Here’s a link to stream the album version of “Hari Guna Gao” from my new album Return to Shiva Station. Enjoy and please share!
Well, today’s the day!!!
My new CD Return to Shiva Station: Kailash Connection officially enters the material world. Reserve your seat on the train to the heavenly realms of Sri Hari, courtesy of Lord Shiva himself by simply ordering the album…
No, seriously…. That sounds super goofy and pretentious, but I truly hope you enjoy the new CD. Please spread the word, and if you do like it, please post some good reviews on the online shops.
1. Guru Brahma
2. Shiva Station (Namah Shivaya)
3. Hari Guna Gao
4. Calling You
5. Malkouns (Night On The Ganges)
6. Rama Raghava
9. Sita Ram
10. Jaya Jagadambe (She Who Tears Apart Thought)
11. Never Turn Away
Here’s a short “home-movie” version of one of my favorites from Return to Shiva Station entitled “Guru Brahma”… We filmed it last night, one take before bed. It gives a bit of the flavor of the album – all acoustic, intimate versions of the songs from the original Shiva Station, which was released fifteen years ago.
The new album features my friend and teacher, Jose Neto, a true master of the nylon string guitar, weaving in and around my own guitar and banjo, as well as Ben Leinbach on bass and percussion (and co-production), Prajna Vieira singing, Timothy White on sitar (the first of all my albums to have sitar!) and Yoed Nir on cello. A small but powerful ensemble.
That’s it for now. I hope you all really love Return to Shiva Station: Kailash Connection!!!!!!
Warm wishes, and lots of love,
P.S. If you’ve been thinking about signing up for our Summer Kirtan Camp this year, now’s the time! We’re offering a little window of discounted rate if you sign up now and pay in full:
$1,600.00 if you sign up by March 31st.
$1,950.00 after March 31st.
Hope you’ll join us!
Hi friends, I recorded a video of “Hari Guna Gao” acoustic in my home for you. This song is very special to me because it always makes me think of my dear friend Don Cherry, who passed away as I was writing for Shiva Station. A version like this one will be on my new album Return to Shiva Station coming March 25.
The artistic temperament is always looking forward toward new levels of refinement, new colors and moods of expression, new ways to manifest and communicate the deepest feelings of the heart. The soul of the Bhakta (one endeavoring to walk the yogic path of devotion) is also always looking forward toward meeting the Beloved, experiencing the play of love, seeing His beautiful face, somehow discovering the key to divine love and service in this world. When combined, devotion and art create an inner world of turbulent longing, of passionate experience, of deep emotion. Read the life stories of the poet saints of India and you’ll know what I mean. (Please don’t think I’m comparing myself to those amazing beings! But they are my inspiration.)
When I was first asked to “remake” my album, Shiva Station, my response was, “No way! I can’t go backwards—that was then, and this is now! At this moment, I have so many new songs coursing through me.” I was very resistant, to say the least. My sweet little ego can sometimes speak very loudly. But after thinking about it for a while, I began to see the idea through fresh eyes. I reflected that the thread woven through all of my music, from my very first album, Footprints, to my last Kirtan Kids project is God’s names, and a deep, non-verbal longing for divine grace. Why not revisit my music from fifteen years ago to discover what, if anything, was timeless in each song? So I accepted the challenge.
Returning to this album wasn’t always a comfortable process, not that recording an album ever is. You know how every melody is filled with memories? Well, many of those memories were pretty harsh. Imagine going through a box of photos from a period of your life when you were very unhappy and out of balance. While I had the same devotional practices and feelings in those days, I also felt I was struggling just to be alive, to keep my head above the raging sea. Nonetheless, I dived in and lo and behold, the process turned out to be deeply healing and inspiring—both musically and spiritually. Through each of these songs I was able to reconnect with my soul, my Guru, my Beloved, remembering how desperately they were sung fifteen years ago and resinging them with a new mood of gentleness, surrender, and acceptance.
I sincerely hope that you, the listener, will enjoy the results of this process. I’m consistently humbled and honored when people tell me that my music has helped them through their life’s challenges. With Return to Shiva Station, may our journey together through this strange and wondrous world continue in love, joy, and grace.
Love and peace,
It’s winter here in Northern California and I’m bundled up, sitting on the couch and looking at our first real Christmas tree. Wow, my lucky son gets to celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas, Diwali and all the Hindu holidays…. Lots of gift-giving in this house. (Are we too consumeristic? Well, yeah, of course! But it’s worth it seeing my kid smile!). I was asked to tell a story at Ezra’s school Winter Celebration today and I’m trying to decide which one I can fit into ten minutes. Ramayana? Mahabharata? Tom and Jerry? The Hobbit! My mind is a jumbled junk shop of old and new songs and tales….
Anyway, as I was thinking and daydreaming, my fingers fiddling away at GarageBand on my iPad (The blessing/addiction/gift/curse of creativity never stops!), Nubia came up to me and said “Wouldn’t it be great to give a Holiday gift to your fans?” I said “Yeah, but what?” And she said, with that cute and sometimes too-smart little smile, “Look down at your fingers! You can send them all a song!!!!!”
So here it is. Just a simple little couch potato production with one of the great, ancient Sanskrit Mantras.
Maybe I’ll do a whole album on my iPad GarageBand app someday, but, for now, I hope you all enjoy this one, and I hope and pray for a New Year of peace and universal love and good health and happiness to all!
Jai Uttal with assistant teachers Daniel Paul, Daniel Tucker and Nubia Teixeira.
From August 12th to 17th 2014 at Harbin Hot Springs, California
After 10 years of offering a non-residential Summer Kirtan Camp, and witnessing the widely spreading ripples of our rich, open-hearted Bhakti community, we’ve decided to create our first Residential Summer Kirtan Camp at beautiful Harbin Hot Springs.
When we initially started our Kirtan Camps, this beautiful practice seemed to be the exclusive province of the bigger ‘stars,’ at least in the West. In India, of course, almost everyone sings a bit of kirtan on a daily basis. If I ever had a ‘mission,’ I guess it would be to help people understand that we ALL ‘have what it takes’ to start our own intimate, personal chanting practice; to take the whole thing out of the celebrity realm and bring it into our homes. Well, ten years later, I see it happening: families singing together; small gatherings in Yoga studios everywhere; and great community events like Bhaktifest, Moksha, Pranafest, Omega Ecstatic Chant, etc etc etc…..
So, back to next summer…..The first time I ever went to Harbin was to perform with my band, The Pagan Love Orchestra. Walking to the natural hot springs I saw a sight I would never forget: tame deer milling around, warming themselves near the pools. Wow! That’s pretty amazing. Over the years I’ve gone there a whole bunch of times, sometime to sing, sometime to simply soak, and I’ve always left feeling a renewed sense of peace and health. The space we will use for our camp is the Conference Hall, a beautiful building tucked in a private sanctuary reserved just for our group. We’ll have our own private warm swimming pool, bucolic camping ground, catering and kitchen and, although it’s quite separate from the rest of Harbin, we will be walking distance to the hot springs. Enjoy good company, good food, warm days and starry nights PLUS hours and hours of singing kirtan and learning the skills to share this ancient practice with others. Nubia will be offering daily Yoga and movement classes, Daniel Tucker will be teaching harmonium and Daniel Paul will guide us through the intricacies of rhythm and Kirtan accompaniment. A wonderful ‘Bhakti-full’ time will be had by all!!!!
One important note: Camping spaces are included in our overall price, but for those who aren’t into camping, Harbin has a very wide variety of different accommodations. However, these book pretty far in advance, so if you’re interested in coming, contact Harbin and book your rooms SOON!
Lastly, may we all have a blessed holiday season and a New Year filled with light and grace.
Warm wishes and lots of love,
Tuesday, August 12 – Sunday, August 17, 2014
ANNUAL RESIDENTIAL SUMMER BHAKTI KIRTAN CAMP!
Jai Uttal and co-teachers Daniel Paul, Nubia Teixeira, and Daniel Tucker
This training is for those who aspire to lead Kirtan; those who wish to enhance their Yoga teaching with chanting; and those who simply wish to immerse themselves in the vast ocean of Bhakti.
In this workshop we will share some of the many tools that we use in our Bhakti practices. Our hope is that everyone will leave this retreat with the inner experience and knowledge that we are all able to dive into this world of devotion and sing and share our hearts with others.
Subjects to be covered:
Kirtan – As the essential practice of Bhakti, Kirtan will be the main focus of this training.
Bhakti Yoga – Understanding the path of Bhakti as a journey of surrender and offering of one’s entire being to the the Divine will.
Mantras – Experiencing the invocational power of the ancient Sanskrit syllables and names in ecstatic song and silent contemplation.
Gods and Goddesses – An exploration of the energies embodied by the different deities of Hinduism.
Ramayana – Studying and reciting the multi-leveled epic adventures of Ram, Sita and Hanuman; and how this story relates to our daily lives.
Saints – Reflecting upon the lives of some of the saints of modern India, particularly Neem Karoli Baba.
Vocal Training – Opening the voice and learning to love the sound that comes from our bodies.
Rhythm – Beginning to understand the rhythms associated with Kirtan.
Learning Harmonium – Gaining a beginning understanding of the rudiments of harmonium for accompanying Kirtans.
~~~~~~~~~~ Hari Om ~~~~~~~~~~
Where: Harbin Hotsprings
EARLY BIRD $1,600 paid in full by March 31st.
BHAKTI BIRD $1,950 after March 31st.
Camping (bring your own camp supplies and tent) + using Harbin Facilities for 5 nights – 6 days
3 daily meals + snacks
2 daily Kirtan – music and practice with Jai Uttal & Daniel Paul
2 daily harmonium sessions with Daniel Tucker
1 daily rhythm session with Daniel Paul
1 daily Bhakti- Hatha Yoga with Nubia Teixeira
The last evening of the retreat will culminate with a Kirtan Gala led by the participants.
Deposit of $800.00 not refundable after July 20th. Remainder due on August 1st.
OTHER HOUSING OPTIONS ARE AVAILABLE FOR YOUR USE. YOU CAN BOOK A TENT CABIN, DORMITORY, ROOM, OR PRIVATE CABIN FOR THAT PERIOD THROUGH HARBIN. If you would like to book a different type of room at Harbin, you can reserve with Harbin. Options are here.
CANCELLATION POLICY on EARLY BIRD PRICE: Deposit of $800 is non-refundable. Fee is non-refundable after July 20th.
CANCELLATION POLICY on Bhakti Bird Price: Deposit of $800 is non-refundable – 50% of remainder refundable if cancellation is done by July 20th. Fee is non-refundable after August 1st.