Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

Article | June 5, 2024

Kirtan with Madhava Naidoo & Jahnavi Harrison


We are thrilled to announce our first Kirtan concert, performed by two incredibly famous musicians, Madhava Naidoo and Jahnavi Harrison, on June 22 from 7 to 9:30 pm at Grace Cathedral! 

This is the first time that we are hosting a Kirtan concert. We could not do it without the devoted support of Shrawan Surender, who is producing this event. Here are some questions we had posed to Shrawan when he and his colleagues first approached us:

Why did you select Grace Cathedral as a place to host this concert?

Grace Cathedral was chosen as the venue for this concert for several reasons. Firstly, as a magnificent architectural masterpiece and a spiritual sanctuary in the heart of San Francisco, Grace Cathedral provides a serene and reverent atmosphere conducive to the devotional nature of Kirtan music. Its soaring Gothic arches, intricate stained glass, and rich acoustics create a transcendent ambiance that enhances the experience of this sacred chanting tradition.

Moreover, San Francisco holds a significant place in the history of Kirtan. In 1966, Swami Prabhupada, the founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), introduced and popularized this ancient practice in the Western world. By hosting this concert at Grace Cathedral, we pay homage to the city’s role in the global spread of Kirtan and its message of spiritual unity and love.

Furthermore, Grace Cathedral serves as a spiritual hub, welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds to gather, reflect, and connect with the divine. Its inclusive and interfaith ethos aligns perfectly with the universal appeal of Kirtan, which transcends religious boundaries and speaks to the shared human yearning for inner peace and connection.

How many musicians will we have for this concert?

For this concert, we have assembled a talented ensemble of musicians to create a rich and immersive Kirtan experience. The lineup includes:

Lead Vocalists and Instrumentalists:

  • Madhava Naidoo, a renowned Kirtan leader, will captivate the audience with his soulful vocals and harmonium playing.
  • Jahnavi Harrison, a gifted vocalist and violinist, will bring her melodic artistry to the forefront, weaving intricate violin lines into the devotional chants.

Supporting Musicians:

  • A skilled bass guitarist will provide a grounding foundation with their resonant basslines.
  • Two Kartal players will add rhythmic depth and energy with their hand cymbals, creating a mesmerizing percussive tapestry.
  • A Mrdanga player will bring the traditional Indian drum to life, infusing the Kirtan with intricate rhythmic patterns and driving beats.
  • A keyboard player will contribute harmonic textures and atmospheric layers, enhancing the overall sonic landscape.

Together, this ensemble of seven accomplished musicians will create a rich, multidimensional soundscape that will transport the audience into a state of spiritual bliss and contemplation. Their collective talents and devotion will undoubtedly make this Kirtan concert a truly transcendent experience.

This concert will be 2.5 hours long. We hear it’s interactive, and it sounds amazing. Can you walk us through what the experience will be like?

This 2.5 hour concert promises to be an immersive and transformative experience, as Kirtan is a truly interactive and participatory form of mantra meditation. I am glad to walk you through what you can expect:

As you enter the sacred space, you’ll be enveloped by the rich tapestry of sound created by the talented ensemble of musicians. The lead vocalists, Madhava Naidoo and Jahnavi Harrison will guide you through a journey of call-and-response chanting, their voices soaring and intertwining with the harmonium, violin, and other instruments.

The mantras, sung in the ancient Sanskrit language, will resonate within you, their vibrations gently massaging your body and mind. You’ll find yourself effortlessly joining in, chanting along with the lead singers, as the mantras become a shared expression of devotion and unity.

As the Kirtan progresses, you may feel a sense of liberation, as if the mantras are untying the knots within your heart, freeing you from the burdens and stresses of daily life. The synergy created by the call-and-response dynamic will fill the space with a palpable energy, a collective rejoicing in the bliss of the present moment.

You can choose to participate in whatever way feels most natural to you – sitting in stillness, swaying to the rhythms, or even dancing with abandon, allowing the music to move through you. Some may find themselves lost in deep meditation, while others may experience a sense of joyful celebration.

We hope you see you at Kirtan with Madhava Naidoo & Jahnavi Harrison on June 22 at 7 pm. Get your tickets before they are gone!

Share to your favorite platform or Email to Family & Friends