Artist Guru Ganesha Singh- The GuruGanesha Band is the latest project from the mind, heart and guitar of world devotional music pioneer GuruGanesha Singh. Renowned for hiswork with sublime vocalists like Snatam Kaur, Nirinjan Kaur and Tina Malia, GuruGanesha steps into the limelight with his latest musical venture, a multi-talented ensemble culled from the A-list of players and singers on today’s rapidly-expanding kirtan/chant/yoga music scene.
Long noted for the effortless grace and mellifluous lyricism of his acoustic guitar work, GuruGanesha has turned his talents to his first love, the electric guitar, to ignite the incandescent sound of the GuruGanesha Band. With shimmering, glassy tonalities and evocative textures, he takes the vast sonic potential of modern guitar electronics to a new and blissfulplace. Accompanying him on this musical journey are master cellist/multiinstrumentalist Hans Christian (RASA, Krishna Das, Robbie Robertson, HarryManx, Jai Uttal and Donna De Lory), beguiling and unforgettable newcomer Paloma Devi on vocals, Spirit Voyage recording artist/ kundalini yoga teacherSat Kartar Singh on acoustic guitar, and kundalini bass guitar magician Gurusangat Singh (recording artist and producer of the popular MiracleMantra Series), and world music multi-percussionist Tripp Dudley on drumkit, tabla, and cajon.
“This is a project that I’ve had in my heart for many years,” says GuruGanesha.”The idea behind the GuruGanesha Band is to bring to the world music scene a group that can musically hold its own with the great guitar bands of all time, but instead of conventional lyrics, singing mantras and divine poetryto transport audiences to a profoundly beautiful and transcendent place. Allof the spiritual and musical work I’ve done for the past 39 years has been preparing me for this.”
GuruGanesha describes the GGB sound as “a unique blend of kirtan, raga,rock, and deeply meditative folk music. I will primarily be playing electricguitar and I’ve hand-picked the musicians not only for their musical virtuositybut also for their ability to channel the spiritual energy that the band will beserving. The vocals will be a group effort with plenty of rich two and three partharmonies though Paloma Devi will regularly step out and blow people awaywith her amazing vocal improvisations. The audience will be encouraged tofully participate, whether it be singing along, dancing or just meditating deeplyon the music.” World devotional music pioneer, Spirit Voyage Records founder, distinctive guitar stylist, songwriter, singer, producer, entrepreneur, accomplished yogi and lifelong spiritual practitioner, GuruGanesha is a man of many talents. His most recent project is the GuruGanesha Band, an adventurous ensemble of mantra music all-stars born of GuruGanesha’s longstanding wish to combine the profound spirituality of mantra music with the visceral excitement of a great guitar-driven band. The GuruGanesha Band’s debut album A Thousand Suns takes world devotional music to visionary new realms of musical innovation with an inspiring fusion of kirtan, rock, raga, folk, blues and Latin sounds that has left audiences from coast to coast dripping with bliss and ecstatic joy. http://www.spiritvoyagerecords.com/artists/guruganesha-singh/
CD A Thousand Suns Debut album from the GuruGanesha Band with Paloma Devi Shines Brighter than A Thousand Suns.
Every once in a while an album comes along that elevates the world devotional music genre to new heights—propelling sacred mantras beyond the yoga studio and onto the international stage, where kirtan can proudly take its place alongside the finest pop, jazz or classical music. A Thousand Suns by the GuruGanesha Band with newcomer Paloma Devi is just such an album. Blessed with a profound sense of spiritual devotion and a high level of artistry, it is the very ocean like nectar of infinite bliss rendered audible—an immensely satisfying and inspiring musical experience.
Helmed by mantra music patriarch, guitarist, vocalist and songwriter GuruGanesha, A Thousand Suns features the debut of the supremely gifted vocalist Paloma Devi, along with a dazzlingly accomplished ensemble of musicians including bowed-string wizard Hans Christian and keyboard/production polymath Thomas Barquee. What they’ve forged together is nothing short of breathtaking.
Coming from a long and successful run with singer Snatam Kaur and a much-beloved string of solo albums, GuruGanesha is no stranger to the mantra idiom. But A Thousand Suns may well be his finest hour, a crowning achievement. In recent years, he has expanded his instrumental palette to include electric as well as acoustic guitars, an artistic growth spurt that has placed a rich, sun-dappled array of evocative tones at his command. His touch on his chosen instruments is steeped in understated assurance and gentle expansiveness.
But for all its moments of solo guitar grandeur, A Thousand Suns is, above all, an ensemble effort. Instrumentally, GuruGanesha is well matched by the polychrome genius of Hans Christian, whose masterfully handled cello, saranghi, nyckelharpa, sitara and other stringed instruments alternate and intertwine with GuruGanesha’s guitar leads in gloriously crafted antiphony and harmony. Vocally as well, the album is solidly grounded in the give-and-take heartplay of call-and-response kirtan chanting, setting GuruGanesha’s baritone in yin yang contrapoise to the beguiling voice of Paloma Devi.
This young woman is clearly poised to become the next superstar of mantra music, ready to take her place alongside the genre’s other great divas. She is possessed of a voice that drips with the sweet perfume of devotion—a voice that speaks directly to the heart in a language so intimate and tender it’s as if your own soul is singing to you. Her crystalline purity of tone is embossed with glints of contemporary r&b, salsa and pop. This is a voice for the ages, but also a voice for right now—multicultural, compassionately engaged, a balm for our troubled times. It quivers like the softly beating breast of a heavenward ascendant dove. It shimmers like the finest, gossamer cloth-of-gold. It leaves the listener defenseless and enraptured.
CD Kundalini Surjhee If you have ever sat in the audience at one of his concerts, you know the gravitational pull of GuruGanesha`s guitar carrying you deep into the soul of the music. On Kundalini Surjhee, he crystallizes that experience with the signature virtuosity of his savory guitar style. While many guitarists find it challenging to master a single style, GuruGanesha leads you from traditional raag to rock to blues and beyond. His guitar wizardry and soulful vocals alone could carry this album, but GuruGanesha brought in several other major world sacred music artists that break it through to another realm.
Opening the album is the emotionally rich Bhaja Man Mere, a kirtan lullaby with GuruGanesha`s deeply soothing vocals and sweet guitar melodies gently carrying you to the introduction of Tina Malia`s voice, whose purity and crystalline clarity distill the very meaning of devotional music. The musical chemistry between GuruGanesha and Tina continues to be highlighted on Bright Star, which has become a viral online break-out hit.
As the album moves forward, the energy rises, much like its title, which translates to Kundalini Rising. The title track, Kundalini Surjhee, and the fourth track, Aval Allah, both sophisticated gurbani kirtan compositions, incorporate lively tabla, traditional kirtan call-response vocals, and the incredible presentation of raga on guitar. These tracks build to irresistible crescendos, the musical representation of awakened kundalini energy. With guest appearances from Jai-Jadgeesh, Mata Mandir Kaur, Tina Malia and Michelle Hurtado, these tracks have flavors ranging from the plains of Amritsar to the deserts of the Middle East.
GuruGanesha recorded some audience favorites including the devotional songs Walk with the Lord and One God, whose musical sensibilities touch the core of GuruGanesha as an artist. Blending blues, jazz, rock, a bit of bluegrass and and the deepest experience of devotion, these songs overflow with exuberant joy. GuruGanesha is also joined by the big bluesy vocals of Jessica Cauffiel, seamlessly integrating gospel music with Gurmukhi mantra.
Thomas Barquee`s piano makes a few star appearances, most notably on Mul Mantra II, a gentle evocative track, and One God, a perfect finale to this eclectic album with a foot-stompingly joyful shout out to the blues. Masterfully produced by Krishan, this album is filled with pulsating energy. Blending acoustic and electric guitars, piano, tablas, cajon, udu, keyboards, bass and the divine voices of an amazing line-up including GuruGanesha Singh, Tina Malia, Jai-Jagdeesh, Mata Mandir Kaur, Jessica Cauffiel, Michelle Hurtado and Krishan, the diversity of styles creates an experience that is truly a surge of Kundalni energy!
GuruGanesha Singh – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Tina Malia – Vocals
Jai-Jagdeesh – Vocals
Sat Siri Jyotika (Jessica Cauffiel) – Vocals
Michelle Hurtado – Vocals
Mata Mandir Kaur – Vocals
Ramesh Kannan – Tabla, Cajon, Udu
Ian Walker – Bass
Thomas Barquee – Vocals, Keyboards
Krishan Khalsa – Vocals, Tabla, Percussion