On Tuesday, June 18 at 7:30 PM, the kirtan band Shantala returns to Port Townsend along with folk/world artist Mikey Pauker (featured in Time magazine as one of the 10 Stars of The New Jewish Music),.for a concert at Madrona MindBody. (Fort Worden, Bldg. 310) The event is part of their Shalom Tour and features sacred chanting in Sanskrit and Hebrew and uplifting songs in the style of world folk music.
Shantala's core members Benjy & Heather Wertheimer are joined by Greg Barnett on bass and Port Townsend musician David Michael on Celtic harp. The music is a contemporary style of Kirtan—an ancient form of call-and-response singing of ecstatic chants and sacred music. There will be audience participation and invitation for all to sing.
Mikey Pauker's devotional songwriting combines elements of folk, reggae, and hip-hop, incorporating English and Hebrew roots. Inspired by teachers who blend yoga and mystical practices he studied in Jerusalem, soaking up hidden teachings of his ancestral lineage. This guided his development of ecstatic music. Influenced by early Bob Marley, Van Morrison, and The Police, his music has been compared to Michael Franti, Trevor Hall, Mike Love and Stick Figure. His "Rise" music video swept the world with over 1 million viewers this past year.
Benjy Wertheimer is an acclaimed composer, multi-instrumentalist (tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar, keyboards and vocals) who studied Indian classical music for over 25 years with such renowned masters as Ali Akbar Khan and Zakir Hussain. He has shared stages with the likes of Carlos Santana, Paul Winter and Mickey Hart. Benjy has produced 17 CDs since 2000, which have received extensive airplay around the world.
Heather Wertheimer is a singer-songwriter, guitarist and prolific recording artist. As Shantala, she and her husband, Benjy have led kirtan worldwide since 2001. They have released five albums and have an international online following, with hundreds of thousands of YouTube video views and millions of streams on Spotify in 2018 alone. Shantala has performed and recorded internationally with Steve Gorn, Manose and such sacred-music luminaries as Krishna Das, Deva Premal & Miten, and Jai Uttal.
Guitarist/bassist Greg Barnett also plays for Tao Theory, Mukti, Ananda Rasa Kirtan, Jens Jarvie and the Heart Wide Open, Peter Alexander, and Acharya Mangalananda. He has also recently performed with Jai Uttal, Prema Hara, Gina Sala, Kirtan Soul Revival, Sirgun Kaur, Adam Bauer, and Ben Leinbach.He also composes and performs as a solo guitarist.
Port Townsend's own David Michael is a multi-instrumentalist, author and prolific composer who has produced 25 CDs of original music, many featured in syndicated radio shows, cable & network television, documentaries and nature films.
From castles, cultural centers and walking streets of Scandinavia, to the ferryboats of the Salish Sea, he has graced many with his Celtic harp.
$20 advance tickets are available online: www.madronamindbody.com/new-events. $25 at the door. Presented by Madrona MindBody Institute & Purnima Productions. For more info please call 360 344 4475