4th Twin Cities Kirtan Fest offers yogic music for the community


kirtanThe Fourth Annual Twin Cities Kirtan Fest will take place from 4-11 p.m. on Saturday, March 2 at One Yoga: Non-Profit Yoga Studio. 721 W. 26th St. in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis.

This joyous community event is a celebration of Sanskrit participatory music, or kirtan. Kirtan is a form of bhakti yoga — the yoga of devotion — and it connects participants with their hearts and spirits, and evokes feelings of bliss. The festival features local and regional bands each with their own unique sound.

This year’s festival includes Minneapolis veteran bands — Wild Moon Bhaktas, and Sitara & Kalyani with Pavan Kumar — two newly formed local bands — Soul Flower and Mahajapa — as well as regional guests Lila from Milwaukee and DJ Taz (Tazdeen Rashid) from Chicago. The event will feature a silent auction with proceeds going directly to charity. Tickets are a suggested donation of $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Advance sales are highly encouraged at www.raisingtheconsciousness.com as space is limited.

The event is produced by Raising the Consciousness (Keith Helke, Susan Shehata and Colleen Buckman). The 2013 Twin Cities Kirtan Festival is sponsored by Mammaste, Common Grounds Yoga & Music Festival, Tree of Life Yoga, the Edge Magazine, Restore Healing and Spark Wellness.

New Album
Sitara & Kalyani with Pavan Kumar are Minneapolis-based chant artists who have been playing together for more than six years and have just released the self-titled album, Sitara & Kalyani with Pavan Kumar. At the heart of their music is the message of transformation, connection and liberation. The band is comprised of Susan Shehata (Sitara) on lead vocals/harmonium, Colleen Buckman (Kalyani) on lead vocals/guitar, and Keith Helke (Pavan Kumar) on bass.

Long time friends, the trio became lovers of bhakti yoga over several journeys to India. Joining musical forces as the band Sitara & Kalyani with Pavan Kumar, they have become regulars on the Twin Cities and Midwest Kirtan scene. Now these powerful artists unite on a collective album, sharing their unique spiritual alchemy with a wider audience. Will Kemperman joins them on the rhythm section, bringing a wealth of hand drum and drum set experience.

Sitara & Kalyani with Pavan Kumar offer a departure to the traditional call-and-response style of Kirtan by merging the powerhouse vocals of lead vocalists Susan and Colleen. The alchemical nature of the sound created by this union, in addition to the humor the band brings to the stage, adds a respectful levity to these sacred songs.

For more information and to buy the new album, visit www.sitaraandkalyani.com.


  1. I would like to go but the event is advertised for Saturday, March 2nd. Since Saturday falls on the 1st of March, I am wondering if it will be on Sat. the 1st or Sun. the 2nd.

  2. Laura…the article you are reading is for 2013. The upcoming Kirtan Fest will be featured in the February 2014 Edge, this coming month.


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