This October, Alice Coltrane’s Sai Anantam Singers will be performing in Philidelphia, New York City and Miami, as part of small East Coast tour.
The shows are in partnership with the longstanding and culturally relevant institutions and festivals such as BAM’s “Next Wave Festival” in Brooklyn, Fringe Art’s “October Revolution” in Philadelphia, and The Rhythm Foundation in Miami. For tickets and event details, please visit our page page, here.
Original members of Alice’s Ashram Singers, along with a number of special guests—including a rare appearance from Purusha Hickson, one of Alice’s very first students—will perform her ecstatic music backed by Surya Botofasina on keyboards and Joe Blaxx on drums (Dezron Douglas will join on bass at the shows in Philly and NY, too). At the NY show, filmmakers Vincent Moon and Priscilla Telmon will add to the performance with accompanying live video projections of scenes from the Ashram.
Alice Coltrane was a jazz innovator, composer, and bandleader who grew up playing gospel, classical, and jazz in Detroit. She was an exceptional musician before meeting husband and collaborator John Coltrane, to whom she was married for only four years before his death in 1967.
After a period of great personal suffering, Alice met guru Swami Satchidananda and traveled to India with him. Following a visit there, she had a vision to open an ashram, and bought 50 acres of land in Agoura Hills, California, on the outskirts of Los Angeles. There a multi-ethnic and multi-generational religious community grew around her.
Sundays were the high point of living in this very special and loving environment. Alice would lead the community in a powerful musical ceremony, mixing both gospel and Indian chant, to create music she wholly invented.
The ceremonies were intended to be participatory. Everyone is welcome to partake through singing, chanting, clapping, or however one feels comfortable. Lyrics of the songs (bhajans) will be included in each program.
For a short introduction to The Ashram Singers, here is a short video from last year’s Le Guess Who Festival, in The Netherlands: