Where Is Western Kirtan Headed? Conversations with Kirtan Leaders.

This week’s show begins a series of interviews on where Western kirtan is headed. The topic is serendipitous, and came about because of a conversation I had several months ago with Dave Stringer & Madi Das — I was interviewing them because their CD ‘Bhakti Without Borders’ was nominated for a Grammy this year. During that conversation we went down the side street of right livelihood for kirtan artists & subsequent talks with Ian Boccio of Blue Spirit Wheel & Gershone Hendelberg, Mike Cohen & Wah, Jai Uttal & Ben Leinbach & Nina Rao led to an expansion of the topic.
This week you’ll first hear the short conversation with Madi & Dave that started things. Then Ian Boccio & Gershone Hendelberg will give us their perspective followed by an excerpt from the conversation with Wah & Mike Cohen — this will be continued in Part 2. As I was talking to these artists I became aware of a change to SiriusXM’s Krishna Das channel, and how that change is affecting our kirtan artists. We’ll talk about that, and also about how streaming & downloading is affecting their compensation. Have you ever wondered how kirtan artists are supported in India or what’s it like to be a touring kirtan artist here in the United States? How are kirtan artists making money these days? You’ll find out in this week’s show.
Your choices can have a profound impact. What do we want our kirtan community to look like? How can we come together to create it? That’s what we’ll be exploring in this series. If you’d like to join in this conversation I’ll be start a Facebook group so we can all talk to each other — I’ll also let the artists know so they can participate.

Next up we’ll have an interview with David Newman. Thanks for listening my friends, and until next time — Namaste.

P.S. Here’s the link to our New World Kirtan listener survey!

Photo credit: ‘The Village’ by Lakshmi Grace Phoenix.

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