Maui Arts & Entertainment

Get enChanted with Krishna Das

December 6, 2010, 11:14 AM HST
* Updated December 7, 1:18 AM
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by Maesyn

In Sanscrit, the word Kirtan means “to repeat.”

For anyone new to the genre, it refers specifically to chanting the many names of God in repetition. Imagine being in a room full of people singing praises to life, led by a charismatic musical director of devotional melting-into-bliss. There you’d have it – the Kirtan experience.

When Krishna Das takes the stage at Studio Maui this Sunday, December 12th at 7 pm, you will be a member of his choir.


In a world of stages and audiences, rockstars and fans, the idea of equality rarely comes into play at a concert.


In India, however, and in the rapidly expanding genre known as devotional music, it is the standard approach. The audience becomes an integral part of the song, repeating the lyric and melody sung by the leader.

Perhaps the most well known western Kirtankar, Krishna Das is the original musical mystic translator between the East and West. He and his compatriot, Ram Das, became legendary figureheads in the 1960’s when they travelled to India and met their guru, Maharaji (otherwise known as Neem Karoli Baba).


After their own immersion, they became teachers who brought back the essence of Eastern devotional traditional to a generation of spirituality hungry hippies in the United States.

While New Age spiritual music is often thought of as fluffy, Krishna Das grounds a modern edge into Old Age music. Few other American wannabe Kirtanists are respected by the Hindus of India, but Krishna Das is a masthead of brotherhood between shores. He has done the spiritual work, and he sings in traditionally trained styles, melded tactfully with a modern flair.

He brings the grit of rock and blues to his traditional Hindu chants. He has worked with production greats like Rick Ruben (Beastie Boys), who has helped shape Das’ music into something that is widely palatable and even catchy. With 8 albums released in the last 16 years, he is going strong.

“In a time when people need hope and reminders of faith, Krishna Das is a great teacher. He uses music to help us heal ourselves,” said attendee-to-be, Sharon S.

Krishna Das will be touring with his band – Nina Rao, Arjun Bruggeman, and Genevieve Walker. His most recent studio release, “Heart as Wide as the World” rocked the charts and made him a household name as one of the most unforgettable spiritual artists to cross over into a mainstream vein of awareness.

The music starts at 7, but people will be arriving early for socialization, dinner, desserts, and hugs. The event is certain to sell out ahead of time, so it is recommended to get your tickets early. For more background on Das, go to

Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at door.

Studio Maui is located at 810 Haiku Road in Haiku.

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