Toronto Kirtan Community

Toronto Kirtan Community
Kirtan Forever!

~ Connecting & Creating Community for Kirtan Lovers in Toronto and Beyond ~

ALL known kirtans are posted below on this website's Kirtan Calendar, on the left side above the list of links.

To receive a weekly newsletter listing kirtan events or to have your kirtan posted, please email

On FaceBook: 'TorontoKirtanCommunity' group: I post the upcoming week's kirtans, as well as interesting articles, videos, photos, links about events and artists.

On Facebook's 'TorontoKirtanCommunity' page: links and information about kirtan and musicians are posted.



Kirtan opens the heart and stills the mind. It is the yoga practice of ecstatic chanting. Through repeating the Divine Names in Sanskrit, the mind is cleared of worry, doubt, fear and all limiting concepts. The joy of peace and infinite love is given to the practitioner, and transmitted through the world by chanting. This is the practice of bhakti yoga or the yoga of devotion. - contributed by Pat Sandford

“Music that is saturated with soul force is the real universal music, understandable by all hearts.” — Paramahansa Yogananda

“Kirtan is for all people. There are no experts, no beginners. The practice itself is the teacher, guiding us to ourselves. Kirtan allows us to enter into a mystery world—a world where all the logic of our minds, all the condition and learning are left outside. And in this mystery, we create a temple inside of our hearts, a place of refuge, a place of love, a place of just being.” —Jai Uttal

"Chanting is a way of getting in touch with yourself. It's an opening of the heart and letting go of the mind and thoughts. It deepens the channel of grace, and it's a way of being present in the moment." -- Krishna Das

"You start doing chanting as technique. You start to sing ‘Shri Ram, Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram.’ You start thinking it means, Honorable Ram, Hail Ram, Hail Hail Ram. Then after an hour you stop thinking about all of that and you are just singing it. You are realizing the aesthetic of the music and how beautiful it is. Then after a while it starts to go deeper until your heart is just singing, it’s singing from inside you. Then there’s a point where true bhakti starts- where dualism ends and you become like the chant. You are in a space where it’s not emotional anymore. It’s moved into the deeper, intuitive quality of love. Touching that love leaves you with trust in the method and trust in where the method takes you—trust in the Beloved and trust in how you get there." –Ram Dass

"If we know anything about a path at all, it's only because of the Great ones that have gone before us. Out of their love and kindness, they have left some footprints for us to follow. So, in the same way that they wish for us, we wish that all beings everywhere, including ourselves, be safe, be happy, have good health, and enough to eat. And may we all live at ease of heart with whatever comes to us in life."
- Kirtan closing prayer by Krishna Das

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Come retreat with BRENDA McMORROW


About Brenda:

Canadian Devotional Chant artist, Brenda McMorrow has had a rich and diverse musical career (from folk to jazz to bluegrass) and now, with a deep devotion to the unveiling and celebration of our true beings through the power
of sound, she is invited to travel worldwide to share her unique blend of original folk-inspired melodies, world beats and sacred Indian devotional chants.

It was when Brenda participated in her first Sanskrit chant while attending a Yoga workshop in 2004, that she had a profound knowing her musical journey was leading her to places more expansive and heart-opening than she had ever imagined. Brenda remembers: “It was a very simple chant (Om Namah Shivaya), and at the time I had no idea what it signified: all I knew was that every cell in my body started vibrating, and I felt absolute joy”. While in India soon thereafter, Brenda began combining her own songwriting with ancient Sanskrit chants - and she has been flowing with this divine wave of Bhakti energy ever since.

Brenda is a featured artist on the White Swan Records roster, a Colorado label well known for it's high-profile yoga-inspired artists like Deva Premal. She has accompanied Grammy award winning cellist David Darling and esteemed Kirtan musicians Jai Uttal, Wah!, David Newman, Girish and Dave Stringer, and has been invited to Bhakti Yoga festivals and events across the U.S., Canada, Italy and Germany as part of her most recent tour schedule. When not on the Bhakti road, Brenda calls beautiful Guelph, Ontario home.

Brenda McMorrow 2010

A folk troubadour who toured outdoor music festivals as a solo singer–songwriter and played in bands exploring everything from jazz to bluegrass, Canadian–born Brenda McMorrow was a seasoned music veteran before finding spiritual awakening in the practice of yogic chant, the kirtan. Ameya (or boundless) is her joyously assured debut collection of classic kirtans, interpreted with her own seasoned rootsy style. While spiritually grounded to their core, her songs breathe deeply in a free, driving down the road in North America mellow-gold style; her warmly raspy, slightly nasal, sandy beach voice and acoustic guitar anchor the ancient yoga chants.

The tracks here are full of graceful attention to small details, filling headphones with rich sound thanks to acclaimed world music producer Ben Leinbach (Jai Uttal and others). "Govinda Gopala" finds McMorrow's voice carrying a ghostly echo over her mellow, strummed acoustic guitar, gradually building up in intensity with bass and drums. "Ayodhya Vasi / Rama Rama" opens on smooth, ingratiating drones, welcoming you into its sacred aural space before settling into a guitar, bass, drums bit of rocking and rollicking mellowness. Contrasting the general sublime softness of the album, "He Ma" enlivens the set with a jubilant rhythm section and McMorrow's deliciously husky voice guilelessly inspiring one to sing and clap along.

As rich as it is with good feeling and Leinbach's warm production space, Ameya depends on Brenda McMorrow's dusky voice and laid-back but earthy, present style, as beguiling, sensual, and sweet as you always imagined life could be. Ameya shows that these millennia-old kirtans are still relevant and very adaptable to the rhythms and emotional melodies we associate with adult-contemporary western pop music. When yogic chant and singer-songwriter talent merges in a nurturing voice like McMorrow's we all benefit. This wandering Canadian folk troubadour has found a home in the boundless flow of newly awakened spirit; the power and light is audible in her every breath on Ameya, and you, me, and the world are all invited to dance, meditate, sing along, or just drift in the flow of a happy, settled heart.

'Love Abounds' CD by Brenda McMorrow features Sanskrit mantras, chants and acoustic music for kirtan, meditation and yoga.

Love Abounds, the sophomore release from Canada's Brenda McMorrow, illustrates the great strides she's taken since her acclaimed debut, Ameya. The beauty and sacred power of ancient Sanskrit chant form the foundation for this contemporary suite of folk-influenced songs rich in acoustic and ambient electronic textures. Produced by the esteemed Ben Leinbach (Deva Premal/Jai Uttal), these songs of devotion, expansion and infinite possibility lead us to the essence of who we really are -- that place where love abounds.
Featuring: Grammy winning cellist David Darling, bansuri master Manose and Juno-nominated global electronica visionary Eccodek.


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