The Denver Chant Fest, a weekend-long gathering of top bhakti musicians in Denver, Colo., is kicking off a divine weekend of music, dance and yoga tonight, Feb. 15, with a Ganesha Puja Ceremony and Intention at 6 p.m. conducted by Manoj Chaiam, Jyonthi Chalam and Janet Stone.
After the opening ceremony, the spiritual games begin with a yoga class led by Janet Stone and music by DJ Drez, followed by kirtan by Dave Stringer and dancing to music provided by DJ Drez and the Luminaries.
For those not familiar with kirtan, it is a call and response form of song that, among other things, produces a powerful, transformative heart-opening state.
In a recent interview on NewWorldKirtan.com, kirtan singer Jai Uttal told Kitzie Stern:
Music opens up the emotions. It opens up the heart. When we get into kirtan I feel like it amplifies that aspect, you know, exponentially. Mantras, particularly the nama mantras, the names that we sing in kirtan...these names are considered another manifestation of the deities. The mantras have incredibly vast power to transform us.
The Chant Fest will also include call and response by Jai Uttal, Dave Stringer, C.C. White, and Govindas and Radha.
The weekend will include a lineup of yoga classes by Bryan Kest, Janet Stone and Saul David Raye. Raye, a kirtan musician as well as a yoga instructor, will lead the final kirtan session and the post-fest yoga class.
The event will take place at the Sherman Street Event Center in a grand Byzantine-themed ballroom. It is listed on both the National and Colorado Registry of Historic Places and according to the event center’s website, is one of the finest example of Moorish Revival architecture in the region.
To learn more about the festival, go to DenverChantFest.com.