The album is a perfect blend of electronic, ambient textures mixed with energetic, modern beats while maintaining the integrity of the sound current and Hebrew sacred prayers.
New York, NY (PRWEB) October 08, 2015
A young man sits listening to the music, eyes closed, meditating in easy pose, while his friend sways beside him, clapping and shedding tears of joy. Behind them, a mother and her young children laugh, whirling and dancing in a circle. Together, they are experiencing “Kaddish,” the Jewish prayer that mourners say for the dead, in a completely new way. This energetic performance was offered by the Kirtan Rabbi at the Interfaith Kirtan for World Peace, attended by more than 1800 spiritual seekers in June 2014 at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, in New York City. The increasingly popular musician, martial artist and rabbi has announced a series of new concert dates this Fall 2015 in celebration of his third album Kirtan Rabbi: Nondual, a 65-minute collection of kirtan works that releases to mainstream markets this week, enabling him to share his music across more cultures than ever before in his uniquely melodic, playful and yet joyful way. The album has also been submitted for consideration in the upcoming GRAMMY® Awards, airing February 15, 2016.
Already, Nondual has received acclaim from celebrities, religious leaders and devoted followers. Described as “pure joy” by Rabbi Ruth Gan Kagen of Nava Tehila in Jerusalem, and dubbed "Candy for the Ears” by well-known mastering engineer, Michael Fossenkemper, the album brings a completely new sound to 10 beloved prayers and melodies, presented in the 6-panel digipak’s liner notes in three forms, Hebrew, transliterated Hebrew and English. Writer Amos Lassen reviewed the album, noting, “I was stunned by the beauty of what I heard on this CD and after about the second track I found myself responding to the music as I listened. There is a combination here of the intellectual, the spiritual and the musical and as I listened I felt myself drawn back into liturgy in a way that happens when one surrenders himself to what he hears. Liturgy and prayer have always been important to me but I got a totally different sense of it here.”
Indeed, Nondual is as modern and upbeat as kirtan gets, and one’s listening quickly moves beyond language to feeling the rhythm and intention of each piece. The fun beat of “Kedushah Reggae” leads into gentle, Indian flutes on “All Worlds,” quietly fading into the guitar-based “Havayah,” which showcases the rabbi’s deeply resonant voice backed by a choir and additional female voices. Throughout the album, one can’t help but draw likenesses to kirtan groups like Krishna Das, Snatam Kaur, C.C. White, Mandala, and the GuruGanesha Band, with whom Kirtan Rabbi shared the stage at the Interfaith Kirtan for World Peace.
Speaking from his upstate New York residence, Kirtan Rabbi says he hopes people of all faiths will explore the Hebrew musical experience he offers, which – instead of using Sanskrit text – weaves traditional Jewish prayer, poetry, Kabbalah and musical modes together into the increasingly popular call-and-response chant form from India known as “Kirtan.” All three of his albums, he says, were created to highlight the universal truth which is at the core of all spiritual traditions.
Music is not a new pursuit for Rabbi Andrew Hahn, Ph.D., or Reb Drew, as he is lovingly called. For more than a decade, he has appeared to a steadily increasing number of fans at yoga studios, major Jewish institutions and retreats, and at such big stage venues as Bhakti Fest, the Beloved Festival, Moksha Festival, and the Tadasana Festival. LA Yoga, a leading publication in the yoga world, synopsizes the dual effects of the musician’s work, writing, “Rabbi Andrew Hahn, known as the Kirtan Rabbi, has been facilitating bhajan (sacred song) over the last several years. His goal is to create a cross-fertilization of song and wisdom by bringing Jewish teachings to the Yoga world even as he presents bhakti (devotion) to the Jewish world.”
At a series of concerts this Fall, Kirtan Rabbi, will present chants from all three albums; concerts are scheduled in New York City, Ashland, OR, Tiburon, CA, as well as in Aptos, CA, with more dates to be announced. While he performs vocals, rhythm guitars and harmonium, the rabbi is joined on stage and in his studio recordings by an alternating cast of talented singers and musicians, among them, at times, Bibi McGill, Beyoncé’s lead guitarist. Together, they create music that is characterized by great energy, passion and melodic flow, resulting in memorable, harmonic events.
McGill, who is an enthusiastic fan of the rabbi, says of Nondual, “The album is a perfect blend of electronic, ambient textures mixed with energetic, modern beats while maintaining the integrity of the sound current and Hebrew sacred prayers. Kirtan Rabbi is taking kirtan to the next level with his ecstatic experience that ALL can enjoy!”
After experiencing Kirtan Rabbi’s music live, famous actor and Kabbalah student, Roseanne Barr commented “Nondual is profoundly elevating. Resonant, healing. Awakens the heart!”
To listen and learn more about Kirtan Rabbi, Nondual and his earlier albums -- “Kirtan Rabbi: Live!” and “Achat Sha’alti: One Thing I Seek” – please visit his official website at http://www.KirtanRabbi.com
To explore Reb Drew’s Martial Arts Biography, click here.
Join the Kirtan Rabbi newsletter to be notified of upcoming events and new music, by clicking here.
For media interviews, album review copies, artwork or additional information, please contact Beth Ann Hilton, The B Company, at (310) 560-8390 or BethHilton(at)theBcompany(dot)com.
-Prologue: Kedushah Traditional
-Zikr I: Adonai Melech
-Zikr II: Yah Melech
-Yotzer Or (Forming Light)
-Ahavah Rabah (Big Love)
-Ein Od Milvado (There is only One)
About The Artist:
Kirtan Rabbi (Rabbi Andrew Hahn, Ph.D.) is a musician, martial artist, performer and world-engaged rabbi whose music is characterized by great energy, passion and melodic flow. He holds a Ph.D. in Jewish Thought from the Jewish Theological Seminary and received rabbinic ordination from the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. His three albums seek to convey sonically the universal truth which is at the core of all spiritual traditions. Kirtan Rabbi, or Reb Drew (as he is lovingly called), weaves traditional Jewish prayer, poetry, Kabbalah and musical modes together by adapting vibrational Hebrew to the increasingly popular call-and-response chant form from India known as Kirtan — a part of the New Age music genre. He has also practiced and taught tai chi and related martial arts for almost forty years. He thus brings a variety of tools – teaching, music, bodyfullness meditation -- to introduce Jewish Wisdom to an increasingly global, religious village. His main vocation is to make Torah accessible, deep and fun, — to Jew and non-Jew alike — in a way that is participatory and memorable.