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

Friday, March 30, 2012

An Evening of Bhakti April 13th @ Toronto's Hare Krishna Centre's Govinda's

We invite you to come and dive into an evening full of divine chants as you learn more about the ancient teachings of the yoga of the heart. The premise of the "Evening of Bhakti" is to hold a spiritually-soaked event for you. Whether you are completely new to the concept of bhakti-yoga or a seasoned veteran, you can expect an incredible evening of chanting, wisdom, dancing and more, followed by a vegan dinner.

Hosted at beautiful Govinda's Dining Hall in Toronto's historic Hare Krishna Centre (243 Avenue Road), we warmly invite your for an evening that will feed the mind, body and soul!

Free Admission - Donations Accepted.

Looking forward to meeting you on Friday, April 13 at 6:30pm! See you there! :-)

Please register at:

Gaura-Shakti Kirtan Yoga

Thursday, March 22, 2012


Spiritfest Retreat: 
A Community Weekend of Music, Nature & Art
June 29 - July 2, 2012
Mansfield Outdoor Education Centre, near Shelburne, ON

More details and workshop schedule soon to come at
To register or for more details, email or call 416.694.8444.

DAVID NEWMAN (DURGA DAS) & MIRA are bringing KIRTAN COLLEGE to Canada for the 1st time April 27-29 2012

* click on poster

Kirtan with David and Mira

Join us for a heartfelt evening of ecstatic call and response chanting, devotional music and sacred song with kirtan chant artist David Newman (Durga Das). David’s distinctive approach to kirtan embodies a heartfelt devotional mysticism with an adventurous musicality and poetic intimacy. His Kirtans are a joyous and spiritually uplifting journey into bliss! David will be joined by his wife Mira, a gifted devotional vocalist and percussionist. All are welcome! Please note if you registered for Kirtan College Saturday night Kirtan is an additional fee of $30.

  • Date: Saturday, April 28 at 7:30 pm
  • Location: Balanced Life Yoga Ajax
  • Cost: $30 advance or $40 at the door

235 Salem Road South (Achilles Ave. & Salem Rd., just south of the 401) Second Floor Ajax, ON L1Z 0B1
(905) 428-2300
Ajax is a part of the Greater Toronto Area. It is approximately 25 kilometres (16 mi ) east of Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario.

DAVID NEWMAN, also known as Durga Das, is a Kirtan Chant Artist, Sacred Singer Songwriter and a practitioner and educator of Bhakti Yoga - the Yoga of Love. David, travels extensively singing Kirtan (Indian devotional chanting) and sharing the spiritual, devotional, meditative and musical aspects of yoga. David's music, rooted in the ancient yogic tradition of sound as a healing path toward self discovery (Nada Yoga), embodies a devotional mysticism, distinctive musicality, poetic intimacy and a deep respect for India's ancient chant tradition. His recordings expand the traditional Kirtan medium by incorporating a wide range of musical and lyrical elements and by exploring a vast palette of progressive production influences.

David's CDs include Lotus Feet: A Kirtan Revolution, Soul Freedom, Leap of Grace: The Hanuman Chalisa, a CD/DVD set entitled Into the Bliss, Love Peace Chant, To Be Home and his latest release - STARS. David is the author of Merging with Grace. He is also the founder of The Stay Strong Project.

His live kirtans and concerts are joyous, ecstatic, uplifting and exploding with energy.
A dedicated Kirtan Troubadour, David tours throughout the world with Mira, a celebrated devotional singer, recording artist and percussionist.

His CDs and event listings are available on

Tuesday, March 13, 2012


The Wellness Path


The GuruGanesha Band Live in Concert
Featuring special guest artist,
Toronto’s own Professor Paramjeet Singh

June 8 FRIDAY 7:30pm &  June 9 SATURDAY 7:30pm

The Music Gallery in Toronto

197 John Street
just Northwest of Queen Street West & University Avenue at the Southern end of Grange Park
From Queen; University (Osgoode subway station), walk West 3 streets to John Street, then North on John to Stephanie Street.

Single Tickets

In advance
$25 +HST - Premium (1st 3 rows)
$15 +HST - Regular

At the door
$35 +HST - Premium (1st 3 rows)
$25 +HST - Regular

general admission

2 Night Pass (both performances) (available in advance)
$40 +HST - Premium (1st 3 rows)
$25 +HST - Regular


Group Rates (a 10% discount) (available in advance, by phone or in person)

Groups of 10 or more
$22.50 +HST - Premium (1st 3 rows)
$13.50 +HST - Regular


UofTtix Online Box Office
(416)978-8849 [97UTTIX] 
Box Office open for in person and phone sales Monday through Friday, 11am to 5pm
Phone: (416) 978-8849

Back in 1973, a young man left an up-and-coming rock band called Cat’s Cradle to walk the spiritual path, embracing the Sikh faith and the practice of Kundalini Yoga. It was a hard choice. But his spiritual guide, the world-renowned Kundalini Yoga master Yogi Bhajan, told the young man, “Whatever you leave behind to walk this path will re-manifest later, in a higher form.”

Today the world knows that man as GuruGanesha, a guitarist of exceptional grace and expressiveness, a singer, songwriter, producer and entrepreneur who has been a leading figure in establishing world sacred music as one of the fastest-rising and creatively fertile genres on the current scene. Having worked with celebrated vocalists like Snatam Kaur, Seal and Tina Malia, GuruGanesha is now stepping into the limelight with his own project. Simply named "The GuruGanesha Band," it is a true labor of love for the gifted musician, not to mention the fulfillment of Yogi Bhajan’s promise all those years ago.

"This is a project that I’ve had in my heart for many years," says GuruGanesha. "Upon turning 60 recently, it became clear to me that this was the perfect time to launch it. The idea behind The GuruGanesha Band is to bring to the world sacred music genre a true guitar band sound reminiscent of the great guitar bands of yesteryear, but with lyrics totally focused on our better angels, i.e., our Divine nature! All the spiritual and musical work I’ve done for the past 39 years has been preparing me for this."

Players and singers in The GuruGanesha Band include Jai Kartar (Michelle), Hans Christian, Daniel Paul, Sat Kartar Singh, Gurusangat and Russel Green. GuruGanesha describes his band's sound as "a unique blend of raga, kirtan and rock. I will primarily be playing electric guitar and I’m hand-picking the musicians not only for their musical virtuosity but also for their ability to channel the spiritual energy that the band will be serving. The vocals will be a group effort with plenty of rich two and three part harmonies. The audience will be encouraged to fully participate, whether it be singing along, dancing or just meditating deeply on the music."

Long noted for the effortless grace and mellifluous lyricism of his acoustic guitar work, GuruGanesha’s music journey has gradually but steadfastly brought him back to his first love, the electric guitar.

"For me, it’s the way I can most totally express my heart and soul," he says. "Back when I first got into the spiritual path, I put the electric guitar in the closet and did what most of us did when we joined an ashram—switched to an acoustic. And for 30 years, I was strumming chords and leading chants."
GuruGanesha’s electric guitar first came out of the closet at a landmark live performance with pop icon Seal at the 2000 Summer Solstice celebration in the Jemez Mountains near Santa Fe, New Mexico. He returned to the instrument midway through his 2011 Song of the Soul tour, which he co-headlined with Tina Malia.

"The first time I played electric guitar on that tour was during our May concert in Berkeley, CA," he recounts. "It was beautiful for me to see how quickly people's faces lit up. It was an exhilarating experience!"

Always a consummately expressive guitarist, GuruGanesha soars to new heights when he picks up an electric. With shimmering, glassy tonalities and evocative textures, he takes the vast sonic potential of modern guitar electronics to a blissful place. And like all the great instrumentalists — from Manose to Ravi Shankar to John Coltrane — GuruGanesha can make his chosen instrument sing with the plaintive emotional intimacy of the human voice itself.

The GuruGanesha Band made its debut on September 16, 2011 at Spirit Fest in Waynesboro, PA, offering the ecstatic crowd a selection of songs from GuruGanesha’s deep back catalog of solo albums, which includes Pure Ganesh, Joy is Now and his newest release, Kundalini Surjhee. Audiences across the country can experience The GuruGanesha Band in concert during the band’s inaugural tour, which kicks off on March 15th in Encinitas, CA and crosses the continent from coast to coast. Look forward to an intimate evening with one of the great innovators of world devotional music.
“Though the concerts will feature the music,” says GuruGanesha, “I’ll also be sharing stories from my 40 years on the spiritual path, including many about Yogi Bhajan. Some of the stories are quite hilarious, while others I’m hoping folks will find to be deeply moving.”

GuruGanesha's Personal Music Choices for Yoga and Meditation

For more than a decade now, countless people have relied on the inspirational music of GuruGanesha Singh as a backdrop and support to their yoga and meditation practices. Whether it’s the guitarist’s superb solo work or his many popular recordings with the sublime singer Snatam Kaur, the music of GuruGanesha establishes a tranquil and focused mood equally suited to the mat or the meditation cushion.

Not surprisingly, GuruGanesha’s music arises from his own vigorous daily Kundalini Yoga practice and meditation sessions, an integral part of his overall life of devotion and service. Traditionally, music is a part of Naad Yoga, the yoga of sound, and many cultures across the world regard music as sacred. Not all mantra artists practice yoga asanas (postures), but the 61 year old guitarist, singer and songwriter is one kirtan wallah who walks it like he talks it—or stretches it like he sings it—both at home and on the road.

“It gives me so much vitality,” he says. “Every morning I do my full yoga routine before I start singing and practicing music. I am filled with immense gratitude to have had the opportunity to study and practice Kundalini Yoga for the past four decades, and there's a sense of peace, balance, harmony and well-being that it brings me every day.”

When he packs up for the GuruGanesha Band’s West and East Coast tour that starts in March—the debut outing from his latest musical adventure—GG is sure to be bringing his yoga mat and music collection. What is his yoga playlist like?

“I play more uptempo music for asana practice than I do for meditation. For Kundalini Yoga, you’re looking for something upbeat with a little more juice, but that still has a mantra and is meditative. Here is some of the music I play:”

1. “Rama Bolo” by Jai Uttal
2. “God is Real” by India Arie
3. “So Much Magnificence” by Deva Premal and Miten
4. “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison
5. "Silent Awakening" by Tina Malia
6. "Mool Mantra" by Nirinjan Kaur

GuruGanesha follows up his asana practice with deep pranayama exercises and then meditation. He’ll sometimes use music as a support or focus for his meditation. For this, he recommends the following inspirational recordings:

1. “Gayatri Mantra” by Deva Premal and Miten
2. Shanti (CD) by Snatam Kaur
3. "Om Tare" by Ashana
4. Ocean (CD) by Mirabai Ceiba
5. Sattva (CD) by Manish Vyas
6. All is Well (CD) by Hans Christian
7. Reveal (CD) by Girish
8. Language of Love (CD) by Craig Pruess

After meditation, GuruGanesha goes live with 45 minutes of Indian classical vocal exercises, which he learned from his music teacher, Professor Paramjeet Singh. “When I’m finished with that,” GuruGanesha adds, “I pull out my guitar and start playing and singing. I’ll often spend a little time in the morning composing. Or just rehearsing. We’re going to be doing 30 different pieces on this tour with the GuruGanesha Band. Even though it’s my own music, you can never spend enough time internalizing. I’ll sit with the recordings playing and practice along with my acoustic or electric guitar, trying to develop new ideas to play. But all of that comes right out of a devoted yoga practice.”

~Alananda (Alan di Perna, writer forRolling Stone, Guitar World, Yoga Journal)


Tues June 5 @ 7:30 - 10:30pm OTTAWA: GuruGanesha @ Saint Paul's University Amphitheatre, 223 Main Street, Ottawa, Ontario

Join GuruGanesha and his all star band – Michelle Hurtado, Hans Christian, Daniel Paul, Sat Kartar Singh, Gurusangat, Russel Green for a magical evening of joyful chanting, mystical world music and hilarious stories from the spiritual path.

Cost: Tickets $15.00 Advance / $20.00 at the door per person. Children under 12 years old free admittance @ Pranashanti Yoga 52 Armstrong Street (near the Parkdale Market) Ottawa, ON K1Y 2V7

Phone 1 613.761.9642



GuruGanesha Singh is an icon of the yoga music genre. A musician deeply devoted to both his craft and the greater landscape of sacred sound, GuruGanesha's contribution to World Sacred Music is manifold. His three solo releases of Sikh-inspired chant music and his virtuoso guitar work are beloved by his fans world-wide, topping New Age charts and receiving high critical acclaim from magazine reviewers in both New Age and Yoga publications. Long before GuruGanesha Singh released his solo albums, he was the force behind many well known chant musicians, including Snatam Kaur, Thomas Barquee, and Mirabai and released several albums with other musicians including Game of Chants with Guru Singh and Grammy-Winning singer, Seal.

"This is a project that I've had in my heart for many years," says GuruGanesha. "The idea behind The GuruGanesha Band is to bring to the world music scene a group that can musically hold its own with the great guitar bands of all time, but instead of conventional lyrics, singing mantras and divine poetry to transport audiences to a profoundly beautiful and transcendent place. All of the spiritual and musical work I've done for the past 39 years has been preparing me for this."

To listen to the GuruGanesha Band visit for a peek at what you will experience. Please watch the link to the band performing at Sat Nam Fest in 2011