On the Wings of Ecstasy: Interfaith Devotional Singing Festival

Presenter(s)

Benjy and Heather Wertheimer (Shantala)

Benjy and Heather Wertheimer (Shantala) lead kirtan worldwide. The weaving of Benjy’s Indian classical singing and instrumentation with Heather’s soaring vocals is freshly original and profoundly moving. In the summer of 2008, they were named as one of the top “Wallahs to Watch” by Yoga + Joyful Living.

http://www.shantalamusic.com

Davod Azad

Davod Azad is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from Azerbaijan. He is a Master in the Iranian Classical music, the Azeri folk music, the Ancient Persian music, and the Persian Sufi music, specifically influenced by the music of the Ghajar period in Persian history, a pure form undiluted by western styles.

http://www.davodazad.com

Vishal Vaid
Trained by his parents, Vishal's first live concert was at three, performing in front of hundreds. He trained throughout youth, falling in love with both Eastern and Western, ancient and future. Beyond music and marketing lies Vishal's greatest strength: his weaving of many cultures, in much the same way as ghazal was born of both Hindu and Muslim influence. Constantly meditating on his parent's advice, to “experience it as it comes through you,” he is doing just that: offering future vision with a voice as mighty as the divine he surrenders to.

Nirinjan Kaur

Nirinjan Kaur was born into a Sikh family of Kundalini Yogis, and became a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher at the young age of thirteen. Her love of sacred chanting blossomed shortly thereafter. She has since taught Kundalini Yoga workshops, led sacred chant events, performed concerts, and sung alongside respected artists and teachers across the globe. Her profoundly heart-opening voice easily conveys her innocence and devotion to listeners, bringing them into a state of bliss and healing. Through her extensive knowledge and experience in both Kundalini Yoga and sacred chant, Nirinjan merges the two naturally and delivers them in one powerful experience. Her musical training in India flows smoothly through her voice, and she easily blends the sounds of east and west in her music to create a dynamic and stirring, yet subtley beautiful experience.

http://nirinjankaur.com

Tia Pittman

Tia Pittman has been singing since the tender age of three. She is the founder of Soulster Music Group, a nonprofit organization that works with children and adults aspiring to be songwriters, singers, musicians, dancers and artists. Her voice can be heard on many recordings in the gospel community & otherwise. Pittman has been singing and studying music her entire life. She now sings and teaches gospel music, bringing with her years of study in a variety of educational settings, including but not limited to Bethune-Cookman College, where she steeped herself in a range of musical genres.

Jan Kirschner

Jan Kirschner began his journey in devotional singing at the age of 10, as a boy soloist in a professional choir in New York City, where he worked with legendary cantor Leibele Waldman. Even at that young age, he was fascinated by the spiritual heights that could be reached by the interplay of music and silence. He began his cantorial career in Fairfield, Iowa, where he was also participating in daily TM siddhis practice with thousands of other meditators. For the past 18 years, he has been the chazzan (cantor) at Congregation Bonai Shalom in Boulder, Colorado, where he has been heavily influenced by Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, founder of the Jewish Renewal movement. His constant commitment as a chazzan is to raise the prayers of the community to the level of Divine Source.