Sacred Chant Concert
& Ramesh Kannan
doors open at 7pm MacMillan Theatre
MacMillan Theatre website
University of Toronto
Faculty of Music
80 Queen’s Park Crescent
A 2 minute walk South of Bloor & Avenue Road
Just West of Museum subway station
Behind the Planetarium
At the South end of the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM)
$55 (+$7.15 HST) Front Orchestra (Rows A-F)
$40 (+$5.20 HST) Rear Orchestra (Rows G-T)
$25 (+$3.25 HST) Balcony At the door
$65 (+$8.45 HST) Front Orchestra (Rows A-F)
$50 (+$6.50 HST) Rear Orchestra (Rows G-T)
$35 (+$4.55 HST) Balcony MacMillan Theatre seating plan Group Rates
(available in advance, by phone or in person) Groups of 10 or more
(a 10% discount)
$49.50 (+$6.44 HST) Front Orchestra (Rows A-F)
$36.00 (+$4.68 HST) Rear Orchestra (Rows G-T)
$22.50 (+$2.93 HST) Balcony
~~~~~~~~~~Single Tickets In advance
Snatam Kaur personifies the meaning of her name: universal, nucleus, and friend to all. These themes have expressed themselves in a variety of ways throughout her life, and are particularly present in her music.
The sincerity and depth of commitment that this artist brings to her music is firmly rooted in a life of devotion. Soon after her birth in 1972, in the beautiful mountain town of Trinidad, Colorado, Snatam’s parents turned to the teachings and lifestyle of the Sikh tradition and became students of the renowned Kundalini yoga master, Yogi Bhajan. Snatam heard Yogi Bhajan’s teachings at her parents’ side and a close relationship developed between the venerated teacher and the very young pupil. One day, before she was even two, Snatam began to chatter away in the middle of class; Yogi Bhajan stopped speaking, looked over at her and said, “You’ll have your turn soon to teach, little one.” Indeed, Snatam has fulfilled this forecast, teaching yoga, chants, and meditation to both children and adults.
As a musician she shared sacred chants and music at the 3HO Summer and Winter Solstice celebrations in New Mexico and Florida, events that bring together the American Sikh community with yoga students and other spiritual seekers. While practicing with Livtar Singh and Guru Ganesha Singh, all three realized the power of their music together and under the name Peace Family, they recorded an album entitled “Reunion.” The group produced two other recordings: To Heaven and Beyond, and Carry Us Home.In 1997, Snatam began a career as a food technologist for Peace Cereals in Eugene, Oregon. She used her scientific training to help create the Peace Cereal line, among other cereal flavors and healing foods.
In 2000, Snatam signed a record contract with Spirit Voyage Records in Sterling, Virginia, and remains with the label to this day. Guru Ganesha Singh, the founder of Spirit Voyage Records, has served as her guitar player and manager. He has been a positive support in Snatam’s music career, and has helped to bring together many energies and people in the mission of getting the sacred music out.
Since 2001, Snatam accompanied by the Spirit Voyage Ensemble musicians, has been a bright star in the popular chant music genre. Grace, her most recent recording, quickly rose to the top of industry bestseller lists. Shanti, her previous recording, was her second solo effort and an impressive follow-up to her highly acclaimed first solo release, Prem.
Snatam’s uplifting vocals on all three recordings are tastefully enriched by cross-cultural instrumentation. Rhythmic tabla beats punctuate the chants. Piano, sitar, santour, and flute melodies delightfully enhance the spirit of the recording. Thomas Barquee’s brilliant production makes it all shine and the power of Snatam’s devotion is the force that inspires and moves.
“My Guru is the sacred Sound Current, or Naad,” states Snatam. “The experience of creating an album or preparing to perform is for me tuning into the living and breathing consciousness of Sound Current, which for me is the Guru, or Divine Teacher.”
Many of the songs on Snatam’s recordings are ancient chants sung in Gurumukhi, the sacred language of the Sikhs. Other songs are in English. This aptly reflects her upbringing, which frequently bridged two worlds.
“The way that I relate to these sacred chants is that the chants are a living spirit and they enter into my life to bring healing and blessings or whatever I need at that time,” explains Snatam. “I learned about the importance of sound currents from Yogi Bhajan, and I experienced how the energy of these sacred words can have a very real, positive effect.”
For Snatam, the sacred chants of the Sikhs as well as chants from other faiths are an important expression for healing, peace, and social change.
Music and its power to transform and heal has always been a passion for Ramesh Kannan. Growing up in a musical household, the healing power of music was introduced to him at a very young age. His mother, an accomplished carnatic vocalist, started him on tabla drums at the age of 8. His lifelong musical journey has lead him to learn a wide array of percussive instruments including drum set, djembe, dumbek, udu, cajon and many melodic instruments including guitar, bass, and voice. Tabla remains to be Ramesh’s discipline and focal instrument.