There are times when music becomes a truly transcendent experience, uniting performers and listeners in an ecstatic current of beauty and heartfelt emotion. When live music is at its best, the line between performer, participant, and the divine is dissolved and reassembled into one collective experience.
In the tradition of the sacred music artists of our time combined with some essential influences from classic rock ‘n’ roll greats, the GuruGanesha Band embodies an entirely new music landscape and style that is conscious mantra based rock.
The GuruGanesha Band effortlessly spans a multitude of musical styles, from deeply meditative musical compositions that unfold like lotus petals, to the spellbinding fusion of Indian raga and Western jazz, to full-on bhakti infused rock. The band expresses a universal musical language that transcends boundaries, cultures, and generations. Anyone who’s experienced the live juggernaut this is the GuruGanesha Band can testify to the fact that they’ve been part of an experience that is memorable and transformational.
When GuruGanesha himself experienced the groundbreaking musical adventures of the Grateful Dead in the ‘60s, he knew right away that he had found the seeds for his musical blueprint. The Dead’s loose but exciting melodies became something else when grace hit GuruGanesha in 1972. That’s when his life changed and his spiritual path was cemented by the meeting of his spiritual teacher, Yogi Bhajan. It was then that he was able to see that the path of musical alchemy could be combined with devoted spiritual service to create a union of love, melody, message, and rhythm in a way that hadn’t been done before.
GuruGanesha explains, “ As Yogi Bhajan strode the aisle from the back of the room, I could feel his presence. Amazingly, he stopped and spoke to me. With graceful eyes he looked down at me and simply said, ‘what took you so long.’ It was then, listening to Yogi ji, I laughed and felt joy for the first time since my own father had died. I was inspired.”
This inspirational musical mission took on many forms over the years, and has now culminated in the what is the ultimate expression of all the GGB members’ musical intentions. Part of the uniqueness behind the GGB is the different colors, textures, and ideas that each band member brings to this devotional sonic laboratory. GuruGanesha’s fluid lyrical lead guitar playing is complimented by the harmonic brilliance of Sat Kartar’s rhythm guitar, and then anchored to the groove by Guru Sangat’s brilliant jazz influenced bass lines and Fabio Pirozzolo’s world drum beats.
Like a magical breath of devotional grace each member can only barely put into words the effortless perfection that happens when the four of them plug in and exchange their musical vocabulary. Through improvisation, original composition and some traditional chant infusions the material for the upcoming GuruGanesha Band album People Of Love expresses exactly where they are at on this journey, at this moment in time.
And if it wasn’t for the joy of sharing it with the world out on the road the GGB would be in a barn somewhere in Vermont pounding out the sonic magic until all hours of the night and day.
Their open hearts encourage all to sing, chant, dance and meditate along with them. Those who have experienced the GuruGanesha Band live in concert already know that the group tears down the house while lifting the audience’s collective spirit to a higher plane. They are guiding the way towards a bold and blissful new direction for live mantra music that is perhaps more necessary now for the planet than ever before.
GuruGanesha, a child of the ‘60s, grew up in a world where social expression and musical boundaries were confined to a very rigid set of rules that the 1950’s America dictated. Then one day that all changed: It was in 1964 that the Beatles appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show for the first time, and the world was never the same. He knew right away what his life long calling would be and then set out across the country armed with a guitar and a vision to touch people’s souls with sound and love.
Early influences by Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead and Eric Clapton formed the early ideas for GuruGanesha but it’s when he met Yogi Bhajan in 1972 that all of his life’s ideals would form into one statement of joy. “I was inspired in a way that I had never felt before. It was as if my heart burst open as if it were the sun itself.”
Now, in his work with the musical alchemy that is the GuruGanesha Band he has embarked on an ultimate expression of spirit, love, and rock ‘n’ roll! “I love our new sound! In bringing a guitar band to our stage of world sacred and devotional music, we’re offering conscious rock ‘n’ roll for the soul.”
Gurusangat’s lyrical, poetic, and groove-based bass lines are undeniable. They are the foundation that the GuruGanesha Band is built atop of. At the age of 11 he began playing in the famed French Quarter of New Orleans, honing his skills and developing his own musical vocabulary. Continuing that journey into the minute-by-minute thrill of busking in Boston is where this singer-songwriter took on the mission to inspire hearts around the world with peace, joy, and unity.
“I was pretty fearless, and loved singing and playing, so I did well in the subways of Cambridge and Boston, and in the French Quarter of New Orleans.”
A seasoned professional with more than a dozen production credits to his name, he is also one of the finest sonic architects around. His effortless ability to blend sounds, voices, and mantras into one gorgeous landscape makes him one of the great talents in the business. Joining the GuruGanesha Band as a bass player, vocalist, songwriter and producer is part of the vital mix that makes the GuruGanesha Band a perfect fit.
“I’m an accidental rock star,” says Sat Kartar with a chuckle. With his self effacing humor and sincere worldview, his spiritual heart began when he met Yogi Bhajan in 1972. He loved that Yogi Bhajan was incorporating Western music and guitar into the ancient sacred teachings of mantra and divine poetry.
Like GuruGanesha, Sat Kartar is also a child of the new wave of spiritual exploration and heart opening that came from the 1960s. Early on, like so many children of the era, he picked up an acoustic guitar and started forming poetry and lyrics to fit his precise and harmonic rhythm guitar style. Later on he fused all of that with his love for Indian music by learning the tabla and harmonium. Those influences are easy to pick out today in GuruGanesha Band’s musical language that transcends boundaries, cultures, and generation.
Sat Kartar and GuruGanesha have been singing and playing together for more than 25 years. He has been with the GuruGanesha Band since its inception, and more recently has been writing music and collaborating with the entire band. Sat Kartar’s influence and maturity in the band is an integral part of its leadership and future.
As the drummer and percussionist for the GuruGanesha Band, Fabio has taken his Italian roots and morphed them into the world music rhythmic sensation that is the heartbeat for the GGB.
A summa cum laude graduate from the Berklee College of Music, he has the skills and vision to perform in any genre of music ranging from jazz to world beat to rock. His flexible skill set has led him to supply the back beat for such artists as Herb Reed’s Platters, Mario Frangoulis, George Perris, Jon Butcher, and Petroloukas Halkias among other world class performers.
With GGB he truly feels the wonder that is magic in the form of music, something greater than the sum of its parts. “Since the first time I shared the stage with them, the sight of people chanting and connecting with the band on a deep spiritual level has been intoxicating and awe inspiring,” he says.