Chakra Announcements

Sri Kesava breaks new ground in music

Review by Sura das
BBT and Temple Bhajan Band, Los Angeles

Posted September 27, 2004

Every now and again an artist comes along who can launch our Vaisnava tradition into mainstream popularity. Sri Kesava dasi from Los Angeles is such an artist. She has just released her latest CD, The Avatar Sessions.

Formerly of the Krishnacore bands Baby Gopal and Shelter, her new project is a beautiful hybrid of ancient and modern sounds. Many of the songs are favorites from our Songs of the Vaishnava Acaryas songbook, but it is the production style that is the most intriguing. Traditional instrumentation -- sarod, mrdanga, violin, harmonium, flute and tabla -- overlay driving dance beats and samples, creating sounds that are truly groundbreaking. DJ mixes of Govindam Adi Purusam, Gopinath and Jago Mohana Piyare sit alongside traditional renditions of Govinda Jaya Jaya and Radha Madhava in our own unique Gaudiya Vaishnava style.

The CD was co-produced by Gauravani of "Kindred Spirits" and the DC-based Avatar Studios group and also includes a bonus DVD component featuring a beautiful music video.

Around the world we are seeing such an explosion of interest in Yoga and world music. Both Sri and my own Temple Bhajan band play out regularly in the southwest United States and I personally see how popular kirtan is becoming within the Yoga community and beyond. This CD puts our own tradition firmly in the marketplace alongside such popular artists as Krishna das and Bhagavan das. While this CD definitely attracts the mainstream, ISKCON devotees can also enjoy the traditional bhajans as well as get boring housework done in record time with the help of the up-beat DJ mixes!

Once again, Sri is part of a new music movement with its own catch phrase -- no longer Krishnacore, but rather "sacred dance" and "Indo-world beat." Check out her site and listen to the song samples. I also encourage devotees who distribute CDs as part of their sankirtan and others with gift stores to carry the CD. To purchase a CD, obtain distribution information or book a performance, contact her through her site or write to