan festivals in the now wildly popular yoga festival scene is pleased to announce the kirtan talent at the fifth annual Bhakti Fest West, September 5-8 at the Joshua Tree Retreat Center. With over 50 of the top kirtan artists performing non-stop for the entire four day festival, Bhakti Fest is the largest and most significant kirtan festival. These devotional chants of love will ring throughout the hills of Joshua Tree.
All of the top performers in the genre are scheduled: Krishna Das, Deva Premal & Miten, Jai Uttal, Snatam Kaur, Dave Stringer, Donna De Lory, C.C. White, Sean Johnson & the Wild Lotus Band, Govind Das & Radha, David Newman, Kirtan Rabbi, DJ Drez, Arjun Baba, Karnamrita, Deepak & Breath of Life Tribe, The GuruGanesha Band and many other inspiring performers.
Some of the music is traditionally performed, yet many of today’s kirtan musicians create contemporary adaptations based in jazz, blues, rock, and rap. This artistic integration of cultures has become extremely successful and draws a following as diverse and unique as the music itself. For a taste of kirtan, please download Bhakti Fest West headliner Jai Uttal’s bluesy “Jai Ma” for free here.
Sridhar Silberfein, founder and producer of the Bhakti Fests notes, “When we started Bhakti Fest in 2009 we knew it would be popular, but seeing it grow into such a successful annual event is extremely gratifying. We are thrilled to bring these wonderful musicians and their powerful message of love as an offering to such a receptive yogic spiritual community.”
Layering traditional Hindu kirtan with instantly accessible melodies and modern instrumentation, Krishna Das has been called yoga’s “rock star.” With a remarkably soulful voice that touches the deepest chord in even the most casual listener, Krishna Das – known to friends, family, and fans as simply KD – has taken the call-and-response chanting out of yoga centers and into concert halls, becoming a worldwide icon and a best-selling chant artist, with over 300,000 records sold. And KD’s fame continues to grow – his 2012 album, his first ever live set, Live Ananda was nominated for a Grammy and this summer saw the nationwide release of the award winning feature documentary One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das, further establishing KD is the leading kirtan artist.
Jai Uttal has cut a serpentine swath through the musical world over the course of a recording career that’s spanned more than two decades and 17 albums, including the Grammy nominated Mondo Rama, with treks into multi-cultural world music, avant-garde jazz, electronic rock and traditional Indian kirtan—or sacred chants—his six recordings this past decade with the Sounds True label have become staples of the yoga-practicing community. His recent releases include Queen of Hearts that incorporates a reggae vibe into kirtan, and Kirtan Kids an album created for families to sing, laugh, dance, and celebrate life together.
Deva Premal & Miten began their journey into love and music in 1990 when they met at the ashram of controversial Indian mystic, Osho. Their worldwide concerts and best-selling albums have since introduced millions of Westerners to the joy and deep relaxation found in spiritually based songs and chanting mantras from the Eastern meditation traditions. Deva’s debut album The Essence, which rocketed to the top of New Age charts around the world when it was released in 1998, introduced a unique musical genre, offering the ancient mantras of India and Tibet in contemporary musical settings. Since then Deva & Miten have released a string of acclaimed CDs with sales exceeding one million, and their concerts have moved from yoga studios to audiences of thousands in concert halls, cathedrals and music festivals around the planet.
In addition to the kirtan, Bhakti Fest West features twelve hours of daily yoga classes in three large halls facilitated by incomparable and world-renowned yoga teachers such as Dharma Mittra, Shiva Rae, Bryan Kest, Elena Brower, Micheline Berry, Mark Whitwell, Sianna Sherman, Kia Miller, Saul David Raye, Ashley Turner, Hemalayaa Behl, Suzanne Sterling and many others.
With over 20 workshops on a wide variety of spiritual themes, Bhakti Fest West brings the physical asana and chanting practices into greater context for attendees. Workshop leaders include The Journey Home author Radhanath Swami, Philip Goldberg on “The Beatles Yoga: Let it be,” Google+ for Brands Evangelist Gopi Kallayil, Michael Baker on “The Resolution of True Intimacy & The Unification of the Atman,” Zat Baraka on “Manifesting Our Lives Through Self-Initiation: A Tantric Breathwork Workshop,” and many more. Additionally Bhakti Fest’s spiritual godfather Ram Dass has filmed a special two hour interview with festival founder Sridhar Silberfein that will be played each night of the festival.
Bhakti Fest provides a complete physical, mental and spiritual health experience including a healing sanctuary with massage, bodywork, energy work, and other unique wellness enhancing modalities. There are a variety of raw, vegan, vegetarian and other high vibrational food and beverage options available. Additionally there is an extensive marketplace with eco-friendly vendors offering yoga gear, clothing, devotional art, musical instruments, CDs, crafts, jewelry and much more.
There will be two separate ticket intensives around Bhakti Fest West, a pre-festival intensive with Saul David Raye and a post-festival intensive with legendary yoga master Dharma Mittra.
The Joshua Tree Desert Retreat Center, is the perfect setting to foster inner reflection and spiritual reconnection because of its peacefulness and natural desert beauty. Accommodation options include en suite rooms with baths, camping and RV parking, all on site. There are also several hotels within a few miles of the retreat center.
Tickets for Bhakti Fest 2013 are available at www.bhaktifest.com. The festival donates monies to a variety of non-profit organizations including Food for Life, Love Serve Remember Foundation, Ramana’s Garden, Seva Foundation, Share Your Care, and Woman’s Earth Alliance.