Visiting The Sai Anantam Ashram in California is incredibly powerful. Founded in 1982 by Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda, it is a beautiful, multi-ethnic and multi generational religious community. Any time you go there, you are bound to meet the most loving and uplifting people, where everyone is welcome – always.
The high point of living in this very special and loving environment took shape on Sundays when Alice would lead the community in a musical ceremony, mixing both gospel and Indian chant, to create a music she wholly invented – it was something extraordinarily powerful. The Ashram is still there today. There are still some who live there and there is still a weekly Sunday service that is open for everyone – but for how long that will be a possibility is very hard to say. The Ashram has been up for sale since 2015..
On May 21st, and in partnership with Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York, we feel very proud to present the very first iteration of what we call ‘An Ashram Experience’, taking place at the stunning arts and performance space, the Knockdown Center. The first half of the night is inspired by the Sunday ceremonies Alice held at her Sai Anantam Ashram in California. Timed to coincide with sundown, the powerful, spiritual music will be performed by an ensemble led by music director Surya Botofasina, who grew up at the Ashram. The latter half will be a concert led by her son, Ravi Coltrane, featuring an all-star band playing music from throughout Alice’s career.
Our goal with this show — which we hope will be the first of many — is to share this feeling of warmth and love that you get when visiting the Ashram, to as many people as possible. This day will include many elements of the original Sunday services. The listener will be taken out of the normal concert environment as much as is possible, and given a hopefully richer, fuller, more spiritual experience. Performing the music will be many of the original members of the Ashram, along with added backing musicians and special guests. And, as always at the Ashram itself, the ceremonies are participatory by all, and that is highly appreciated.
We hope you feel welcome to take part in this journey with us.
Tickets available for purchase here.
Pre-order “World Spirituality Classics: The Ecstatic Music of Alice Coltrane Turiyasangitananda”, and listen to “Om Shanti” below.