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Vocalist Wanted - Clearwater, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 04-19-2016 ... 14:50 EST
We are a high energy cover band looking for a vocalist who can sing Skid Row,Maiden,Priest,Sabbath,Dio,Alice in Chains,Ozzy etc.We are a no nonsense band with full PA ,lights and soundman.Your personal life is yours but our rehearsals and performances are drug and alcohol free. If interested contact Brad @ 727-768-2690 ... 252130 ... Contact: Bama ( James) 727-657-6593
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Drummer Wanted - ST PETE, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 04-09-2016 ... 10:16 EST
EXPERIENCED BAND SEEKS DRUMS, BIG STAGE EX PREFERED COVERING MAIDEN TO DEEP PURPLE AND MORE. IF THIS IS YOU PLEASE CALL 727 804-5864 ... 5485997 ... Contact:

Other Musicians Wanted - Dunedin, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 03-17-2016 ... 09:05 EST
I have an acoustic jazz, R&B, funk, blues duo (guitarist/ vocalist) and also do some Gypsy jazz and Spanish fusion. We are looking to add a percussionist, namely a Cajon player who can play some funky beats, some Latin and swing beats. I work with a very talented guitarist who plays anything. I play a bit of Cajon, Doumbek, and Djembe but I just can't sing and drum simultaneously,so I've just been jazz-egging it and adding some tambourine, I also play Zills (brass castanets/finger cymbals. We are still relatively new, under a year, but have had some mild success and have a few venues we've played and have on the schedule, Beachfyre Grill, LPs Pub, and Wine&Brew Dunedin. We'd also like to start booking private parties/events. We feel adding a percussionist will give the music the edge & excitement needed. We'd like to do more 'danceable' stuff. I'm the singer/clarinetist. If you're interested in collaborating, give me a text or call. We are located in Dunedin. Thanks! Kim 727-485-5444 ... 216971 ... Contact: Kim. 727-485-5444
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Vocalist Wanted - Clearwater, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 02-12-2016 ... 22:15 EST
SOUL/FUNK LEAD VOCALIST NEEDED (TAMPA BAY AREA) Former members of 2 favorite local Tampa Bay area Soul Funk bands are putting together a new band. In need of a high energy front person who can belt out Soul music standards (James Brown, Motown, Stax record favorites) as well as 70's era Funk Tunes. Must be professional, team player, no major bad habits, have transportation, and be willing to rehearse and show up to work. We are currently auditioning for the right fit so if this is you please contact back with a resume of past experience, Facebook page, and some live recordings of past gigs. ... 8216349 ... Contact: mrsoulman75@gmail.com
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Vocalist Available - palm harbor, FL ... Submitted: 01-22-2016 ... 20:13 EST
Arabic singer available for parties and occasions. the type of songs you wish for. ... 824666 ... Contact:
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Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic
Apr 28
2016
Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for the ultimate Disney experience at Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt! Be charmed by a cast of over 50, with Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse, sweetheart Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana. Relive the magic of Disney’s Frozen with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf as they discover that true love is the greatest magic of all. Sing-along to over 30 unforgettable songs including “Let It Go,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” and “Hakuna Matata.” Exciting moments from Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Disney’s The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and more will leave the whole family with memories to last a lifetime. Show off your moves at the Disney Magic of Healthy Living dance-along pre-show inspired by the Disney Healthy Living commitment as the celebration of the century skates into your hometown!

Grab your Mickey ears and get ready for the ultimate Disney experience at Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic Presented by Stonyfield YoKids Organic Yogurt! Be charmed by a cast of over 50, with Mouse-ter of Ceremonies Mickey Mouse, sweetheart Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and Disney Princesses including Cinderella, Rapunzel, Ariel, Snow White and Tiana. Relive the magic of Disney’s Frozen with Anna, Elsa and the hilarious Olaf as they discover that true love is the greatest magic of all. Sing-along to over 30 unforgettable songs including “Let It Go,” “You’ve Got a Friend in Me,” and “Hakuna Matata.” Exciting moments from Disney•Pixar’s Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Disney’s The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and more will leave the whole family with memories to last a lifetime. Show off your moves at the Disney Magic of Healthy Living dance-along pre-show inspired by the Disney Healthy Living commitment as the celebration of the century skates into your hometown!

May 12-15 Amalie Arena, Buy Tickets http://www.amaliearena.com/events/full-page-calendar
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Florida's Historic Coast Events
Apr 12
2016
April 11-17
Privateers and Pirates Set Sail
Set sail on the Schooner Freedom and learn all about the privateers and pirates that sailed the waters of St. Augustine and the coast of Florida. An educator from the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum will join the captain and crew for a fun, hands-on sailing experience. Help hoist the sails, hear amazing tales and see artifacts, all while sailing on a real tall ship. Ticket price includes admission into the St. Augustine Pirate and Treasure Museum. Sail includes complimentary soda, water, beer and wine. The ship departs at 2:15 p.m. for a two-hour cruise. Tickets are $60 for adults and $45 for youth (16 and under). 111 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine. 904-810-1010 www.schoonerfreedom.com

Monday & Tuesday, April 11 & 12
El Galeón in St. Augustine
El Galeón, the authentic replica of a ship that traveled the coast of Florida 500 years ago has returned to St. Augustine, its North American home port, docking at the city's Municipal Marina. The 170-foot, 495-ton authentic wooden replica of a Spanish galleon, is owned and operated by the Nao Victoria Foundation of Seville, Spain. Twenty-eight crew members must maneuver more than 9,600 square feet of sail area in the same fashion as 16th century sailors. The ship is open for tours starting April 1 and continuing through April 12 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Admission for the tour is $12 for adults ($10 for St. Johns County residents) and $6 for children, aged 5-12 ($5 for St. Johns County residents). Tickets may be purchased at the ship at the St. Augustine Municipal Marina or online. 111 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine. www.fundacionnaovictoria.org

Monday - Thursday, April 11 - 14
Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice at the IMAX Theater
The IMAX at World Golf Village presents Batman and Superman at war with one another, a new threat quickly arises, putting mankind in greater danger than it's ever known before. Adults $13, seniors/students/military $12, and children 3-12 $10. Visit the website for show times. One World Golf Pl., St. Augustine. 904-940-4123 www.worldgolfIMAX.com
aging, storing and serving; suppliers and market trends; identifying qualities of good wine; food pairings and more. The class meets for three Tuesdays, April 12, 19 & 26 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The cost is $35. Must be 21 years old to enroll. To register, call the St. Augustine Art Association. 22 Marine Street, St. Augustine. (904) 824-2310 www.staaa.org

Amy Helm at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall
Americana singer/songwriter Amy Helm performs at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. Daughter of musical icon Levon Helm, who passed away in 2012, Amy Helm performed on and co-produced her father's Grammy-winning 2007 comeback album "Dirt Farmer." Her first solo album, "Didn't It Rain," delivers a timelessly powerful statement rooted in first person experiences. Tickets for this 8 p.m. concert (doors open at 7 p.m.) are $39 for first 8 rows; $36 all remaining rows. 1050 A1A North, Ponte Vedra Beach. 904-209-0399 www.pvconcerthall.com

Tuesday - Sunday, April 12 - 17
St. Augustine Art Association Spring Members Show
St. Augustine Art Association's Bi-Annual Spring Members Show runs through May 1 and features works in varied styles and materials created by members of the association. The gallery is open Tuesday - Saturday noon - 4 p.m. and Sunday 2 - 5 p.m. Admission is free. 22 Marine St. St. Augustine. 904-824-2310 www.staaa.org

Thursday, April 14
Matanzas Inlet Guided Hike
From 10 to 11:30 a.m., enjoy a free, guided interpretive walk around Matanzas Inlet. Presented by the GTM Research Reserve and the National Park Service, the walk features an explanation of the ever-changing shoreline, tidal flats, beaches, dunes, dune vegetation and the dynamics of natural sand movement. Bring cameras and binoculars. Meet the guide at the western parking lot on A1A just north of the Inlet Bridge and the Town of Marineland. 904-823-4500 www.gtmnerr.org

Evenings at Whitney - In Sickness and in Health: The Marriage of Corals with their Symbiotic Algae
The Evenings at Whitney Lecture Series hosted by the University of Florida Whitney Laboratory returns on Thursday at 7 p.m. with the program titled In Sickness and in Health: The Marriage of Corals with their Symbiotic Algae. Virginia Weis, professor of integrative biology at Oregon State University, will speak about the relationship between corals and its millions of microscopic partners, creating the centerpiece of the coral reef ecosystems. The free lecture is presented at the Lohman Auditorium on the Whitney Laboratory campus. 9505 Ocean Shore Blvd., St. Augustine. 904-461-4000. www.whitney.ufl.edu

Friday, April 15
Fins and Freedom
Schooner Freedom Charters is partnering with Marineland, the dolphin experts, for a one-of-a-kind sailing experience. Come on board, help raise sails, and then kick back and relax while educators from the world's first oceanarium talk about dolphins. Learn interesting tidbits about these magnificent creatures as well as the groundbreaking conservation work taking place at Marineland. Complimentary soda and water included, passengers may bring snacks or a picnic. After the sail, visit Marineland to complete this unique experience. Ticket price includes the sail and admission to Marineland. The boat departs at 11:15 a.m. and lasts two hours. Ticket are $60 for adults and $45 for youth (16 and under). 111 Avenida Menendez, St. Augustine. 904-810-1010 www.schoonerfreedom.com

VIP Gallery Art Stroll and Tasting Tour
Go with a licensed, professional guide on an entertaining VIP walking tour through the ancient streets of St. Augustine. Learn how the city's art, architecture and culture are juxtaposed to create one of the most unique Old World cities in the nation. The two-hour tour includes visits to galleries where curators explain select exhibits, as well as culinary stops for wine and light tapas. This exclusive tour departs at 4:30 p.m. from the Tour St. Augustine office where participants enjoy complimentary wine and chocolate. Tickets are $25 per person and reservations are required. 4 Granada St., St. Augustine. 904-825-0087 www.vipartwalk.com

Billy Currington and Guest Kelsea Ballerini at St. Augustine Amphitheatre
Country music star Billy Currington and his Summer Forever tour featuring Kelsea Ballerini will perform at 7:30 p.m. (doors open at 6:30 p.m.) at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. Possessing one of the most smooth, distinct voices in any genre of music, Currington is equally skilled at delivering upbeat summertime anthems and exploring the complexities of life and love with a poignant ballad. Kelsea Ballerini's record-breaking, Gold-certified single "Love Me Like You Mean It" hit No. 1 on the Billboard Country Airplay chart. Tickets to see these two country greats perform are $45 for general admission/standing pit, level 100 & 200 seats and $35 for level 300 and obstructed view seats. 1340C A1A South, St. Augustine 904-209-0367 www.staugamphitheatre.com

Friday & Saturday, April 15 & 16

Sharon Booma Exhibit at Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach
Nationally-recognized artist Sharon Booma opens her "Collections of Impulses" exhibit with a 6 - 8 p.m. reception on Friday at the Cultural Center at Ponte Vedra Beach. Her work is a vigorous pursuit of a balance between the states of chaos and order that alternate and overlap in our lives. Her exhibit will be on display through May 27. Admission is free. The gallery is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 50 Executive Way, Ponte Vedra Beach. 904-280-

Friday & Sunday, April 15 & 17
Derek Coghlan Presents "Hitchhiking"
Derek Coghlan performs "Hitchhicking" at The Pioneer Barn on Friday at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee on Sunday at 2 p.m. Coghlan spent his formative years growing up in a small town in the middle of nowhere in Ireland before coming to America in 1990. "Hitchhiking" is a show written and performed by Coghlan that examines the great, ordinary lunacy of growing up in Ireland in the 1970s and 1980s. He explores the dysfunctional mania of a traditional Irish Catholic family, the pure magic and freedom of traveling by thumb, the glorious majesty of pubs, and all the passionate eccentricities of that blasted, sun-starved North Atlantic rock. Tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for students. 259 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine. 904-824-8874 http://oldfloridamuseum.com/index_files/PioneerBarn.htm

Friday - Sunday, April 15 - 17
The Jungle Book at the IMAX Theater
The IMAX at World Golf Village presents an all-new live-action epic adventure about Mowgli, a man-club who's been raised by a family of wolves in The Jungle Book. Adults $13, seniors/students/military $12, and children 3-12 $10. Visit the website for show times. One World Golf Place, St. Augustine. 904-940-4123 www.worldgolfIMAX.com

Saturday, April 16
Third Annual Betty Griffin House 5K Run & Walk
This family-friendly race begins at the St. Augustine Beach Pier Pavilion and takes participants along a route through charming beachside communities on Anastasia Island. Participants are welcome to complete the run at their own pace - team participation is encouraged. Beginning at 8 a.m., this year's event aims to promote peace in the local community by raising awareness of domestic and sexual abuse in St. Johns County. Registration is $25 or $15 for youth 14 and under. 350 A1A Beach Blvd., St. Augustine Beach. 904-808-8544 www.bettygriffinhouse5k.org

Guided Beach Exploration Guana South Beach
Join GTM Research Reserve docents from 8:30 to 10 a.m. for a beach walk at the Guana South beach location on A1A, South Ponte Vedra Beach. Learn about the animals that call the beach home as well as seashells and other interesting facts. This is a "Beaches 101" experience that the entire family will enjoy. There is a $3/per vehicle parking fee. 1768 Ponte Vedra Blvd., Ponte Vedra Beach. 904-823-4500 http://gtmnerr.org

Nease House Environmental Education Days
St. Johns County Parks & Recreation and the St. Johns County Environmental Division hosts an Environmental Education Days program from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at Nease Beachfront Park. This free workshop is open to the public and all ages are welcome. Throughout the park and the historic Nease House, county staff will provide information and interactive activities on a variety of topics, including native plant identification, right whale and sea turtle conservation, animal tracking, dune habitats, as well as wetland and coastal marsh habitats. 3171 Coastal Highway, Ponte Vedra Beach. 904.209.0323 www.sjcfl.us/Recreation

Family Farm Day
The Florida Agricultural Museum presents a special program on Saturday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The event is suitable for all ages and features pine needle basket weaving, spinning, storytelling, live music, re-enactors and much more. Representatives from the Florida Department of Agriculture, the 4-H Club, Future Farmers of America and Ag in the Classroom will be on hand as well to provide information about programs and exciting opportunities. Visit the 1880s farmstead, see beautifully restored antique tractors, and take a ride around the museum grounds on a tractor-drawn wagon. There will be vendors on site with plenty to eat and drink. Close-toed shoes are recommended for your visit. Admission is $5 per person. Museum members and children ages 5 and under are free. 900 Old Kings Road N., Palm Coast. 386-446-7630 www.floridaagmuseum.org

6th Annual Chocolate Datil Pepper Eating Contest
Head over to Hot Shot Bakery and feel the heat as locals and visitors alike compete to be this year's star on the Wall of Flame. The Datil pepper is St. Augustine's hot little pepper that has been a part of the local culinary scene for hundreds of years. The competition starts at 11 a.m.; contestants need to arrive by 10:30 a.m. 8 Granada Street, St. Augustine. 904-824-7898 www.hotshotbakeryncafe.com

Tilly the Trickster at Limelight Theatre
Tilly is a mischievous girl who loves nothing more than causing a little trouble. From leaking cups to toothpaste-flavored cookies, Tilly has a trick for everyone: her mom, dad, brother, classmates, and even her teacher. But when the tables are turned and her family does some scheming of its own, will Tilly decide to change her trickster ways? The performance starts at 11 a.m. Admission is $26 for adult with free child ticket; $10 for additional child ticket. 11 Old Mission Avenue, St. Augustine. 904-825-1164 www.limelight-theatre.org

Tolomato Cemetery Guided Tour
Tour the oldest extant planned cemetery in Florida with burials dating to the First Spanish Period (1565-1763). Admission is free, but donations are encouraged. Tours are from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 16 Cordova St., St. Augustine. www.tolomatocemetery.com

The Pemberwicks Perform at the Fountain of Youth
As part of the Fountain of Youth's continuing first and third Saturdays program, hear "The Pemberwicks" play al fresco in concert from 1 to 4 p.m. by the Trolley and Train stop at the Fountain of Youth. Enjoy delicious food, beer and wine, available at the Five Flags Cafe. Limited seating is available, so bring your own chairs for this fun free event. Parking is free while on the Fountain of Youth property. 11 Magnolia Ave., St Augustine. 904-829-3168 www.fountainofyouthflorida.com

Vilano Dish N Fish
Dish N Fish is a new culinary tourism event in the Vilano Beach Town Center. This event is a collaborative fundraising partnership with the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association and Vilano Beach Main Street to raise awareness of the coastal community and area dining. The event features a chef competition among high school culinary students in a program called "ProStart." Five teams from around the area will compete under the guidance of master chefs. The dish of the day will feature ceviche prepared in a variety of recipes. Ten additional restaurants will have seafood and shrimp dishes available for purchase. Samples will be offered. Area wine distributors and craft beer makers will offer tastings. The event is from 2 to 8 p.m. There is a $5 entrance fee for adults; children under 15 are free. Tasting meals are $15. 145 Vilano Road, Vilano Beach. 904-540-0402 www.vilanobeachfl.com

Free Black Heritage & Civil Rights Walking Tour
Walk with a licensed, professional tour guide to locations in St. Augustine that were significant in the city's civil rights movement. Hear stories of the struggle for civil rights while walking in the footsteps of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Andrew Young. This free, 1.5-hour tour departs at 4 p.m. from the Tour St. Augustine office. Reservations required. 4 Granada St., St. Augustine. 904-825-0087 www.staugustineblackheritagetours.com

First Coast Opera Performs Le Cabaret d'Edith Piaf
First Coast Opera presents an exploration of Parisian nightlife via the cabaret songs of Edith Piaf and lighter Parisian works for the stage. A fun and festive evening starts at 7:30 p.m. at The Mark Lance Armory. Tickets are $35. 190 San Marco Ave., St. Augustine. 904-417-5555 www.firstcoastopera.com

Saturday & Sunday, April 16 & 17
EPIC Celebration of Spring Annual Flower & Garden Expo
Growers, educational seminars, nurseries and artisans from around the state offer gardeners everything they need to make spring bloom. The Expo takes place Saturday 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at the St. Johns County Agricultural Center. Admission is $5 (which is good for both days) and children under 11 are admitted free. Expo patrons can use their expo pass for discounts to local attractions and for free admission to A Taste of St. Augustine on April 25. 3125 Agricultural Center Dr., St. Augustine (off State Road 16).
904-829-3295 www.epicbh.org/flowerandgardenexpo.html

Ford Mustang Club of America National Show
The Mustang Club of America's first national show of 2016 takes place at the Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind. From noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 9 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Ford Mustang owners from all over the country display their 1964 to 2016 Mustangs. Awards based on judging by nationally- certified MCA judges presented at noon on Sunday. 207 N San Marco Blvd., St. Augustine.www.jmcmustang.net/Ancient-City-National

National Park Week
National Park Week is America's largest celebration of national heritage. It's about making great connections, exploring amazing places, discovering open spaces, enjoying affordable vacations, and enhancing America's best idea-the national parks! It's all happening in your national parks. Through April 24 admission into every national park is free. That includes the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas in St. Johns County. The Castillo de San Marcos is open from 8:45 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and is located at 1 S. Castillo Drive. Fort Matanzas is open from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily and is located at 8635 A1A South. 904-829-6506 www.nps.gov

Find Your Park Plein Air
Artists, regardless of residency, who love parks, history and The Great Outdoors are invited to participate in Find Your Park Plein Air. Find Your Park Plein Air, coordinated by the National Park Service and St. Johns Cultural Council, features the actual creation of art in plein air, which is a French term meaning "in the open air." This art form is when an artist creates outside with the subject in view. Therefore, the program, during National Park Week, offers two places of inspiration and beauty for artists to create masterpieces in the fresh air of historic St. Johns County - the Castillo de San Marcos and Fort Matanzas. For those wishing to participate in Find Your Park Plein Air, the cost is free. Takes place through April 24. For artists wanting to submit artwork created during Find Your Park Plein Air into the juried show, the cost is $30 to submit up to two works. 15 Old Mission Avenue, St. Augustine. 904-808-7330 www.findyourparkpleinair.com

The 39 Steps at The Limelight Theatre
This mystery is a mix of a Hitchcock masterpiece and a juicy spy novel with a dash of Monty Python - a whodunit that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats and roaring with laughter. Rated PG-13. Performance times are 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets are $26; $24 seniors; $20 student and military. 11 Old Mission Ave., St. Augustine. 904-825-1164
www.limelight-theatre.org

Sunday, April 17
Spring 2016 St. Augustine Record Fair
The Spring 2016 St. Augustine Record Fair, presented by local record store ToneVendor and the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, will be held from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre. The biannual fair is a free, family-friendly event and is open to the public. Music lovers and collectors are invited to shop thousands of music-related items including new and used vinyl records, CDs, posters, turntable equipment and supplies, memorabilia, collectibles and more. Music fans will find nearly every type of music genre represented. 1340 C A1A South, St. Augustine. 904-209-0367 www.staugamphitheatre.com

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Longtime New Age Musician Uma Silbey Returns With Ambient Soundscape
Apr 13
2016
UMA SILBEY
ALTERED STATES

Termed by the press early in her career as “one of America’s Renaissance Women,” Uma Silbey is known worldwide as a popular musician, author, jewelry-artist, healer and spiritual teacher. Her latest recording, Altered States, on which she simply goes by the name Uma, is an album of meditational instrumental music that she composed and performed on acoustic grand piano and electronic keyboards. The album is sub-titled “Music for the Journey Within.”

Combining Eastern and Western spiritual practices and introducing them to the mainstream audience in a way that is practical and understandable, Uma (pronounced ooo-muh with a short o sound) became a leading spokesperson for the New Age, traveling worldwide for 20 years to speak and teach, lead workshops and perform concerts. One of the first of the early new age music artists, she recorded her first album in 1981. Since then, she has composed and recorded 17 albums of meditation music and guided imagery, with some of her bestsellers, such as Soul of the Beloved, joining the best new age albums of the year in the semi-final round of the Grammy Awards.

More information on Uma Silbey is available at her website (umasilbey.com). Her Altered States CD on the Airo Audio label -- and many of her earlier recordings -- as well as digital download tracks from those albums are available at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others.

In addition to her music career, Uma is known for bringing understanding and appreciation of crystals into the mainstream, and for having the first quartz crystal jewelry manufacturing company selling to more than 2400 accounts and averaging over a million dollars of sales each year. She is also the author of four published books including “The Complete Crystal Guidebook” from Bantam Books (New York) that has sold nearly 800,000 copies internationally and continues to sell to this day. Her follow-up book, “Crystal Ball Gazing,” is still carried by Simon & Schuster (New York), and the other two, “Enlightenment on the Run” and the children’s book, “Paul and Mary and Their Magic Crystals,” are published by Airo Press. Currently she is working on a new book for Skyhorse Publishing (New York) called “The Ultimate Guide to Crystals and Stones.”

Uma has now re-emerged in the world of music with her new recording, appropriately titled
Altered States, and using the ten scales upon which the classic ragas from India are based, but incorporating them, with a Western touch, into a new age keyboard album. This recording is meditative, evocative, deep and heartful. Not only is it perfect for meditation, but also relaxation, healing, massage, reiki, yoga and related practices. Combining melodic structured passages with ambient improvisational sections, the music on the album takes the listener on a peaceful, yet dynamic journey. Some of the tunes are played entirely on acoustic piano, others are completely synthesized, and a few combine acoustic and electronic keyboards. In addition, there are some sounds of nature imbedded in the work.

“A yogi taught me those Indian scales,” explains Uma, “and I was intrigued because they are each meant to evoke a certain mood. So I used them as a jumping off point. I played them in a Western mode, but tried to amplify the moods. Our Western ears are used to expecting certain notes to follow previous ones, but with Indian music you often get a different note which leads to a sense of drama and wonder at what comes next. Sometimes the timing also changes within a piece. All of this helps build anticipation for the listener. If you sink deep into these different sounds they automatically put you into a state of meditation which is my forte.”

The album begins with “Invitation” (“gently inviting people in”). Uma says the tune “Remembering” is based on “a scale offering unconditional pure love and devotion, and I was feeling very heartful and nostalgic when I wrote this.” Regarding “Voices From the Deep,” she explains that “this evokes deep space, our deep oceans and that place deep within ourselves.” Somewhat different is “Mountain,” a “powerful piece with the bass sounding like a heartbeat or a pulse which always reminds us that we are living beings.” The recording ends with “Heartfelt” because “I like to bring people back to their hearts at the end of a journey and make them feel good. When you leave someone with an open heart, that is the essence of all healing.”

Related to the classical German composer, Christoph Willibald Gluck, and coming from a long line of musicians, Uma was trained from the age of five as a classical pianist. This instruction -- coupled with her later training in shamanic drumming and music, sound current yoga, and sound healing -- underlies the healing, heart opening and inspirational qualities of Uma’s music.

Raised Christian, with a background in art and music, and descending from a long family
line of musicians, Uma has subsequently studied, meditated and taken initiation with Hindu, Sikh, and Buddhist masters, along with Native American medicine people. She has practiced Vipassana meditation, kirtan (devotional singing,) and bhakti yoga, (the yoga of love, service and devotion.) After meeting her Guru, Neem Karoli Baba, and receiving the name “Uma,” she was initiated in “Karma Sange Drolma” (Buddha Tara) by Venerable Kalu Rimpoche and studied the Buddhist Kalachakra and Mahamudra practices. After working with Yogi Bhajan in Los Angeles, Uma took the Bodhisatva Vow from his holiness, the Dalai Lama, and was initiated by him into the Blue Medicine Buddha practices. She has additionally studied mantra and sound current meditation and pranayam (breathing practices), and is a kundalini yoga teacher. Uma worked for many years with Native American spiritual leader Marcellus Bearheart Williams, completed four vision quests, became a pipe holder and an authorized sweat lodge leader, and trained extensively in indigenous healing ways. She also has a B.A. degree from UCLA and a M.A. degree from the California Institute of Integral Studies in counseling psychology. She brings this extensive spiritual background and training to her music, writing and artistic jewelry creations.

Her best-selling and acclaimed musical albums are Wakantanka; Crystal, Colors, Chakras and Sound; Crystal Path; Flying Free; Helios; Watergarden; Healing; Relax; Medicine Songs of the Native American Peyote Lodge; Vision Quest; Voyager; Heart of Peace; Quiet Dawn; Love; Prosperity; and Soul of the Beloved. These recordings vary from all-instrumental to singing and chanting as well as guided imagery set to music. Uma also has joined the Grammy award winning artist Kitaro and other leading musicians on compilations, among them Journey to the Heart, Music for the Spirit and Sleep.

Uma’s articles and interviews have appeared in countless publications worldwide, including
People Magazine, Yoga Journal and the Smithsonian Magazine. Her media appearances have been broadcast nationally on over 80 TV and radio shows, including CNN and twice on the “Today Show.” Her music has played on some of the most well-known radio stations, channels and satellite networks including Sirius Radio and Music Choice.

“All of my creations, whether musical compositions or symbolic jewelry, have always been specifically designed to help bring you balance, health, wholeness, inner peace and expanded awareness,” Uma states. “Everything changes -- our thoughts, our feelings, our bodies, our planet. Happiness seems to come and go. What is lasting and real? We discover that if we go deeper there is an unchanging reality that brings happiness, internal peace and undying love. When we live in this realization, thankfulness becomes as natural as breathing. We become balanced and healed on a deep level which helps us get through the hard times. We exist beyond fear. Creativity becomes our natural expression. Much can help us to experience this state of being -- being balanced and grounded, relaxing and breathing, following teachers, and listening to guiding music. With that goal in mind, I offer my music to the world.”
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POSTED:
Can Avant-Garde Psychedelic Music Be Played On Acoustic Guitar? Guy Buttery Says Yes
Apr 12
2016
GUY BUTTERY


World-celebrated South African musical virtuoso Guy Buttery returns with a brand new approach and unique musical vision on his latest acoustic-guitar-based album, simply titled Guy Buttery, which seamlessly merges elements of melodic-instrumental, world-fusion, African folk and avant-garde with ambient and groove-driven psychedelia.

A multi-award-winning musician and acclaimed acoustic guitarist worldwide, Buttery continues to bring a deep sense of universal musical understanding into his compositions. His music is delicate, yet fierce; profoundly deliberate, yet with playful moments of spontaneity; beautifully-melodic one moment and meditatively-ambient at other times. The music is rootsy, organic, home-grown, mostly acoustic and joyous.

The earthiness comes from Buttery’s background -- he was born and raised in a small coastal town along the North Coast of South Africa in the province of KwaZulu-Natal where lush fertile fields of sugar cane meet the sparkling turquoise of the Indian Ocean. Furthering his closeness to nature, Buttery decided the recording sessions for this album should take place in a small, secluded farmhouse in Zululand. Word spread to many of his musical friends who dropped by to contribute. With doors and windows open to the breeze, other sounds joined in and you may hear the occasional owl or cicada in the background.

The recording spotlights Buttery on acoustic guitars, mbira (African thumb piano) and acoustic generated ambient textures. In addition, he collaborates with some of South Africa’s finest musicians including Vusi Mahlasela (non-verbal vocalizations), Dan Patlansky (electric guitar), Nibs Van Der Spuy (cuatro, acoustic and electric guitars), Shane Cooper (acoustic bass), Derek Gripper (classical guitar), Gareth Gale (drums), Chris Letcher (wurlitzer and organ) and Qadasi (umhupe mouth bow and concertina). Also involved are artists from other countries, Lorenzo Mantovani on the Indian sarangi and specifically Piers Faccini on background vocals as well as one of Guy’s lifelong heroes, Will Ackerman from Windham Hill Records, on acoustic guitars. “Working with all these first-rate musicians was a dream come true and a career highlight,” Guy says. “For me the record speaks of a different South Africa -- one that acknowledges tradition but is more interested in individualism and finding a new voice to tell that story,” states Buttery.

More information on Guy Buttery is available at his website (guybuttery dot co dot za). His music is available at online sales sites such as iTunes, Amazon, Bandcamp, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others. The album is available as a download, CD and limited-edition vinyl.

Having spent a great deal of time in the African outdoors during the composition process, Guy allowed the environment to seep into his creations. Nature holds a big place in his heart and the space of adventure, exploration and freedom affected his music deeply, pushing his exploration even further. “For as long as I can remember I’ve been sneaking into farmlands and forests, climbing trees, and building platforms and dwellings among the tree-tops for birding and tea festivities. The farm where we recorded has about 160 hectares of indigenous sub-tropical forest, and after six years of snooping around there, I made contact with the landowner and rented the old house,” Buttery explains. “Between sessions we’d be hiking, swimming, spotting Turacos [tropical birds] or playing frisbee.”

The Guy Buttery album begins with “Werner Meets Egberto in Manaus” which Buttery calls “a fictional tale about Brazilian guitarist Egberto Gismonti having a chance meeting in the Amazon with German film-maker Werner Herzog.” Second up is “Floop” titled because it is “a simple groove loop piece in the key of F, and also featuring Afro-gospel organs, a mbira and Gareth Gale on drums, a telephone book and a Zulu shaker.” Buttery says the tune “In the Shade of the Wild Fig” is “full zen and features a 10-string Puerto Rican cuatro guitar played by my longtime collaborator and friend Nibs van der Spuy.” The pieces “From Srinager” and “To Goulimine” were inspired “by my journey from Kashmir in Northern India to the Sahara in Morocco in search of the path Led Zeppelin took when writing their definitive tune ‘Kashmir’,” says Buttery. “The melody of ‘Two Chords and the Truth’ takes its inspiration from West African kora players but I set it in a very different context. ‘Verbosity’ was inspired by the great Michael Hedges. ‘A Piece for Rudolf Fritsch’ is a lament for a cross-global friend I never met, and features multi-Grammy Award winning Will Ackerman. ‘3/4 in the Morning’ joins my acoustic guitar with upright bass played by South African jazz legend Shane Cooper.”

Buttery, acknowledged as one of South Africa’s finest and most innovative fingerstyle guitarists, was called a “national treasure” by SA’s leading newspaper The Mercury. But he also has long been internationally recognized and has enjoyed invitations to play across the world for many years, especially in the USA, UK, Australia, France, Brazil and Italy. He has collaborated with musical legends such as Dave Matthews, Jethro Tull, Salif Keita, The Violent Femmes, Will Ackerman and countless other internationally-renowned acts, and also worked with with not only a long list of top South African musicians but also international artists such as Shawn Philips, Jon Gomm, Preston Reed, Martin Simpson and Bob Brozman. In an in-depth three-page feature, Rolling Stone magazine cited Buttery simply as “extraordinary.”

Buttery has five previous solo albums -- When I Grow Up (released when he was 18), Songs from the Cane Fields, Fox Hill Lane, To Disappear in Place and Live in KwaZulu. He also collaborated with Nibs van der Spuy on the duo album In The Shade of the Wild Fig and performed on four other van der Spuy albums. Buttery appeared on the Joanna Newsom Tribute album, Versions of Joanna, alongside M. Ward and Billy Bragg and played on recordings by Vusi Mahlasela with Dave Matthews, Farryl Purkiss, Dan Patlansky, Madala Kunene and Piers Faccini. In addition to performing on various acoustic guitars, Buttery also is proficient on a wide variety of instruments including ones such as sitar, mandolin, classical guitar, mbira and musical saw.

Guy was introduced to music at an early age since his mother played piano and his older brothers played guitars. Guy started in on guitar at age 10. Around the house were the sounds of Led Zeppelin, The Doors, Dylan and Bob Marley, while outside nearby Guy heard the local Zulu tribesmen playing their Maskanda music in one direction and the sounds of sitar and tabla from Indian Hindu temples the other way. John Paul Jones’ mandolin on Led Zeppelin’s “Battle of Evermore” caused Guy to get a mandolin, and Ravi Shankar and local sitar players inspired Guy to also pick up that instrument. His guitar finger-style techniques expanded considerably after being introduced to the music of Michael Hedges.

“From a young age birding and making music have been consistently grounding pastimes for me,” remembers Buttery. “I find the ability to obtain stillness in both bird watching and making music to be very similar. As a teenager I would often wake up early on a school day, run down to the estuary and watch the herons rise from under their wing before jumping on the bus with my Walkman in hand usually loaded with cassettes by local band Tananas, Dylan, The Pixies, Ustad Sultan Khan or Madala Kunene.”

When Buttery’s first album was released he received nominations from the prestigious South African Music Awards (SAMA). He was the youngest nominee in history. With his next few albums he began winning SAMA Awards along with a wide variety of other national accolades. Additionally he was invited to perform his works with the 52-piece KZN Philharmonic Orchestra.

“I feel that environment seeps into everything. Luckily, with our landscape and weather systems, it’s easy to spend most of the year outdoors, and if you feel like it you can take your instrument along too. The coastal forests are omnipresent on the North Coast where I grew up and that is an example of something from nature that has influenced and inspired me, just as climbing trees and watching bird life has. Making music is simply dreaming out loud.”

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PIANIST AND SYNTHESIST TIMOTHY WENZEL UNVEILS NEW DISTANT HORSEMAN ALBUM
Mar 16
2016
TIMOTHY WENZEL

The album cover of the new Timothy Wenzel instrumental recording, Distant Horseman, portrays a human form sitting on a horse on a far-away alien planet. Wenzel uses his music as well as visuals to explore grand themes about life and living as well as the physical aspects of the universe.

“The music on this album was conceptualized with metaphors and allegories in mind. For example, the ‘Distant Horseman’ could stand for an alien life-form, or for any of life’s challenges. It’s about the unknown, the unknowable. If and when the horseman arrives, it is all about how we face it, whether we can leave our fear behind, and meet it with integrity. The way we approach it is what is important. All you can do is prepare yourself the best you can, and then go forward. The interesting thing about the universe is that we have seen so little of it. There are lots of surprises out there. Scientists are often shocked about what they learn as they try to explore it. We need to be open-minded and ready for a variety of possibilities.”

Wenzel should know since in addition to being a musician he spent many years as a research scientist. “I wanted an album cover graphic that would make people think. The cover illustration was created specifically for this album by the Brazilian artist Edson Moraes, an Internet acquaintance who has provided me with art in the past for my website and videos.” There is always a visual element within Wenzel’s music which is often inspired by dreams, films, stories and nature scenery. In addition, for each tune he usually seeks out an appropriate piece of artwork which he makes available for viewing on his website.

“This album is about transformation, but also a seasonal journey as a metaphor for an entire life. It covers coming together and breaking apart, falling in love and looking back over our lives, having exciting hopes for the future and realizing at some point it will come to an end. There is music about dancing and being caught up in that moment, but I also wrote about heavier themes such as forgiveness and not being able to know the future. But primarily it is a positive journey of surviving and becoming stronger because of hardships, and then breaking through and finding bliss.”

Timothy Wenzel, who has become a leading new age music keyboardist over the past few years, uses his music to explore major concepts and then relates them as analogies that pertain to our daily lives. Musically Wenzel places the most emphasis on piano, which he has played all his life, but he also is a master synthesist and augments the piano parts with a wide variety of instrumental sounds including violin, cello, flute, woodwinds, harp, guitars, bass, drums and percussion, and the wordless vocalizing of men’s and women’s choirs. He is joined on this CD by a special guest musician featured throughout the recording -- violinist Josie Quick, a member of the progressive groups Perpetual Motion, The Coyote Poets of the Universe and the Frontera String Quartet, and a teacher at the esteemed Swallow Hill Music Association in Colorado. Wenzel’s music has great appeal in the new age genre, especially because of the haunting melodies and dreamy arrangements that create a sense of peacefulness and relaxation.

Distant Horseman follows Wenzel’s previous albums Mountains Take Wing (on which he explored earth and nature), A Coalescence of Dreams (centered on dreams and our personal journey), River Serene (a flowing river serves as an analogy for life) and Summon the Wind (using the wind metaphor to explore life’s pervasive forces). More information on Timothy Wenzel is available at his website (timothywenzel dot com). All five of his CDs and digital download tracks from those recordings are available at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others. His albums regularly receive airplay on hundreds of radio stations and channels around the world, and always race into the Top 10 on the international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 monthly airplay chart.

Distant Horseman begins with a series of deep, hauntingly-beautiful pieces such as “A Bend in the River” (“we never know what is around the bend, but we go forward anyway”). The album’s title tune continues those thoughts of the unknown (“we do not know if the horseman is a threat or not, friend or foe, but we must be ready”). “On life’s journey, sometimes relationships end for one reason or another and we simply are forced to ‘Turn and Walk Away’.” Wenzel explains the piece “A Night So Cold” as symbolizing “winter, hibernation, the depths of darkness, even the afterlife.” The tune “Moments Into Years” is about how “our lives are full of moments, but as we get older we realize those moments add up to years and years,” he says, “and the next composition, ‘No Tomorrow,’ is a reminder that eventually time runs out for all of us.”

But the second half of the recording is less introspective and more light-hearted (“like when spring and summer come after a hard, cold winter”). According to Wenzel, “Being ‘Forgiven’ can be a turning point in our lives. When things blossom in the spring it can seem like ‘Colors Dancing.’ Then we might look into someone’s eyes and connect with them which is what ‘Ecstasy Eyes’ is all about. We might go with that person to a ‘Summer’s Dance’ and celebrate just as nature is doing at that time of the year. The couple might be falling in love and ask each other to ‘Walk With Me,’ to take a walk outside and talk with each other and imagine what life might be like with this other person. I close with ‘Luminous Wake, Starlit Sea,’ a lullaby to fall asleep to where you continue your journey in your dreams.”

Wenzel spent his childhood in South Haven, Michigan, where he was born and raised. As a boy he divided his time between being outdoors enjoying nature, but also inside playing the piano. “There was always a piano in our house. It was built by my grandfather who worked in a piano factory.” Tim’s mother played piano and encouraged him to play. He started plunking on the keys when he was three and two years later was taking lessons. Wenzel says, “I was deeply into classical music at first, but later I started being influenced by rock’n’roll and what I heard on the radio.” Initially Wenzel enjoyed Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull and the Moody Blues, and later U2. As he got older he began to appreciate new age music (“George Winston and the whole rosters of the Windham Hill and Narada labels”). He also enjoys female singers who incorporate some Celtic sounds -- Loreena McKennitt, Clannad, Enya and Sara McLachlan.

Music is Wenzel’s second fulltime career following an initial career in science. “Music and science have always been my two main passions. I see a correlation between them. Scientific exploration is full of creativity and is very much like writing a song. In both cases you start with an idea and then explore the possibilities of where it can lead.” He earned a BS degree in Chemistry at the University of Missouri, then his Masters and PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry at Cornell University. He first served as a post-doctoral researcher in organometallic chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley. This led to a career in research science, first with Union Carbide in West Virginia, and then with Dow Chemical back in Michigan where he still lives. “I primarily worked in making polymers using catalysts -- discrete molecules with a metal atom that does most of the work. Polymers are a chemical compound of repeating structural units. My work was primarily in polyethylene using a new generation of catalysts to make different plastics. The culmination and highlight of my career was when they let me run with a far-out idea I had, and I headed a team that found a way to make two catalysts talk to each other. First one would weave a strand and hand it off, and then the other would weave one, and they created building blocks together. It is a powerful technique to make new types of polymers. It was a major discovery, a home run. Over the years I was issued about 50 U.S. patents.”

Wenzel says, “My years as a scientist taught me to analyze, explore and create -- to think about life and our world, and how even sub-atomic particles are important in determining who and what we are. Those thought processes have continued and now I incorporate my lifelong exploration into my music in hopes of passing on some worthwhile vibrations that hopefully will affect people in positive ways.”
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POSTED:
MANISH VYAS PLAYS INSTRUMENTS FROM INDIA AND SINGS A BIT IN ANCIENT SANSKRIT
Feb 10
2016
MANISH VYAS
AND HIS NEW RECORDING, ATMA BHAKTI

Manish Vyas, a composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer from India, has emerged as a popular talent in world-fusion and devotional music due to his musical studies with some of the most recognized pandits in India, his fame in collaborating with top musicians (Prem Joshua, Snatam Kaur, Deva Premal), and his taking spiritual music to a new level. All of his experience comes to fruition on his new recording, Atma Bhakti (subtitled Healing Sounds of Prayer).

According to Manish, “Atma Bhakti is music for prayer and meditation, to create a space for the listener, especially anyone who does yoga or follows other devotional practices, where it is very effortless to easily connect with a higher level of consciousness.” On this album Manish not only sings, but also plays swar-mandal (a harp from India), tanpura (a long-necked plucked stringed instrument from India), keyboards, gong and a variety of bells. He is joined by his good friend Milind Date on bamboo flute, along with Jay Dave, Krishna Jani and Singdha Pious on choir vocals.

The Atma Bhakti recording, on New Earth Records, can be found in the CD format in music stores and new age lifestyle shops across the United States as well as online, while digital downloads of the music are available at all the major internet music stores such as iTunes and Amazon. For more information, go to NewEarthRecords dot com or the artist’s website (manishvyas dot com). Manish Vyas’s name is pronounced mahn-ish vi-us.

The album is comprised of two multi-sectional half-hour-long tracks plus a separate five-minute piece of chanting. First is “Atma” which means “soul or the divine” and is based on the mantra “mangalam.” Manish says, “There is a very meditative atmosphere in the music.” The second long tune is “Bhakti” which means “devotion or worship” and is based on the mantra “shivaya namaha om.” “This track is dedicated to Lord Shiva,” explains Manish, “and the bells have a wonderful effect of bringing the listener into the moment where he is cut off from the world outside and is instantly brought to here now. The final track, ‘Vedic Chanting,’ is a very powerful form of chanting done in India by the priests or as a group ritual or prayer.”

Manish adds, “The material I select to sing is always on a higher plane going to a higher dimension. That has always been my preference, to work on music that lifts you from the level of the mind and takes you up higher.”

Manish Vyas grew up in a family of musicians in Gujarat, India, spending his childhood around an atmosphere of family, friends, dance, meditation, and music gatherings; Manish was exposed to the world of music through an organic integration of it into his life. Perceiving an intrinsic talent, his mother encouraged nine-year-old Manish’s interest in tabla (an Indian percussion instrument), which commenced his life-long journey in crafting music. He spent five years of early training with tabla master Ustad Allarakha in Mumbai.

From a young age Manish followed a path deeply marked by two spiritual masters, Osho and Gurudev, who both had a strong impact on this musician’s life. Manish has a broad musical palette and plays many instruments. His compositions have deep Indian musical roots while also embracing a wide diversity of other expressions -- world-fusion, folk, classical, kirtan, Sufi, jazz, and lounge -- the result of decades of dedicated practice, performance and meditation. Manish is constantly reinventing musical forms with his endless creativity, delivering a lovingly and carefully sculptured product to a highly receptive audience, in which each sound has been selected to promote extraordinary awareness.

These events have shaped his musical path, characterizing it by a deep genuine knowledge of Indian music and its true nature, as well as an awareness of the outer music as a re-creation of one’s inner sounds and vibration. All of this conveys a deeper feeling that cannot be described, but can be heard and felt.

As a disciple to some of India’s most recognized musicians, Manish came to understand that his musical gifts alone would not gain the most subtle access to the listener. It is his intention behind the sounds he makes to merge the world of music with the divine, and to convey deep, touching, spiritual feelings.

“I grew up around Osho and he taught me that music has a purpose, vibration, energy, space, and is not just entertainment. Through the music I try to pass on the space I feel, that I live in, of meditation, silence, grace, joy, bliss, all the way to celebration. So my experiences with Osho are reflected in the music and this is his gift. He was one of the few masters who experimented with both music and meditation.”

During the last fifteen to twenty years, Manish’s musical reach has expanded worldwide. Through his work on albums and performances around the globe, he had the chance to collaborate with a wide range of performers. His musical path has brought him numerous opportunities to compose for top musicians and to tour with them globally, and through these encounters his musical path expanded in a very rewarding way.

One of his most illustrious projects was his fifteen-year collaboration with world-famous fusion maestro Prem Joshua as they recorded together and toured through Europe, America, India and Asia. In another phase of world travels, Manish joined Snatam Kaur; and a compilation of those concerts was released as Snatam Kaur: Live In Concert. As a composer, Manish’s ostensibly most-notable contribution is to mantra-queen Deva Premal, as he is featured on many of her recordings. Manish’s remarkable musical abilities have brought him to the eye of world-renowned celebrities in the music field, such as when he had the opportunity to participate in Sir Paul McCartney’s 2002 wedding as part of the Celtic Ragas band.

Manish’s musical talents place him at the vanguard of a new generation of artists who are connecting with and bridging between their spiritual traditions and the music of the modern world. Manish has said that love, meditation, celebration, silence, and nature are his personal inspirations to create music.

Manish Vyas has previous recordings such as Sattva and Shivoham: A Journey of Bliss. Some of his many collaborations and recording highlights include contributions to Embrace, Dakshina and Password by Deva Premal, Dance of Shakti and Shiva Moon by Prem Joshua, Liberation’s Door by Snatam Kaur, Tomorrow by Dechen Shak Dagsay, Into Being by Praful, Zen Spa by Nandin, Gaia’s Garden by Chinmaya Dunster, Joy Is Now by Guruganesha Singh, Dust At Your Feet by Tanmayo, The Alchemist’s Prayer by Ramdass, Adhara by Niranjan Kaur, Healing Mantras by Pari, Om Deeksha by Maneesh de Moor, and In Her Name by Sudha. Manish also has contributed to dozens of album compilations.

In can clearly be perceived that in Manish’s case, his spiritual and musical paths cannot be separated since they obviously complement and fulfill each other.

“From meditation to celebration, this spectrum is covered in the music I like to do,” he says. “The music has to have a fragrance of love and devotion. If the understanding of the music and words can come to the listener, it lifts them up. I bow to the magic of the divine sounds. The essence is always peace and thankfulness.”
MANISH VYAS
AND HIS NEW RECORDING, ATMA BHAKTI

Manish Vyas, a composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer from India, has emerged as a popular talent in world-fusion and devotional music due to his musical studies with some of the most recognized pandits in India, his fame in collaborating with top musicians (Prem Joshua, Snatam Kaur, Deva Premal), and his taking spiritual music to a new level. All of his experience comes to fruition on his new recording, Atma Bhakti (subtitled Healing Sounds of Prayer).

According to Manish, “Atma Bhakti is music for prayer and meditation, to create a space for the listener, especially anyone who does yoga or follows other devotional practices, where it is very effortless to easily connect with a higher level of consciousness.” On this album Manish not only sings, but also plays swar-mandal (a harp from India), tanpura (a long-necked plucked stringed instrument from India), keyboards, gong and a variety of bells. He is joined by his good friend Milind Date on bamboo flute, along with Jay Dave, Krishna Jani and Singdha Pious on choir vocals.

The Atma Bhakti recording, on New Earth Records, can be found in the CD format in music stores and new age lifestyle shops across the United States as well as online, while digital downloads of the music are available at all the major internet music stores such as iTunes and Amazon. For more information, go to NewEarthRecords dot com or the artist’s website (manishvyas dot com). Manish Vyas’s name is pronounced mahn-ish vi-us.

The album is comprised of two multi-sectional half-hour-long tracks plus a separate five-minute piece of chanting. First is “Atma” which means “soul or the divine” and is based on the mantra “mangalam.” Manish says, “There is a very meditative atmosphere in the music.” The second long tune is “Bhakti” which means “devotion or worship” and is based on the mantra “shivaya namaha om.” “This track is dedicated to Lord Shiva,” explains Manish, “and the bells have a wonderful effect of bringing the listener into the moment where he is cut off from the world outside and is instantly brought to here now. The final track, ‘Vedic Chanting,’ is a very powerful form of chanting done in India by the priests or as a group ritual or prayer.”

Manish adds, “The material I select to sing is always on a higher plane going to a higher dimension. That has always been my preference, to work on music that lifts you from the level of the mind and takes you up higher.”

Manish Vyas grew up in a family of musicians in Gujarat, India, spending his childhood around an atmosphere of family, friends, dance, meditation, and music gatherings; Manish was exposed to the world of music through an organic integration of it into his life. Perceiving an intrinsic talent, his mother encouraged nine-year-old Manish’s interest in tabla (an Indian percussion instrument), which commenced his life-long journey in crafting music. He spent five years of early training with tabla master Ustad Allarakha in Mumbai.

From a young age Manish followed a path deeply marked by two spiritual masters, Osho and Gurudev, who both had a strong impact on this musician’s life. Manish has a broad musical palette and plays many instruments. His compositions have deep Indian musical roots while also embracing a wide diversity of other expressions -- world-fusion, folk, classical, kirtan, Sufi, jazz, and lounge -- the result of decades of dedicated practice, performance and meditation. Manish is constantly reinventing musical forms with his endless creativity, delivering a lovingly and carefully sculptured product to a highly receptive audience, in which each sound has been selected to promote extraordinary awareness.

These events have shaped his musical path, characterizing it by a deep genuine knowledge of Indian music and its true nature, as well as an awareness of the outer music as a re-creation of one’s inner sounds and vibration. All of this conveys a deeper feeling that cannot be described, but can be heard and felt.

As a disciple to some of India’s most recognized musicians, Manish came to understand that his musical gifts alone would not gain the most subtle access to the listener. It is his intention behind the sounds he makes to merge the world of music with the divine, and to convey deep, touching, spiritual feelings.

“I grew up around Osho and he taught me that music has a purpose, vibration, energy, space, and is not just entertainment. Through the music I try to pass on the space I feel, that I live in, of meditation, silence, grace, joy, bliss, all the way to celebration. So my experiences with Osho are reflected in the music and this is his gift. He was one of the few masters who experimented with both music and meditation.”

During the last fifteen to twenty years, Manish’s musical reach has expanded worldwide. Through his work on albums and performances around the globe, he had the chance to collaborate with a wide range of performers. His musical path has brought him numerous opportunities to compose for top musicians and to tour with them globally, and through these encounters his musical path expanded in a very rewarding way.

One of his most illustrious projects was his fifteen-year collaboration with world-famous fusion maestro Prem Joshua as they recorded together and toured through Europe, America, India and Asia. In another phase of world travels, Manish joined Snatam Kaur; and a compilation of those concerts was released as Snatam Kaur: Live In Concert. As a composer, Manish’s ostensibly most-notable contribution is to mantra-queen Deva Premal, as he is featured on many of her recordings. Manish’s remarkable musical abilities have brought him to the eye of world-renowned celebrities in the music field, such as when he had the opportunity to participate in Sir Paul McCartney’s 2002 wedding as part of the Celtic Ragas band.

Manish’s musical talents place him at the vanguard of a new generation of artists who are connecting with and bridging between their spiritual traditions and the music of the modern world. Manish has said that love, meditation, celebration, silence, and nature are his personal inspirations to create music.

Manish Vyas has previous recordings such as Sattva and Shivoham: A Journey of Bliss. Some of his many collaborations and recording highlights include contributions to Embrace, Dakshina and Password by Deva Premal, Dance of Shakti and Shiva Moon by Prem Joshua, Liberation’s Door by Snatam Kaur, Tomorrow by Dechen Shak Dagsay, Into Being by Praful, Zen Spa by Nandin, Gaia’s Garden by Chinmaya Dunster, Joy Is Now by Guruganesha Singh, Dust At Your Feet by Tanmayo, The Alchemist’s Prayer by Ramdass, Adhara by Niranjan Kaur, Healing Mantras by Pari, Om Deeksha by Maneesh de Moor, and In Her Name by Sudha. Manish also has contributed to dozens of album compilations.

In can clearly be perceived that in Manish’s case, his spiritual and musical paths cannot be separated since they obviously complement and fulfill each other.

“From meditation to celebration, this spectrum is covered in the music I like to do,” he says. “The music has to have a fragrance of love and devotion. If the understanding of the music and words can come to the listener, it lifts them up. I bow to the magic of the divine sounds. The essence is always peace and thankfulness.”

Music CD Release
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POSTED:
CLASSICALLY-TRAINED PIANIST PAZ DEL CASTILLO MAKES MARK WITH HER OWN MUSIC
Dec 22
2015
Paz del Castillo

Paz del Castillo returns with a new album titled Now that confirms her status as one of Europe’s top solo pianists. She says the recording “is an affirmation, a tribute to the present, to everyday life.”

The music of del Castillo, who lives in her home country of Spain, has a unique vitality and underlying thoughtfulness. One of the best at creating moods, del Castillo brings sensitivity, gentle passion and soulfulness to her playing. She composes the music for her recordings, and her writing demonstrates her considerable background, training and studies in the world of traditional classical music. Stylistically she writes memorable melodies and explores them with several variations on the theme, and uses an active left hand to present entwining counter-melodies and other motifs juxtaposed against the original melody line.

Del Castillo’s Now (released through The Borderline Music label) -- and her earlier recordings Moods for Piano, Secrets (Secretos - In Concert) and Eleven Drops -- are available in CD format and as digital downloads internationally through a variety of online shopping sites including Amazon, iTunes, CDbaby, eMusic and many others. For more information about Paz del Castillo, go to www.pazdelcastillo dot com. Eleven Drops, her first recording to be marketed extensively globally, went Top 10 on the international Zone Music Reporter 100 Chart for contemporary instrumental music, and also made the ZMR list of the 100 Best Recordings for 2012 (from a group of more than 2,300 albums).

In December 2015 del Castillo will perform the music from Now in concert in Madrid, Spain. Throughout Europe, del Castillo has won numerous prestigious awards, performed at important concert halls, and studied at top music schools. In addition to her demanding career as a performer, composer and recording artist, she also teaches select students. Although primarily a solo performer on piano, del Castillo occasionally plays as part of a duo (either with a violinist or another pianist), a trio and a chamber orchestra. With a violinist, del Castillo has performed classical concerts in recent years featuring music by Bach, Chaconne, Mozart, Beethoven, Kreisler, Granados and Prokofiev. In addition, del Castillo’s first album was produced in California by renowned new age pianist Suzanne Ciani whom del Castillo also toured with in Spain.

Now opens with the piece “Unchain Me,” which Paz says “has a very special meaning. It is a message, a call to the infinite to release the chains on our minds, spirits or emotions. Sometimes you get caught in the chains of life and feel you cannot go on, that you can do nothing. The high notes I play are like a call to the world, to a better future.”

For the tune “Sobre el Cabo de Mar,” del Castillo was thinking about the ocean and the beach near where she lives in Spain. “To get to the ocean I walk through big meadows to these beautiful and stunning high-cliffs where the sea hits the rocks, and then down the cliffs to reach the sand. There is a small but beautiful cove called Cabo de Mar and from there you can see the beach. I love to sit at the top of the cliffs and breathe the sea air which my mother taught me to love. I also like to look off into the distance at the ocean’s seemingly infinite horizon. With this music it is like I am sitting there with the wind in my face, watching the beauty, enjoying this simple but great pleasure of life.”

The composition “Mother” is “a tribute to my mother, where I come from, who taught me what life is. Her example inspires me, protects me and guides me. With a thread of life she resists because she is strong, because she loves life.”

“Swinging With The Trees” was inspired by watching the trees on windy days. “There are many trees where I live -- eucalyptus, beech, apple, chestnut, ash and walnut -- and on windy days they move side-to-side all together as if it is choreography, swinging back-and-forth like a musical rhythm.”

“Hymn” is a very slow and stately progression or march. “It is a hymn to life, to humanity and to having a respect for life. There is such barbarity around us, the idea is to stop and realize the importance of our lives which is the most sacred thing there is.”

The music of “En el Aire” came from a dream del Castillo had in which “I saw myself floating above the people and the streets of the city where I lived.”

She explains that the tune “Painting Colors” is “a tribute to Impressionism, both music and painting, like the touches of colors of Debussy. It means to paint colors with piano notes, just close your eyes and paint your home, the air, the sea, anyone you know.”

The final piece on Now is “Tom,” a musical tribute to her dog. “He is big sheepdog, crude and clumsy, but also very noble. We have been together since he was a puppy, and although he is old now, he continues to play like when he was young which always draws a smile to my face. This music simulates the movement of his games and pranks.”

Paz, who was born in Madrid and raised in Valladolid, started her music studies at the age of seven. “When I was a child I remember listening to all kinds of music -- classical, Spanish, Sixties and Seventies. My mother had Frank Sinatra records, and my oldest sister had vinyl of Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Carpenters, James Taylor, Alan Parsons Project, The Bee Gees and Abba. Later I started buying my own records -- Culture Club, Aztec Camera, O.M.D., Simply Red and many others. My first classical album was Beethoven’s “3rd Piano Concerto” played by Aschkenazy. But I also discovered film music, soundtracks of great movies, and I started to love John Williams, Nino Rota, John Barry, Ennio Morricone and others. In the Nineties I began listening to Suzanne Ciani, George Winston, David Arkenstone and David Lanz as well as Celtic music.”

Del Castillo graduated from the Conservatory at Valladolid with a Music Professor (teaching) Degree specializing in piano. In recent years she became the founder and president of the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA). After graduation, she traveled to England to attend the Dartington International School of Music where she studied under professor and pianist Stephen Kovacevich. She returned to Spain and graduated from the Conservatorio Superior de Musica Teresa Berganza - El Escorial in Madrid (high-level studies under professor Rosa M. Kucharski). At the National Youth Music Competition, del Castillo was a finalist her first year and the winner her second year as a composer and performer. Following a Masters Class with Argentinian professor and pianist Aquiles Delle-Vigne, she won a scholarship to study “technique and piano performance” with him at the Mozarteum Musik Akademmie in Salzburg, Austria, for a year. She won the Composition Award at the International Music Exchange Piano Competition which included traveling to North Wales to perform original material at the International Music Festival.

“I love books, art, paintings, architecture, sculpture and photography. I also love nature and taking long walks or gardening. I like to look at the beauty around me which gives me energy for life. I love animals, especially my dog. I enjoy cooking Spanish food, Mediterranean dishes and desserts. I like to go to hear concerts at small places like jazz clubs or piano bars. I go out with my friends to eat tapas and drink wine, or sometimes we simply get a coffee and talk,” says del Castillo.

“I firmly believe in the power of love and trying to understand what others feel. I hate lies, ingratitude, dishonesty, falsehoods, injustice and suffering. We have to fight it the best we can. One way is to use music. If you choose to be a musician, you have the responsibility to study music as a complex and complete art, to prepare and work hard, and to make music the best you can for others to enjoy.”
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