Snatam Kaur

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Snatam Kaur
September 10, 2007, Snatam Kaur in Hockley, Birmingham, England.
September 10, 2007, Snatam Kaur in Hockley, Birmingham, England.
Background information
Born 1972
Trinidad, Colorado
Genres Mantra, Meditation, New Age, Female Vocalists
Occupations Musician
Years active 2000–present
Labels Spirit Voyage Records
Website http://www.snatamkaur.com

Snatam Kaur Khalsa (Punjabi: ਸਨਾਤਮ ਕੌਰ ਖ਼ਾਲਸਾ, born 1972 in Trinidad, Colorado), is an American singer and songwriter. Kaur performs Indian devotional music, kirtan, and tours the world as a peace activist. The name "Kaur", meaning "princess", is shared by all female Sikhs.

Early life and education[edit]

Her family moved to California when Snatam was two, living in Long Beach and Sacramento. When Snatam was six, the family went to India where her mother studied kirtan. Snatam lived on a ranch near Bolinas, California until 8th grade and then moved to Mill Valley in 1986. During her childhood, she played kirtan with her mother in Sikh temples and at Sikh religious ceremonies. She attended Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. While at Tam High, she played violin in the school orchestra and began songwriting. Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead coached Kaur and her classmates before they performed her song Saving the Earth at an Earth Day concert in San Francisco on April 22, 1990.[1]

Snatam was also active in social and environmental causes while in high school, serving as president of the social action club known as, "Students for Justice," in her senior year. The club started a campus recycling program and organized environmental awareness programs. The club also led the effort to change the school mascot and sports team names from the Indians to the Red Tailed Hawk in 1989 and 1990 due to a speech given at the school by Sacheen Littlefeather.[2]

After graduating from Tam, Snatam attended Mills College in Oakland, California, receiving a bachelors degree in biochemistry. She then returned to India to study Kirtan under her mother's teacher, Bhai Hari Singh. In 1997, Kaur began a career as a food technologist with Peace Cereals in Eugene, Oregon.[1]

Snatam's music[edit]

In 2000, Kaur signed with Spirit Voyage Records — the founder of which, Guru Ganesha Singh Khalsa, became her manager and guitarist. Her professional collaboration includes New Age music producer Thomas Barquee and occasionally her mother, Prabhu Nam Kaur Khalsa, also a musician.[1]

Discography[edit]

Release Date Album Title Record Label
2000 Reunion
  • with Guru Ganesha Singh Khalsa and Livtar Singh Khalsa
Spirit Voyage Records
2000 To Heaven and Beyond
  • with Guru Ganesha Singh, Livtar Singh and Tony Redhouse
Spirit Voyage Records
2002 Carry Us Home
  • with Guru Ganesha Singh and Livtar Singh
Spirit Voyage Records
2002 Prem (Love) Spirit Voyage Records
2003 Shanti Spirit Voyage Records
2004 Grace Spirit Voyage Records
2005 Celebrate Peace Spirit Voyage Records
2005 Mother's Blessing
  • with Prabhu Nam Kaur
Spirit Voyage Records
2006 Anand Spirit Voyage Records
2007 LIVE in Concert
  • with Guru Ganesha Singh, Manish Vyas and Ram Dass
Spirit Voyage Records
2007 Amrit Vela - Sadhana Chants
  • with Tarn Taran Singh
Spirit Voyage Records
2008 Teree Meher Da Bolanaa Spirit Voyage Records
2008 Meditations for Transformation 1: Merge & Flow Spirit Voyage Records
2008 Meditations for Transformation 2: Connect & Heal Spirit Voyage Records
2008 Meditations for Transformation 3: Release & Overcome Spirit Voyage Records
2009 Liberation's Door
  • with Guru Ganesha Singh
Spirit Voyage Records
2010 The Essential Snatam Kaur: Sacred Chants For Healing Spirit Voyage Records Under License To Sounds True
2010 Divine Birth
  • with Prabhu Nam Kaur
Spirit Voyage Records
2011 Ras Spirit Voyage Records
2011 Feeling Good Today Spirit Voyage Records
2012 Evening Prayer - Kirtan Sohila Spirit Voyage Records
2012 Heart Of The Universe
  • with Peter Kater
Point of Light Records/Spirit Voyage
2013 Sat Nam! Songs from Khalsa Youth Camp
  • with Siri Nam Singh
Spirit Voyage Records
2014 Light of the Naam: Morning Chants
  • with Ajeet Kaur and Thomas Barquee
Spirit Voyage Records

The Celebrate Peace tour[edit]

From 2003 to 2009 Snatam Kaur spent much of each year on a perpetual tour called the "Celebrate Peace tour." Her tour took her several times across North America, twice to Europe, and twice to South America. The tour included performances at schools, hospices, juvenile detention centers, and other facilities. Kaur is a featured teacher and "Peace Ambassador" for the 3HO Foundation (a non-governmental organization affiliated with the United Nations since 1996). Snatam Kaur toured with her longtime musical partner Guru Ganesha Singh Khalsa, a guitarist and vocalist, and various other musicians. After her marriage, her husband, graphic artist, Sopurkh Singh also traveled with Snatam Kaur.[1]

Sat Nam Fest and Recent Tours[edit]

Since the birth of her daughter, Snatam Kaur has considerably scaled down her performances, though she still comes out for the Sat Nam Fest Kundalini Yoga and Music Festivals held annually in Pennsylvania, California and Mexico, bringing her daughter and husband in tow.[3] Her band in recent tours has included Todd Boston, Ramesh Kannan, and Matthew Schoening.[4]

Sikh influence on Kaur's music[edit]

Sikhism is a religion that began in India in the mid-fifteenth century with the first Guru, known as Guru Nanak Dev Ji (1469-1539 C.E.). The essence of being a Sikh is that one lives one’s life according to the teachings of the Sikh Gurus, devoting time to meditating on God and the scriptures, chanting, and living life in a way that benefits other people and the world.[5] Kaur’s teacher, Yogi Bhajan (1929-2004), was influential in helping promote the Sikh tradition in the West.[6]

Sikhism is based on the Shabad Guru. On Kaur's official website she explains, “Shabad is the sacred energy or recitation of sound, and Guru means the living teacher. For Sikhs, our living Guru exists within the sacred words of our tradition and physically within the Sikh holy book known as the Guru Granth Sahib.” [1]

Reviews and Critical Acclaim[edit]

Snatam Kaur has received numerous positive reviews of her concerts and albums, especially in alternative and yogic media. These include LA Yoga, The Olympian (Olympia, WA), Light Connection, The Union (Nevada County, CA), The New Sunday Times (Malaysia), and Yoga Chicago.[7] In 2010, her album Essential Snatam Kaur: Sacred Chants for Healing peaked at number nine on the Billboard listing of Top New Age Music Albums.[8] Snatam Kaur's career also received a boost when it became known that her music was a favorite of Oprah Winfrey.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Snatam lives in the United States with her husband Sopurkh Singh, whom she married in January 2006, and their daughter, Jap Preet Kaur.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "Snatam Kaur Official Website". snatamkaur.com. Retrieved 11 July 2012. , https://www.newrenbooks.com/about/interviews/kaur.html
  2. ^ http://thetamnews.org/2013/04/letting-the-indian-go-the-evolution-of-the-tam-mascot/
  3. ^ http://www.satnamfest.com/
  4. ^ http://www.toddboston.com/bio/
  5. ^ "The Three Principles of Sikhism". Sikhism.about.com. 2013-12-25. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  6. ^ Khalsa, Shanti Kaur Khalsa (1995). The History of Sikh Dharma of the Western Hemisphere. Espanola, NM: Sikh Dharma; McLeod, Hew (1997). Sikhism. London: Penguin Books.
  7. ^ "Snatam Kaur Reviews". Kindredspirits.ws. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  8. ^ "The Essential Snatam Kaur: Sacred Chants for Healing - Snatam Kaur | Awards". AllMusic. 2010-05-04. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  9. ^ "How Oprah Celebrated Her 58th Birthday". Oprah.com. Retrieved 2014-01-04. 
  10. ^ http://www.snatamkaur.com/web8.html

External links[edit]