Our Community Kirtan outreach Program

Our Community Kirtan outreach Program

Call and Response is committed to our many outreach programs to help serve communities through chant. We are adding more cities to our current active list of 8 and have recently even expanded to West Cork, Ireland! Yes, chant is happening all around the globe. One of our newest Community Kirtan cities is Houston and their Kirtan events are a part of an organization called Conscious Houston. Their mission statement is: “Conscious Houston is a community dedicated to living the philosophy of bhakti-yoga. Bhakti-yoga focuses on developing our connection to the pure love that is present within our hearts. Through music, meditation, and many aspects of what we call a conscious lifestyle, we invite you to join us in creating a more conscious Houston.” Beyond just Kirtan, they host an event called Mantra Mixer. It is described as: “…an event hosted by Conscious Houston that showcases a medley of sacred mantras and contemporary music. Mantras are traditionally considered sacred hymns, but when done with musical instruments, it can be powerful, enlivening and fun! During this event we will feature local musicians, a free yoga class, henna, and mantra meditation.” To learn more you can visit their Website or Facebook page!...

Here at Call and Response Foundation we welcome questions about the work we do and all of our programs. Here is an excerpt from an interview we did talking about the organization, the Kirtan scene in general and one of our outreach programs in particular If you have questions or curiosities, please contact us. Can you tell me a little about the organization – how it began, what it does ? We started 7 years ago when three colleagues and lovers of kirtan realized there was little or sno spport available for those organizing, planning and hosting kirtans. In 2010 a small group of enthusiastic and inspired lovers of bhakti came together with the idea of supporting and creating mantra music for more audiences through community outreach, concerts and related projects. They were inspired to do this by creating new models of how to offer transcendent sound. This included connecting community members, musicians, yoga practitioners, universities, and other unique partners. The initial philosophy also included the desire to make the practice of presenting mantra music more easeful for the affiliated musicians and to provide them with communication and managerial support. To answer these needs and as part of their purpose in life they formed the Call and Response Foundation, a grassroots non-profit organization, now a registered 501(c)3 charity with tax deductible status How has the Kirtan scene changed over say the last 10 – 15 years ? It’s become more organized here in the west…and in some was more commercialized. Some folks now lead kirtan for a “living!” There are debates about whether it is being done true to...
Glimpses of Community Kirtan

Glimpses of Community Kirtan

This is from our Community Kirtan in Sarasota Florida:   “Holy smokes!!! Great crowd at Unity of SRQ tonight for our weekly kirtan. We created amazing vibrations of sound, devotion and love. Above it all and part of it all, we raised $176.00 for the All Faiths Food Bank!!! Thank you all for your generosity and for sharing your hearts and voices. Thanks as well to Stevananda and Tej for leading beautiful chants and to Hukam for his rock solid drumming and support. I love you all and feel so very blessed for our SRQ kirtan community. And, last but certainly not least, thanks to Jen Canfield and the generous souls who fund the Call & Response Foundation for facilitating the creation of our weekly SRQ kirtan group…..and for paying the rent!!! Jai Hanuman, Jai Sita Ram!!!”     Chant by twinkle...
Why Do We Chant

Why Do We Chant

“Kirtan is the glue that binds out hearts together.” – David Newman   Here is a link to a short read from Kripalu’s website about about the basics and overview of Kirtan. It has quotes from David Newman, Krishna Das and Deva Premal. Enjoy! “In the last decade, India’s ancient call-and-response form of chanting has been reinvented by modern devotional artists who are blending traditional kirtan with modern music genres such as rock, R&B, hip hop, and electronica—breathing new life (and new devotion) into yoga’s sacred chants. But what, exactly, are these chants about?” click HERE to read...
San Francisco Community Kirtan

San Francisco Community Kirtan

The Call and Response Foundation sponsors community Kirtan events in 6 different cities (soon to be 7 as Houston joins us). We are amazed to hear from them each month with the stories they share. It reminds us how significant this practice can be and how it touches the lives of so many. Here is an excerpt from our San Francisco host. “Our weekly Wednesday night kirtan and the sangha that’s grown around it continue to blossom. I don’t know how some of these people find us, but they continue to come in and have their hearts opened by the practice. The group ranges from people off the street who’ve never heard of kirtan or Krishan, to a young man, recently from the East coast, who needed some kirtan connections and new friends here. My fave recent story: a man we’ll call Peter started coming to kirtan several months ago. New to the practice, he was unemployed, depressed, and then got hit by a car. He started coming early and getting harmonium/chanting lessons from Miko, started reading more about Bhakti, and has become a weekly contributor to our group. He’s been unable all these months to put anything into the donation jar, and is one of the reasons I started having food for the group every Wednesday. This past week, there was an envelope in the jar. It was a card from Peter bursting with gratitude for Kirtan and the weekly group, along with a cash donation “to support the Love and buy kitchari supplies.” He got a job and is...
Interview with David Newman

Interview with David Newman

Call and Response Foundation is proud to partner with David Newman to offer tours and retreats. David, along with his partner Mira, share their talents to touch so many through chant as well as other community projects. David is a kirtan chant artist, songwriter and Bhakti Yoga practitioner. He travels extensively sharing kirtan and his style of devotional music, embodying the meditative and ecstatic The following is an excerpt from a longer interview. You can read the full interview HERE but in the meantime we wanted to share David’s thoughts on Bhakti Yoga.   LM: As a practitioner and educator of Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of love or devotion, can you talk about the benefits of this kind of yoga, specifically as it relates to the honest search inward for connection to the Self? DD: When I got introduced to kirtan, which lead me to the practice of Bhakti Yoga, it was early on that feeling of getting connected to devotion and a sense of gratitude towards something greater in life beyond my own ideas, aspirations and beliefs, my own mind. When I had a vision of that something greater, I was enthusiastic about practicing in a way that would enable me to surrender to t-h-a-t and that is the essence of Bhakti Yoga – surrendering to that whatever you call  it, everybody has a different name for it and a different relationship to it, but it is about expressing one’s devotion and surrender to that “Not my will, but thy will be done.” To say it brings a greater sense of flow and ease into one’s life would be an understatement....

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