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Birth name Santoo Govi
Born Germany Germany
Origin Hawaii Hawaii, United States U.S.
Genres New age, New Flamenco, Instrumental, World, Ethnic fusion
Occupation(s) Musician, Guitarist, Composer
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1988–present
Labels Real Music, Higher Octave Music, Govi Music

Govi (Santoo Govi) is a new age/ambient Hawaiian-German musician. Each of Govi’s albums have reached the Top 10 on Billboard’s New Age chart.


Born on February 27, 1949, his birth name was Werner Monka. During his teens, he lived in Minden/Westfalen (Germany), near Bielefeld. There he performed as the lead guitarist in bands like BLACKBIRD (1962), VIRUS (1971) and WEED (1971, with Ken Hensley ex-URIAH HEEP) that played everything from rock to blues. These experiences led to his first professional gig as a member of a group that played original material and won a national band competition and a recording contract which allowed them to tour throughout Germany.

Although a native of Germany, Werner Monka decided to make a radical change and leave Europe. He sold his electric guitar, a Gibson Les Paul, to get the flight paid to India. There Werner Monka changed his name first to Govinda, then to Govi. He spent eight years living in India.[1] He started playing the mandolin, mandocello, sitar, bouzouki, charango and the 8-string ukulele. While in India, he established a friendship with German new age artists Deuter and Karunesh. Their mutual admiration and respect led to Deuter co-producing Govi's debut album Sky High throughout which Deuter can be heard playing flutes and keyboards.

His fifth album Guitar Odyssey became one of the most successful albums in its genre; in 1997, it reached the top ten of the "Billboard" new age albums, eventually climbing to number three.[2]

After some years in Mill Valley, CA, Govi lives in Kula, Hawaii.[3] He often collaborates with fellow German musician Karunesh, who also lives in Hawaii.


Studio albums[edit]

  • 1988 - Sky High
  • 1989 - Heart of a Gypsy
  • 1993 - Cuchama
  • 1995 - Passion & Grace
  • 1997 - Guitar Odyssey
  • 1999 - No Strings Attached: Govi at his Exuberant Best
  • 1999 - Andalusian Nights
  • 2000 - Seventh Heaven
  • 2001 - Your Lingering Touch: Govi at his Romantic Best
  • 2002 - Mosaico
  • 2004 - Saffron & Silk
  • 2005 - Havana Sunset: The Best of Govi
  • 2007 - Jewel Box
  • 2008 - Touch of Light
  • 2011 - Guitarra Mistica
  • 2013 - Pure at Heart
  • 2015 - The High Road

Other Compilations[edit]

  • 2012 - Reverie (Chinese Dragon Music)

Other Compilation Appearances[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]