24 Hour KIRTAN FEB !9 – 20 2011 in BRAMPTON, ONT

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THE KIRTANIYAS at the Yoga Sanctuary Feb 18 2011

*click on photo for larger view

Sat Feb 19 @ 10am – Sun Feb 20 @ 10am Ashtaprahar 2011: Toronto 24-Hour Kirtan Festival
@ Hindu Sabha Temple 9225 The Gore Rd, Brampton, ON L6P 0B5

(T) 1.647.928.9860
(E) info@ashtaprahar.ca


Ashtaprahar 2011, a nonprofit event is a weekend of celebrated dance, kirtan and unity. The organizing committee is proud to present by far North America’s biggest event ever! The 24-hour non-stop kirtan provides an opportunity for different communities to come together as people are united by the beauty and spirit of the Vedic Indian culture.

*Padayatra Maha-Harinaam: Starts at 6:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 20, 2011
*Bhajan Sandhya: Starts at 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 20, 2011 – 5am Monday Feb 21.


The Ashtaprahar 2011 organizing committee is proud to present the line-up of official kirtaniyas at this years grand 24-hour kirtan festival:


Ajamil Das & Radha Govinda Kirtan Mandali (Toronto, Canada)
Hari Bhakti Dey (Australia)
Maha Bhagavat Dey (Bombay, India)
Gaura Mani Devi Dasi & Param Das (Vrindavan, India)
Keshav Das (Vrindavan, India)
Vrndavana Das (Vrindavan, India)
Rupesh Pandey (Toronto, Canada)
Ayush Sharma (Seattle, USA)
Ramdas Shingdia (DC, USA)
Anish Pillai (Houston, USA)
Krishna Prasad Das (Baltimore, USA)
Gopal Trivedi (Detroit, USA)
Amala Kirtan Das (Dallas, USA)
Chakrini (UK)

Stay tuned and hold tight for announcements regarding the SPECIAL guest kirtaniya who will be announced in the coming weeks

Listen. Can you hear it?

A melody starts, wistful and longing. It sweeps the crowd. The singer closes his eyes and his song bursts forth. It is wrenched from his heart, it seems. We call out in response. It is an easy mantra. Cymbals clash and punctuate a rhythm. Drums begin to throb and thunder.
They say the drum beat represents the heartbeat of God maddened by love.

That’s The Kirtaniyas—four talented performers—all of them singers and musicians. These energetic, multi-talented artists come from a rich, colorful background. They grew up in a Krishna culture of song, dance, philosophy and devotion. At the heart of it all, there was always Kirtan. It owned their passion before they could talk. Restlessly tapping out drum beats till they got on their mothers’ nerves; dreamily humming tunes; studying songs and lyrics and language; learning to play instruments—they were never more passionate about anything.

They live by Kirtan, they relish it day after day, and now they are inviting you to join them:

“How would you tell someone what sugar tastes like when they have never tasted it? How can we describe kirtan? Come and taste it, relish its sweetness for yourself.”

*click on photo for larger view

The Mayapuris

Band Members:
Visvambhar Sheth – Vocals, Harmonium
Krishna Kishor Rico – Flute, Mrdanga
Balaram Tirtha Rico – Mrdanga
Vrinda Sheth – Bharat Natyam Dance

The Mayapuris have crash-landed into the kirtan/chant genre, quickly becoming the most talked-about group in this growing scene of exotic world music. Their story starts in the quiet backcountry of North Central Florida, Alachua, a small village-esque town known to some as the capital of the underground grassroots-kirtan movement in the West.

India 2001: The Mayapuris were teenagers fresh out of international boarding school where they trained in kirtan, a musical art form that has existed for thousands of years. They wanted the sound of their thunderous mridanga drums to shake the globe. Naming their group after the holy village of Mayapur, where the kirtan movement started, The Mayapuris traveled the world enthusing crowds with their dynamic drum dances and kirtan performances. In the summer of 2009, Mantralogy, a division of Equal Vision Records, signed The Mayapuris and placed them in the studio with kirtan producer Gaura Vani (As Kindred Spirits, Prema Hara, Ramya). Their debut albumMridanga (June 22, 2010/Mantralogy) brings a youthful and hip new energy to kirtan.

“Rhythm is a universal language,” explains the Mayapuri drummer, Bali, “It transcends all external barriers. Everything. Race, religion, tongue, creed, culture. It’s the heartbeat of the universe.” The Mayapuris are unique in that they all originally were drummers before they became kirtan multi-instrumentalists. Their music is driven by rhythm. It’s the language they speak best.

The Mayapuris are travelers, kirtan gypsies, the breed of performers who stop keeping count of how many countries they’ve performed in. They hit six continents in 2009, and that was before they had a CD to call their own. After their first album drops, who knows? “There is a small village in India, about an hour outside of Mayapur that holds this prophecy. It’s about two hundred years old,” the lead singer Vish explains, “It says that the thunder of the mridanga drum will resonate throughout the entire world. We want to be a part of that.”

The Mayapuris named their album after their shared love, the mridanga, and it is the heartbeat of their sound. Joined to its rhythm is the stirring musicianship that evolved after years of training, classical instrumentation mixed with the spontaneity of fiery vocals, a place where funk meets math and melody to produce beautiful music. Gaura Vani, accomplished producer and recording artist, captured their unique and powerful sound in the studio. “We couldn’t have had a better person to work with, “Kish, the group’s flute player says, “We’ve been doing music with Gaura since we were teens. He knows us, he gets us. He has a great ear and his arrangements are deep and tasteful. Gaura is the kind of producer who really brings the best out of the people he works with.”

This is not saying that the production was an easy job. The Mayapuris come from a musical background that is as varied as it is unexpected. Vish was in a Boston hardcore punk band after returning from India. When Kish isn’t studying classical Hindustani flute he’s grooving to reggae. Bali was the front man and lyricist for a hip hop group while immersing himself in South Indian Carnatic drumming. And Vrinda cites Michael Jackson as one of the greatest musical/dance influences in her life (this coming from someone who studied in the ‘Ivy League’ of South Indian classical dance). Together they invoke the influence of an international community of musical spirit: Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan meets a 21st century group of musical upstarts.

“The great thing about world music is its accessibility.” Vrinda says, “It doesn’t matter where you come from, what language you speak, your cultural background. This kind of music speaks to everyone. Our goal was to make an album that reaches into that common bond the citizens of earth all share, a love for beautiful sound.”

“Our music is the hybrid offspring of our upbringing,” Bali adds, “Mridanga grooves, it builds, it’s an ancient tradition with a fresh spirit.” This is more than a kirtan album, it’s a life story broken up into chapters. It represents the Mayapuris; who they are and what kind of sound they embody. “Our music is infused with emotion, with passion, love, playfulness. We’ve grown up with it. We live it,” says Kish, “The band, the album, the shows…they are an offering. We love making music. We love being Mayapuris.