World renowned Snatam Kaur came to Ashland on the wings of Deva Premal and Mitten in 2003. She actually was in the audience and the band invited her onstage to perform during the concert. Dressed in all white, and extremely beautiful, many were brought to tears by her outstanding voice and angelic presence. On Valentine's Day, 2004 she returned with her own band which included GuruGanesha and Thomas Barquee. Again, she became an Ashland favorite. Circle of Teran hosted her for two concerts but when she started drawing a larger audience by necessity moved into town. In 2008 Snatam performed at the Unitarian Church with a larger space. She came again in 2009 to the church for a "standing room only performance." Again she outgrew the church and moved to Southern Oregon University in 2011 and filled the room to overflow.
Snatam performs in Ashland once again at SOU Music Recital Hall on May 16, 2013 for her eighth appearance in Ashland. Tickets are on sale at Spirit of Shakti, 471 A St in Ashland. Buy tickets early as it will sell out. Credit card orders: www.SpiritVoyage.com/Snatam
Snatam’s legacy as a teacher, sacred singer, luminary touring performer and prolific recording artist are the fruit of a 9-year of non-stop transcontinental voyage of live performances attended by tens of thousands of devoted followers and new faces. She recently graced the pages of Oprah’s “O” magazine and performed for Oprah on her birthday in Maui. Like countless others around the planet Oprah “plays her [music] everyday before meditating”.
Snatam Kaur's parents brought her up in the Sikh tradition as taught by Yogi Bhajan. From an early age, she practiced yoga and meditation daily and her mother taught her Gurmukhi, a Northern Indian dialect of Sanskrit. Her Sikh community augmented these lessons with instruction in kirtan (devotional chanting). "Through these experiences, I learned the pronunciation," she says, "but also I learned the passion for what I was singing because these gatherings were so spiritual."
Snatam's family moved to California when she was two, living in Long Beach and Sacramento. When Snatam was six, the family went to India where her mother studied kirtan. Snatam lived on a ranch near Bolinas, California until 8th grade and then moved to Mill Valley in 1986. During her childhood, she played kirtan with her mother in Sikh temples and at Sikh religious ceremonies. She attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. While at Tam High, she played violin in the school orchestra and began songwriting. Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead coached Kaur and her classmates before they performed her song Saving the Earth at an Earth Day concert in San Francisco on April 22, 1990.
After high school, her love for the Indian musical tradition and for children took her to Miri Piri Academy, a boarding school for children in India. Snatam spent time taking care of the young children, teaching physical education, and providing music for the children's morning and evening chanting.
When she returned to the United States, she attended Mills College in Oakland, California, where she obtained a degree in biochemistry, taught yoga classes, and shared her chants with Western audiences.
But India called her back. After touring and performing Kirtan in northern India, Snatam settled in Amritsar where she studied music with the accomplished ragi (Indian master of Sikh-style kirtan) Bhai Hari Singh. This was a great honor for her, and particularly meaningful because Singh was the same teacher who had taught her mother when she was just a little girl.
Upon returning to the US from India, Snatam began her career as a recording artist with a band called the Peace Family. She served as the band's lead singer and, with two skilled and accomplished musicians - Livtar Singh and GuruGanesha Singh, had her first opportunity to write songs. Two years later she began to develop her own sound and style and embarked on a very fruitful solo career.
For more information about the Ashland 2013 event call Linda Cotrufello at 541-324-7971. Namaste!