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  • Data di nascita

    31 Maggio 1947 (età: 69)

Krishna Das (born Jeffrey Kagel May 31, 1947 in Long Island, New York) is a U.S. vocalist known for his performances of Indian devotional music called kirtan (chanting the names of the gods).

Krishna Das traveled to India in the 1960s where, along with Ram Dass, he studied with a Hindu guru named Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji). Krishna Das has studied Buddhist meditation practices, Bhakti Yoga - in Hinduism this is the yoga of devotion, and is now devoted to singing and teaching. He has released several CDs, and he travels around the world giving performances and teaching, sometimes with Ram Dass. In recent years he also has often led workshops in combination with leading meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg. He has also offered workshops with yoga teacher Dharma Mittra.

Krishna Das is arguably the best known U.S. singer of Indian kirtan-style devotional music. Similar artists include Bhagavan Das, Jai Uttal, Sean Johnson and The Wild Lotus Band, Shyam Das, Lokah Music, Wah!, Deva Premal, Girish and Snatam Kaur.

Krishna Das has recorded a number of variations of the Hanuman Chalisa, a 40 stanza Hindi devotional poem to Hanuman by Tulsidas (c.1600). In recent years, he has also performed and recorded "Jesus is on the Mainline"; he comments that he read the Gospels while in India and that "they sound a lot different at 10,000 feet". Other heterodoxies are found on his album Door of Faith (2003), which includes a setting of the Hanuman Chalisa that interpolates the Buddhist "Gate of Sweet Nectar" and a setting of the Gospel tune "God is Real" which blends in "Hare Ram". Krishna Das's harmonium bears an image of Hanuman, and he generally wears red T-shirts when he performs (a coloring associated with Hanuman).

Krishna Das's musical style is distinctly Western, using chord progressions typical of Western popular music. The kirtans he leads often build from a slow, meditative tempo to a high paced catharsis. It is common for his audiences to stand up and dance during some of his Hare Krishna chants. The ensembles with which Krishna Das performs change frequently. The group usual includes a tabla player (Ty Burhoe or Arjun Bruggeman, in particular), other percussion (including cymbals, drum kits, and occasionally cowbell and triangle), strings (cello or violin), or electric bass or guitar. He is accompanied vocally (and sometimes on khol drum) by Nina Rao. Two of his albums have featured Hans Christian as a guest multi-instrumentalist.

Krishna Das composed the melody for the Anusara Yoga invocation, "Om Nama Shivaya Gurave," at the request of John Friend, founder of Anusara Yoga. Friend describes this composition as occurring during a summer night at a secluded mountain retreat center in Utah in 1998.

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