Arts and Entertainment

Tickets on sale for Shantala in concert at Grace

Shantala — the duo of Benjy and Heather Wertheimer — will perform ecstatic chants and the sacred music of India in concert on Sunday, March 2 at Grace Church.  - Photo courtesy of Grace Church
Shantala — the duo of Benjy and Heather Wertheimer — will perform ecstatic chants and the sacred music of India in concert on Sunday, March 2 at Grace Church.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Grace Church

Shantala will perform ecstatic chants and the sacred music of India at a special concert at 7 p.m. Sunday, March 2 at Grace Church.

Sacred chanting (kirtan) has its roots in the sacred music of ancient India. It is growing rapidly in popularity in the West along with the rise of yoga in American culture. Chanting events involve active audience participation and are open to people of all religious backgrounds. The music carries the audience through a journey of etheric beauty, ecstatic percussion and singing with the devotion of the heart. It is a celebration of life and love; a celebration of the beauty of the spirit through the chanting of sacred names into a state of heightened awareness, bliss and devotion. The audience is invited to participate fully through call-and-response chanting, dance and meditation.

Shantala — the duo of Benjy and Heather Wertheimer — lead kirtan worldwide with soul-stirring vocals, sacred lyrics and exotic instrumentation.

For the concert at Grace, Shantala welcomes special guests bansuri flute-player Steve Gorn and guitarist Sean Frenette.

The weaving of Benjy’s Indian classical singing and instrumentation with Heather’s soaring vocals is freshly original and profoundly moving. Together they create music with beauty, passion and reverence.

Shantala has performed and recorded internationally with such sacred music luminaries as Krishna Das, Deva Premal & Miten, and Jai Uttal.

In 2008, they were named as one of the top “Wallahs to Watch” by Yoga + Joyful Living.

Heather Wertheimer is a singer, songwriter and guitarist who combines her special love of both music and yoga to lead devotional chanting for yoga workshops and spiritual gatherings internationally. She has toured in the U.S. and abroad with her husband Benjy, Steve Gorn, Manose, and Deva Premal & Miten.

Heather’s debut CD with Shantala, “Church of Sky,” was named by New Age Retailer as one of the top 10 albums of 2004. In 2007, they released “Sri,” their second popular kirtan CD, and their first live CD “LIVE in love” was released in 2008.

Benjy Wertheimer is an award-winning songwriter, vocalist, composer and multi-instrumentalist (playing tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar, and keyboards). He has toured and recorded with such artists as Krishna Das, Deva Premal & Miten, Jai Uttal, Walter Becker (Steely Dan), and virtuoso guitarist Michael Mandrell. He has opened for such artists as Carlos Santana, Paul Winter and Narada Michael Walden.

A founding member of the internationally acclaimed Ancient Future world fusion music ensemble, he also toured the U.S., Canada and Japan with renowned bamboo flute master G.S. Sachdev. He studied Indian classical music for over 25 years with some of the greatest masters of that tradition (including Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Ali Akbar Khan and Z. M. Dagar).

Benjy’s CDs receive extensive airplay around the world, and his CD “Circle of Fire” went to No. 1 on the New Age radio charts in November 2002.

Steve Gorn’s bansuri is featured on the 2011 Grammy-winning recording, “Miho – Journey to the Mountain,” with Dhruba Ghosh and the Paul Winter Consort, as well as the Academy Award-winning documentary film, "Born into Brothels." In 2013, he was awarded the Pandit Jasraj Rotary Club of Hyderabad Award for Cross Cultural Achievement.

Sean Frenette is a graduate of New England Conservatory and has performed three times at Carnegie Hall (with Edgar Meyer & Mike Marshall in 2006, Zakir Hussain in 2009, and composer John Adams & Juilliard’s Ensemble ACJW in 2010).

For the past three years, he has toured North America with many different musical projects including singers Lindsey Stormo & Peia Luzzi, conductor Matt Butler’s Everyone Orchestra, and internationally renown kirtan groups Shantala & Dave Stringer.

Tickets are $15 in advance, and $20 the day of the concert.

Grace Church is located at 8595 Day Road.

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