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Drummer Available - Crystal River, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 07-29-2015 ... 12:08 EST
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Drummer Wanted - Clearwater, FL ... Submitted: 07-09-2015 ... 14:52 EST
TOMMY ROXX (& NUTHIN' FANCY) is looking for a new full time drummer. TOMMY ROXX is an original/cover band with one CD out and a second one in the works. NUTHIN' FANCY is the ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute experience with National exposure. ~ You would get to be in BOTH bands.You must be able to play multiple styles. You need to be able to play Southern Rock like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, & the Allman Brothers, Classic Rock like Bad Co, Stevie Ray & Bob Seger, Nugent, and Dance Funk Soul styles as well. You must be a real team player, no drug or alcohol issues, and a pro attitude and gear etc.....NOTE: If you don't have a day job or other means of survival ~ you will not make a living playing in this band - we do it for the music and the fun.... ... ... 7406087 ... Contact: Tommy 727-204-0491
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Vocalist Wanted - Clearwater to Spring Hill, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 06-04-2015 ... 13:24 EST
We are an established Doo Wop Group,We are in need of a first or second tenor. The group has been together forover eight years.If you fit the bill, and are serious about singing.Contact us, and help us keep the music alive. Contact billdoowop@yahoo.com ... 9082997 ... Contact: Call Bill at ( 727 484 5308 )
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Drummer Available - St. Petersburg, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 05-19-2015 ... 11:03 EST
Professional Drummer Available for pick-up gigs, recording sessions or special events. Working engagements only.Solid Meter, Backing Vocals, Great Stage Presence, Deep Pocket, Pro Gear (Yamaha, Pearl, Zildjian, LP), Reliable, and Great Attitude! Currently endorsed through SilverFox Drumsticks.Already working with some of Central Florida's top talent, studios, media outlets and live music venues. Call only if you have dates or sessions on the books. I look forward to helping-Thank you! >>>For more info, photos, video and audio visit: www.FunkyJiveMaster.com ... 7004893 ... Contact: (727) 280-3736
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Gulfport’s 15th annual GeckoFest
Aug 27
2015
promises a full day of free family-friendly fun on Saturday, September 5th from 10:00 a.m. until 10:00 p.m. The streets of the waterfront village will be filled with live music on two stages, hundreds of food, art and craft vendors, kids’ activities, and up close and personal street performances by a bevy of acrobats, magicians, daredevils, dancers, aerialists, escape artists, fire eaters, balloon artists and costumed characters. GeckoFest is located along Beach and Shore Boulevards in the heart of Gulfport.

The theme for this year’s festival is “Gecko Gras!” Join in the spirit of New Orleans if you wish and arrive in costume with your Mardi Gras finest. Or feel free to “geckofy” yourself. The GeckoFest wacky walking parade invites everyone to join in at 6:00. A costume contest for kids and adults will take place after the parade.

The festival will be flanked by two stages offering music throughout the day and night. The line-up for 2015 includes hours of lively tunes from singers and bands including the Hot Tub Club (featuring Gulfport’s own Mayor and First Lady), Yard Dog Charlie, Joel and Dakota, the Southern Road Dog Band, and Gumbo Boogie. To help you put your NOLA moves together, Cajun dance lessons will be offered to the crowd by Jim Hance twice during the day. In support of our area’s youth, GeckoFest will also present BlueRose, Competitive Edge Dance Company and Project Free’s Rising Stars. GeckoFest ends on a high note each year with its ever-popular, high-energy street dances at both stages starting at 8:00.

GeckoFest’s strolling and stationary street performers bring fun, thrills and a circus atmosphere to the village with a chance to get close to the action. Entertainers will make you laugh, gasp and applaud. Step right up and participate in a magic trick. Witness extreme stunts happening just a few feet away. Tie up an escape artist and watch him maneuver out of his bonds. Pose for photos with your favorite characters. Take home your own free, fanciful balloon creation.

This year’s street performers include past favorites and brand new ones. Father-son duo Dallas and Nick are reprising their amazing feats of fire juggling and escape artistry. The Amazing Kenny returns with his mixture of stilt-walking, juggling, fire-eating and ballooning. Comedy/stunt artist George Gilbert creates both laughter and wow-worthy daredevilry. Crazy Indy climbs into his Cyr wheel to perform outlandish acrobatic feats. Magician Rafael Villa amazes crowds with sleight of hand. Other jugglers, magicians, acrobats, face painters, dancers and aerialists will be on hand throughout the festival area. Favorite costumed characters will be roving the village ready to pose for your photos, including pirate “Captain Jack,” the Transformers’ “Bumblebee,” Ivy “Michael Jackson” King, the “O-Fish-Al” Gecko Goddess, as well as “living statues,” more pirates, fairies, sparkly Mardi Gras revelers and giant geckos.

Parking for GeckoFest is free. Free shuttles also offer visitors an opportunity to park in off-site locations for transportation to and from their vehicle and the festival site. For more information on GeckoFest, directions and parking go to www.GeckoFest.com. Like the Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/GeckoFest. GeckoFest offers a fun-filled opportunity to explore quirky Gulfport, a wonderful slice of “Old Florida,” on one of its most colorful days of the year.

GeckoFest is preceded each year by the Gecko Art Show, Gecko Crawl and Gecko Ball. All events are hosted by the non-profit Gulfport Merchants Association. This year’s GeckoFest is sponsored by the following supporters: The City of Gulfport, Bright House Networks, Tampa Bay Times, Cox Media (The Eagle 107.3 & WDUV 105.5), GEICO, Beachlife, Paradise News, The Gabber, Jim’s Harley Davidson, Key West Express, Dole Dippers, YELP!, Tobacco Free Florida, The Island Reporter, Pet Supermarket and Smokin’ J’s BBQ. A portion of proceeds from all Gecko events benefits local charities each year. This year’s charitable recipients include CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse), Circle of Friends of the Gulfport Public Library, Daystar Life Center and the Sonia Plotnick Health Fund.
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Posted:
CARNIVAL PRIDE TO RETURN TO TAMPA
Aug 27
2015
Carnival Cruise Line’s 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride will return to the Port of Tampa to operate a series of five- to 14-day voyages in January and February 2017, providing consumers with an exciting variety of “Fun Ship” vacation choices from this popular Florida port.

Carnival Pride has undergone a multi-million-dollar renovation that added consumer favorites like Guy’s Burger Joint, developed in tandem with Food Network Star Guy Fieri, the full-service Bonsai Sushi, and BlueIguana Cantina serving authentic Mexican fare, along with innovative beverage concepts like the cocktail pharmacy-themed Alchemy Bar, the Caribbean-inspired RedFrog Pub, and the poolside BlueIguana Tequila Bar and RedFrog Rum Bar. A massive WaterWorks aqua park highlighted by Green Thunder, the fastest and steepest water slide at sea, was added, as well.

“Tampa is a popular port for ‘Fun Ship’ cruising and we’re thrilled that the Carnival Pride is returning to the port to operate this series of five- to 14-day cruises which feature visits to top destinations in the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America,” said Christine Duffy, Carnival’s president. “These cruises also provide our valued travel agent partners with exciting new vacation choices to market to their clients,” she added.

Five- to Seven-Day Cruises From Tampa
Carnival Pride will operate a series of seven-day cruises from Tampa departing Jan. 15, 22 and 29, and Feb. 19, 2017, visiting some of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean, including Cozumel, Mexico; Belize City, Belize; Mahogany Bay, Isla Roatan; and George Town, Grand Cayman. Carnival Pride will also offer a five-day cruise round-trip from Tampa February 14-19, 2017, calling at Grand Cayman and Cozumel. Each of these destinations are world-renowned for their beautiful beaches, wide range of sightseeing choices and excellent water sports opportunities.

Special 13- and 14-Day Carnival Journeys Cruises From Baltimore and Tampa
Prior to its deployment to Tampa, Carnival Pride will operate a 13-day Carnival Journeys cruise departing Baltimore Jan. 2 and arriving in Tampa Jan. 15, 2017. Ports of call include Grand Turk, B.W.I.; Cartagena, Colombia; Colon, Panama (including optional excursions to the Panama Canal); Limon, Costa Rica; Mahogany Bay; Cozumel and the Caribbean’s newest destination, Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic, which serves as the gateway to one of the world’s most breathtaking cruising regions.

A 14-day Carnival Journeys voyage will depart Tampa Feb. 26, visiting Cozumel, Limon, Colon, Aruba, Bonaire, and St. Maarten before arriving in Baltimore March 12, 2017. Following this voyage, Carnival Pride will resume its year-round schedule of seven-day cruises from Baltimore beginning March 12, 2017.

Carnival Journeys is a unique collection of longer length voyages featuring spectacular ports of call and unique on-board activities created especially for this one-of-a-kind cruise program. In addition to experiencing and exploring ports of call throughout the Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America, Carnival Journeys guests can enjoy local culinary experiences, participate in exclusive team member Q&As and special activities, including a fun-filled “throw back sea day” with retro activities and old school dining options from the 1980s.

For additional information on these voyages, contact any travel agent, call 1-800-CARNIVAL or visit carnival.com. Carnival can also be found on:
Twitter: www.twitter.com/carnivalcruise
Facebook Fan Page: www.facebook.com/carnival
YouTube: www.youtube.com/carnival
Instagram: www.instagram.com/carnival
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WORLD-FUSION IS THE HALLMARK OF THE ARMSTRONG AND NAHRMANN SOUND
Jul 15
2015
RANDY ARMSTRONG & VOLKER NAHRMANN
BEYOND BORDERS

Sail off on a global voyage with the music of Randy Armstrong and Volker Nahrmann, who
have been creating some of the best world-fusion sounds for the past four decades in Do’a World Music Ensemble, in Unu Mondo and their new ensemble, Beyond Borders with special guests from around the globe. Their music is truly Beyond Borders, the title of their latest collaboration which cements their position as cultural ambassadors and proponents of a harmonious planet.

Beyond Borders draws from diverse influences whether it is the Latin sounds heard in the streets of Havana and Rio de Janeiro, the evocative musical traditions of India and the Middle East, the romantic cafe and cinema music of France and Italy, the tribal traditions of the Native American pow wow, or the worldbeat rhythms of West Africa and the Caribbean, all blended with contemporary jazz, western classical, and folk music influences. Several songs are tributes: to jazz legend Dizzy Gillespie, sitarist Pandit Ravi Shankar, and Beatle George Harrison. The CD comes with a 16-page booklet full of photos and narrative.

Armstrong and Nahrmann composed all of the music on the recording and play on every tune. While Armstrong is primarily a guitarist (acoustic and electric) and Nahrmann a bassist (acoustic and electric), they also play many other instruments including an array of strings, keyboards and percussion as well as a variety of ethnic musical instruments that they utilize in the studio and on-stage during concerts. They are joined on Beyond Borders by many former members of Do’a and Unu Mondo as well as numerous world-class musicians from many countries. The music includes world, jazz, Latin jazz, new age and neo-classical.

One of the great opportunities for a musician living in this day and age is the cross-cultural exchange of ideas in music and lifestyles,” says Armstrong. “Through extensive travel, playing with incredible musicians from around the world, and collecting over 300 instruments from the far corners of the planet, we are inspired to explore this vast cultural diversity in our music. It is our hope that it becomes a boundary-breaking experience for listeners everywhere and contributes to a more harmonious and peaceful planet.


Randy Armstrong has performed on more than 40 albums and film scores. In addition to co-founding Do’a (five albums) and Unu Mondo (Hand in Hand), he has released a solo album (No Regrets) and a pair of children’s storytelling and music albums (Armstrong & Aichele: World Tales - Volume One and Volume Two). He scored the music for a four-part PBS TV series, Dinner On The Diner (which explored four famous train rides around the world), and his resulting double-CD received excellent reviews. He has been commissioned to compose original scores of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth and the epic poem of India, The Mahabharata.

Volker Nahrmann is a graduate of the prestigious Berklee College of Music with additional studies in jazz and classical performance at Graz, Austria, and Frankfurt, Germany. A skilled composer, arranger and keyboardist in addition to his bass-playing, Nahrmann joined the Do’a World Music Ensemble and played on their fifth album, World Dance (which went to #7 on Billboard’s World Music Chart), and began touring with them. He and Armstrong then founded the successful world-fusion recording-and-touring group Unu Mondo. Nahrmann also is the principal bassist for the SymphonyNH and runs the highly-successful Nahrmann Bass Shop in Billerica, Massachusetts (nahrmannbass [dot] com).

Beyond Borders begins with four Latin-influenced tunes. The first, “Ciao Bella,” is a Brazilian-flavored song featuring the scat vocals of Olga Roman (Spain), percussion by Marcus Santos (Brazil) and drumming by Henrique De Almeida (Brazil). “Fear Not Fear” is a contemporary Latin jazz tune with catchy propelling rhythms by Andres Espinoza (Chile) on congas and bongos, and Joe Duque (Venezuela) on drums, plus Ken Gable (who played with Unu Mondo) on sax. Duque has performed extensively in concert with Armstrong & Nahrmann, is a graduate of Berklee College of Music, and with the GED Trio. Gable also graduated from Berklee and has played with Wynton Marsalis, David Sanchez and the New York Latin Jazz Orchestra. The next tunes celebrate legendary trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, one of the first top American jazz artists to record Brazilian-Latin Jazz and introduce it to worldwide audiences. The short “Unidad Anthem” (and the album’s closing “Unidad Epilogue”) feature acoustic guitar, bass and trumpet. Cuban trumpeter Yaure Muniz also performs on “Unidad - Tribute to Dizzy Gillespie,” composed by Armstrong in 1978 but never recorded until now. “I remember when Do’a opened for Dizzy at a jazz club in 1976,” Armstrong says. “We were just getting started, but Dizzy was very positive and supportive and generous with his encouragement and advice. He suggested adding percussion to our sound and that spurred us to study and incorporate more world rhythms.” This tribute to Gillespie’s love of Latin music also features Roman, Duque, Charlie Jennison on sax, and Walt Bostian on trombones.

The album journey then moves to the Middle East for “Wherever You Are” that combines an Indian rhythm called “Rupak” with a Middle-eastern rhythm known as “Dawr Hindi.” According to Armstrong, “The song lyrics express the love between a child and a parent, or it can be interpreted as the longing between two lovers, or between the seeker and the Divine.” The song features Armstrong singing a duet with Hallie Fuller. Also performing are Gable, Duque and Shamou (Iran) on darbuka, a Mid-eastern goblet hand drum. The next piece is “Shanti Om - Dedicated to Ravi Shankar and George Harrison” (both instrumental in introducing the music of India to Western audiences) and it features Armstrong on sitar, tabla and tanpura/tamboura among other instruments along with Nahrmann on bass, dilruba (a bowed stringed instrument from India) and keyboards. Also joining in are drummer and tabla player Marty Quinn, Carnatic violinist Raghav Bhat and vocalist Vidyha Bhat.

“White Cloud Black Thunder” fuses Native American flute playing, drumming and chanting with contemporary jazz. Armstrong (who plays the Lakota courting wood flute) and Nahrmann join with the Black Thunder Singers (winners of a Native American Music Award) along with Gable and De Almeida. “This song celebrates the power of the natural world and of the Native American culture,” explains Nahrmann. In the late Seventies Do’a played several concerts and festivals with the Paul Winter Consort and were impressed by how that group used their music to promote environmentalism. At one of the shows Armstrong and Nahrmann performed an early version of their tune “There’s Always Hope” and invited the Consort’s Grammy Award-winning cellist Eugene Friesen to perform the piece with them. Remembering the magic of that moment decades ago, Armstrong and Nahrmann invited Friesen to re-join them when they recorded this track. Also appearing are saxophonist Charlie Jennison, former Unu Mondo drummer Bertram Lehmann from Germany, and the vocalists from the groups Voices From the Heart and ConTutti (Hallie Fuller, Julie Haggerty Southworth and Cynthia Chatis).

The scene shifts to the Northern Mediterranean and the cafe music of France and the cinema music of Italy for the composition “Love Letters - The Story of Abelard and Heloise” (inspired by their tragic love story in medieval France). Then “Fun in the Sun” celebrates Afro-Cuban music and West African rhythms by utilizing Theo Martey (Ghana) on vocals and djembe, along with members of his Akwaaba Ensemble -- Evelyn Martey on vocals and Saeed Abbas on the dondo talking drum. They are joined by Gable, De Almedia and vocalists Fuller, Southworth and Chatis. Lyrics are in both English and the Ga language.

According to Armstrong, “Beyond Borders is dedicated to the belief that music has the power to uplift the human spirit and be a catalyst for change in the world.”

Music CD Release
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NETHERLANDS MUSICIAN KERANI IS BACK WITH EXCEPTIONAL ALBUM OF NEW AGE MUSIC.
Jul 15
2015
KERANI
Equilibrium

On her latest recording, Equilibrium, top new age keyboardist Kerani uses her music to honor the women of the world, feminine energy, important women in history, and female traits and talents. “I want to see a return to the original perfect male-female balance of harmony and equality on our planet,” she says.

“With this album I wish to bring homage to all women who took it upon themselves throughout history to go against the tide,” explains Kerani. “I pay tribute to those who showed intellect, vision and courage, especially when they defended their causes, followed their calling irrevocably, and were persecuted or even killed for their exceptional knowledge and perseverance. May their spirit shine brightly forever!”

Using her piano and synthesizers in conjunction with an array of orchestral instruments played by accomplished European musicians, Kerani creates musical storytelling that captures people, places, moments in history and passionate feelings. Occasionally she adds subtle vocalizations to further create a mood. With Equilibrium, her fourth album, she solidifies her position as one of the top keyboardists, composers and arrangers in the neo-classical and new age music genres. Her previous album, Arctic Sunrise, went to #2 on the international Zone Music Reporter Chart for this type of music, got airplay on hundreds of radio stations worldwide, was a Top 10 album on the annual ZMR rankings and won the ZMR Neo-Classical Album of the Year Award.

Kerani says. “The music on this album honors the ‘Highest Feminine Energy’ -- the energy that increases the flow of love in the universe with unconditional oneness and understanding, and with an empathy that vibrates through the hearts of all.”

Quan Yin is an East Asian deity of mercy and compassion, who dedicated her life trying to end suffering. The tune “Fragrant Mountain” is named after the place where Quan Yin meditated in a temple. The slow piano and cello piece “Anchoress” honors deeply religious women in medieval Christianity who chose to live lives of prayer and mortification, but also helped people with advice and prayer. The composition “Boudicca, Heart on Fire,” which captures a Celtic and Roman atmosphere and builds in power and intensity, was inspired by the queen of the Iceni tribe in Celtic Britain nearly two-thousand years ago, who led a homegrown army against powerful Roman invaders.

The music of “Hypatia’s Universe” pays tribute to the Greek mathematician, astronomer and philosopher Hypatia (AD 360-415) who lived in Alexandria, Egypt, excelled in literature and science, and headed the Neoplatonic School. Historians wrote: she “far surpassed all the philosophers of her own time.” The lyrics of “O Aeterne Deus” were written by Hildegarde von Bingen (1098-1179) a German mystic, visionary, abbess, composer, author, healer and nutritionist. Starting with a medieval sound featuring a female choir and organ, the song builds with piano, synth and drums to a climactic finish.

Kerani says, “’Lady’s Grace’ tries to capture the beauty and elegance of women, and is inspired by the fashion, customs and traditions of the European courts of the 17th and 18th centuries. It was the age of long gowns, petticoats, intricate hairdos, wigs and snuffboxes, but also a time of courteousness, etiquette and grace.” “Avane” celebrates the miracle of life -- the conception, growth and birth of a baby girl -- as more female energy enters the world. “The Wyse Wytch,” which includes Kerani reciting the names of herbs in Latin, is a tribute to the poor souls who were accused of being witches and were killed (often burned to death) during the witch-hunts throughout Europe and North America between 1450 and 1750.

Kerani played piano and synthesizers on the recording, handled all the female vocal parts, and also arranged, orchestrated and produced. She is joined by special guest musicians including violinist Wilfred Sassen, violist Joanne Wigmans, cellist Joep Willems and trumpet player Jos Gijsen. Some of the musicians are known internationally, such as shakuhachi flute player and recording artist Rodrigo Rodriguez; guitarist (acoustic, electric and dobro) Romain van Beek (who studied at Maastricht Academy of Music and has composed with Mark Knopfler); and flutist and vocalist Jan Mertens.

Kerani was born in Belgium to a Hungarian father and German mother, and Kerani currently lives in the south of The Netherlands near the Belgium border and the area where she grew up. “As a child I listened to the great classical composers like Mozart, Liszt, Schumann and many others.” Her family got an old piano when she was four. “I was strangely drawn to that weathered old thing. Slowly I taught myself to play and I discovered the magic of composing music. The rise of electronic music in the late Seventies and Eighties was a revelation to me -- Jean-Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Kraftwerk, Electric Light Orchestra and Mike Oldfield. These new sounds boosted my inspiration. In 1986 I teamed up with a couple of studio musicians to record the instrumentals ‘Seagullsong’ and ‘Oblivion’ which I released as a single. It got regional airplay and the B-Side became a theme song on Radio 2 Flanders.”

She performed as the lead vocalist and keyboardist in the band Liaison in the city of Ternat where they mostly played the popular music of that time. Kerani moved to Italy for about three years where she taught English language courses (she speaks English, Dutch, French, Italian, Hungarian and German). She wrote and published a book of children’s stories called Cherub (“it tells the story of a little angel who helps children”), and also re-orchestrated 15 children’s songs for an instructional DVD for disabled children. Kerani composed the soundtracks for several documentary films commissioned by the Historical Society of the Roerstreek, and she also scored the documentaries “Antarctic Inspection” and “Rothera” made by the NWO (Dutch Institute for Scientific Research). In addition, Kerani has performed in concert with Terry Oldfield.

Kerani released her first album, Wings of Comfort, in 2011; The Journey in 2012; and Arctic Sunrise in 2014. All three recordings received positive reviews and strong airplay.

A decade ago Kerani began broadening her spiritual journey. “Without abandoning my Christian faith, over the years I have been expanding my spiritual horizon by reading books by Ute Kretzschmar, Drunvalo Melchizedek, James Redfield, Steve Rother, Deepak Chopra, H.H. the Dalai Lama and Paulo Coelho -- to name just a few. When I began meditation, I felt I grasped the essence of spiritual life,” Kerani states.

“As I created the music for Equilibrium, I felt the power, passion and presence of all the women who have populated our planet through the millenniums. I felt Hildegarde’s faith and vision, Bouddica’s strength and determination to save her people, Quan Yin’s love and compassion, Hypatia’s intellect and fascination for science and the universe, and the religious devotion and solitude of the anchoresses. The male-female equilibrium was in perfect harmony at the time of Creation. I hope and pray for its return.”


Music CD Release
Out of USA
  
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WHITE SUN MIXES THE OLD WITH THE NEW ON THEIR SELF-TITLED MANTRA ALBUM
Jul 15
2015
WHITE SUN

The sun is the source of life, and a nurturing, healing force. The most pure and powerful radiance is the White Sun, also the name of a modern musical group that believes in the power of mantras. The music on their self-titled debut album is world-fusion combining contemporary instrumentation with sounds from the past making a unique fresh blend. Their first album reached #1 on the iTunes World Music Chart in less than 12 hours and entered the Billboard World Albums Chart at #10 its first week.

Their recording features mantras that they most-often sing, rather than chant, with instrumentation that ranges from the traditions of India (gong, tabla, mridanga, harmonium) to the modern (guitars, electronic keyboards, a live string section with five violins and three cellos). The music also contains orchestral harp, Celtic harp, frame drum, taiko drums, bass, banjo, mandolin and metallophone (tuned metal bars struck with a mallet).

“Foremost we want people to listen to and enjoy the music,” explains White Sun singer Gurujas. “If that happens, the listeners may also experience the scientific healing benefits of the mantras, and the way the sounds affect the vibrations of the body, mind and spirit. According to metaphysical laws, mantras create an energetic reaction inside the brain and body. Our primary goal is to deliver that energy, and we have found the best way to help people access it is by placing the mantras in an attractive musical setting that appeals to contemporary audiences.”

White Sun is comprised of two yogis (dedicated Kundalini Yoga practitioners and teachers) and a multiple-Emmy-Award-winning musician and producer. One yogi, Harijiwan (pronounced huddy-gee-vin), plays the gong and serves as the spiritual leader. The other yogi, Gurujas (pronounced goo-roo-jahs), is the singer, songwriter and harmonium player. The third member is Adam Berry, a multi-instrumentalist and composer who has written and recorded music for major television productions from Disney, Dreamworks, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and HBO. All three arranged the album with Berry also producing. They are joined on the recording (and often in concert) by two special guests: renowned tabla player Abhiman Kaushal (a music professor at UCLA who has recorded with Ravi Shankar, Philip Glass, Shujaat Kahn and Katayoun Goudarzi); and Arjuna O’Neal, who plays a traditional drum from India called a mridanga, and who teaches drum classes. O’Neal started a non-profit organization called The Share Necessities, which works to support the education and well-being of homeless children. White Sun has done, and will continue to do, benefit events for this important cause.

The mantras are sung by Gurujas. “Mantras have been passed down orally through the ages going back some 5,000 years,” she explains. “The singing on this album is in a 600-year-old written language called Gurmukhi which derives from the even-older Sanskrit with Persian influences. This language is also used in naad yoga, a science of how sound vibrations affect the body, mind and spirit through the use of mantra, resulting in chemical changes in the brain.”

When the recording was released for pre-orders it immediately shot to #1 on the iTunes World Music sales chart which attests to the group’s growing popularity from concerts and word-of-mouth.

The album begins and ends with the a capella songs “Trinity” and “Ardas Choir.” “Trinity,” featuring Gurujas’s over-dubbed vocals, combines three different entwining mantras. “Ardas Choir” was recorded live-in-the-studio with a 20-person choir joining Gurujas to create an inside-a-cathedral spiritual sound. Other music on the album ranges from Harijiwan performing two solo gong tracks, to the upbeat, modern-sounding, pop-style of “Rakhe Rakhanhar.” On several tunes, such as “Ong Namo” and “Mul Mantra,” Gurujas sings both the lead vocal as well as a counterpoint vocal. The very slow and gentle “Guru Ram Das” spotlights Gurujas’ soprano voice gently floating above a string section.

“We specifically wanted to take the words of traditional mantras and write melodies and arrange the music so that they would become songs with a chorus and verses, with various sections within the structure, and with sounds that are enjoyable and conducive to repeated listenings,” states Gurujas. “Mantras are avenues to experience the infinite energy that they contain. It is in this pure energy field that we conquer our imagined disabilities and experience the flow of universal consciousness.”

In addition to their music careers, Harijiwan and Gurujas also both teach Kundalini Yoga all over the world, sometimes incorporating their music into their teachings. They are disciples of Yogi Bhajan, who introduced Kundalini Yoga to the West in 1969 and began teaching it publicly. Harijiwan received the science of Kundalini Yoga from the Mahan Tantric Yogi Bhajan and directly served the teacher for many years as they traveled extensively. Now Harijiwan is Gurujas’ teacher. She says, “My songs come from Yogi Bhajan’s teachings of Kundalini Yoga, an experientially-based scientific system that incorporates joy, fulfillment and love. I have learned that happiness is a direct result of finding the right vibrational frequency.”

Harijiwan has been teaching Kundalini Yoga since 1975. He has solo recordings -- Resound (a gong CD) and Kundalini Meditation: Guided Chakra Practices to Activate the Energy of Awakening, and many Kundalini teachings videos on his youtube channel and website (harijiwan dot com). He has been playing the gong for many decades. “The sound of the gong allows us to move beyond the boundaries of the mind,” he explains. “Nothing compares to the gong’s ability to create in the human the Divine sound, and causes the sound to resound within as perfect and productive space vibrations.”

Gurujas started singing when she was very young, and has been singing professionally since she was 11 and a member of the Cleveland Orchestra’s Children’s Chorus which often gave performances in front of large audiences. She also began taking piano lessons as a child. In addition, in recent years she has studied with well-known vocal coach Seth Riggs (Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson). Having sung all her life, it was natural for Gurujas to sometimes incorporate her singing into her yoga teachings. She recorded and released several singles under her name before forming White Sun.

Adam Berry is a two-time Emmy-Award winner (with nine nominations) as well as a BMI Award winner. A composer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer, Berry has created music that has been heard by millions of people on TV shows such as “South Park,” “Monsters vs Aliens,” “The Penguins of Madagascar,” “Buzz Lightyear: Star Command,” “Hercules” (the animated series), “The Sarah Silverman Program” (and her HBO Special), “Kim Possible” and many others.

White Sun special guest Abhiman Kaushal is considered one of the leading tabla players in the world. He toured with Ravi Shankar and recorded three albums with him. Kaushal also has performed with Ustad Zakir Hussain, Ustad Rais Kahn, Smt. Lakshmi Shankar, Jean-Pierre Ramphal and Tito Puente, among others. Another White Sun guest, drummer Arjuna, plays a wide assortment of drums from around the world and believes “drumming can help tap into the spirit-self which can heal and replenish the physical body, reawaken the higher conscious of the mind and rejuvenate our body to heal itself.”

“We are at an era in world history when people especially want to expand their consciousness,” says Gurujas. “People want more in their lives and one way to get that is through the technology of sound. Millions of people are listening to mantras all over the world because mantras are a way to increase our consciousness as human beings. While the popular music of our time can be moving, we believe that mantras penetrate much deeper into a listener’s spirit and consciousness, and can affect their lives in a very real and positive way.”
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Music CD Release
National
  
PRESS
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POSTED:
TRON SYVERSEN CREATED PIANO MEDITATIONS CD INSPIRED BY NATURE AND SPIRITUAL READINGS
Jul 01
2015
TRON SYVERSEN
PIANO MEDITATIONS

Musician Tron Syversen has created a stunning series of albums that have led him to the forefront of the new age music field. His music serves as a sanctuary for relaxation, rejuvenation and well-being. His sound is characterized by his piano and keyboards backed by wordless vocalizing and occasionally other top classically-trained musicians on acoustic stringed instruments, woodwinds or horns. This acclaimed series continues with his Piano Meditations recording.

Based in Norway, Syversen is acknowledged as a pioneer in the Northern-European relaxation music community, but each year his music and influence has spread farther afield. Syversen’s last four CDs all soared into the Top 10 on the international monthly Hot 100 Zone Music Reporter Chart marking the albums as some of the most-played new age music recordings of those years. His music is known for being relaxing, healing, meditative, healthful, stress-reducing and peaceful. Deriving from meditative recording sessions in which Syversen improvises, the music ranges from ambient to melodic, but always beautiful.

Piano Meditations and other recordings by Tron Syversen are available from his website (tronmusic(dot)com), allegro-music.com, amazon.com and many other online CD and digital download sales sites as well as at many large retail stores along with music, gift and new age lifestyle shops throughout North America, Europe and Asia. His music has become extremely popular with holistic healers, massage therapists, spa managers, yoga teachers, reiki masters, doctors, school teachers and care-givers.

On his recordings, Syversen composes all of the music, plays piano and synthesizers, arranges and produces. He records in the professional studio he owns. He occasionally brings in select musicians to perform with him. He has worked with several different female and male vocalists on various albums. For Piano Meditations his primary singer is Helene Edler Lorentzen, whom he has been working with the past several years (she grew up singing in choirs, playing drums and singing in a pop music band, and performing at weddings and other events). In addition, the vocalist Siri McAlpine performs on one tune. On the piece “Inner Journey,” Syversen brought in top musicians to perform on violin, cello, flute, oboe, English horn, French horn and trombone (and Tron himself added trumpet).

On Piano Meditations there are four lengthy tunes, each featuring the sound of Tron’s melodic acoustic piano solos backed by a complimenting synthesizer sound. The female voices entwine around those instruments. The first three compositions -- “Ocean of Relaxation,” “A Peaceful Path to Forever” and “Golden Forest” -- were created at Syversen’s yellow wooden summer cottage which sits in the green wooded hills overlooking the deep-blue Oslo Fjord which stretches to the North Sea between Norway and Denmark. “The breathtaking vistas of Norway and the oceans and the rivers and the beautiful sunsets inspire me. When I am in my cabin by the sea, I love to look at the water, the boats and the surrounding tree-covered mountain landscape while I play and compose my music,” he explains. “Those three tracks were created in this environment. Movement therapist Boliana Thompson and clairvoyant medium Phil Phillips were there reading their spiritual meditations while I improvised on piano. So the music was inspired by the beauty of nature and the spiritual contemplations from these two people.”

“The last piece, ‘Inner Journey,’ was first improvised several years earlier on a Saturday morning when I came to my studio. A major-to-minor idea was churning in my mind. The music that poured out that day is so far the most remarkable musical experience I have had. It has never been so clear to me that I get help from a higher source when I compose music and improvise. I did the music in one take, but the theme just popped up many times in the improvisation. This has never happened before. Later I added the rest of the music -- keyboards parts, voice and other instruments. I scored the orchestration, created sheet music and brought the musicians into my studio one by one to record their parts.”

The inspiration for Syversen’s music comes from many different sources, not only nature and meditational speaking, but also poetry (such as Norwegian writer Merete Atne), paintings, and sacred places (such as the Italian monastery Abbazia di San Pietro where St. Francis of Assisi often visited in the 12th Century). “I believe artistic endeavors can inspire one another. For example, I like to write music while poetry is being recited. Another time I improvised a musical piece at my cabin while artist Anne-Elisabeth Lien was working on a painting so I like to think we inspired each other. I often let my heart and mind absorb the poetry or the painting, and then I sit at the piano and let the music flow out as I improvise, making sure my mind does not get in the way. Most of my music begins as improvisation and later becomes complete when I create the full arrangement in the studio,” he says.

“I had attended meditation training using the Silva Method some years ago, and one of the things I learned was to trust the ideas that came into my head. One of these ideas was to incorporate into my music a female human voice as an instrument. This has added another deep human dimension to my music. It is like recreating a primal experience -- the singing or humming that a most mothers do with their babies.”

According to Syversen, “My mother played the piano and I started playing at age seven. I also received early musical training in classical piano music at the local music school.” A few years later he began playing trumpet and joined the school’s band. As an adult Tron also played piano accompanying various choirs, and he performed with His Majesty the Kings Guards Band. “This was when I started arranging music and it was a great period of musical development for me.” Since then he has played trumpet with several big bands. Syversen’s musical influences include Rick Wakeman from Yes, Vangelis, Kitaro and the Irish-Norwegian duo Secret Garden. Later in life Syversen learned other important musical lessons such as jazz improvisation by studying with trumpeter and pianist Eckhard Baur. “I analyzed jazz tunes and found out how to move to other keys within a tune and I also discovered notes that could be used in melody lines in ways I did not consider possible before starting to play jazz.”

Syversen had a successful career as a businessman, but never gave up playing music. At one point he and his parents built a warehouse for business purposes. Syversen added a music studio on the top floor and began arranging and producing records for other artists in his spare time. By renting out part of the building, he made enough income so that he was able to begin concentrating on music fulltime. Syversen started composing his own music for meditation purposes and for a doctor who specializes in patients with pain problems. “I recorded some of my own music which I sent to the Fonix Musik record company in Denmark and they accepted it for release.” Soon Syversen started his own record company. Now Syversen has a catalog of successful recordings such as Piano Poems, Peaceful Journey, Gentle Moments, Inner Balance, Garden of Visions, Whispers of Assisi and Voices from Heaven (with healing-vocalist Runar Halonen). Syversen also has performed many concerts throughout Scandinavia and in the USA.

“When composing,” Syversen explains, “I use both my improvisational skills as a jazz pianist and my understanding about how music affects our mental and physical health. We often live with a lot of stress that includes appointments on our agendas as well as expectations from ourselves and others. I realized that there is a big demand for music that can relax the listeners both mentally and physically, so I keep that in mind as I choose melodies and create arrangements. I also want the music to be good for deep relaxation, meditation, sharp concentration or improved sleep. I always try to make music that is enjoyable to listen to but that also can be used for sound healing or in conjunction with other holistic therapies including massage, spa treatments or aromatherapy. To accomplish this, I just try to make the most beautiful and relaxing music that I can.”

Music CD Release
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