Short B i o
Jaya Lakshmi began leading kirtan and writing her own devotional songs in the early 1990′s shortly after receiving harinam initiation from Srila Govinda Maharaj, a spiritual teacher of bhakti (devotion) from West Bengal, India. She went on to create 4 solo chant albums on Sequoia Records as well as became the lead singer of the tribal-trance band Lost at Last (West Coast USA, 1997-2004). She is the creator of "Kirtronica" - electronica music with mantra designed for ecstatic dance.
In 2010 she joined forces with Ananda Yogiji. In just over 6 years, they released 11 mantra albums on Sounds True, Spirit Voyage and independently and toured extensively throughout the western USA. She is known for her authentic and deep devotional spirit as well as playing an important part in establishing kirtan and mantra music in the west.
A dedicated yogi, she has regularly practiced hatha-based yoga since 1996, and since 2010 has integrated Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan into her practice. Her most influential teachers have been Kia Miller, Tommy Rosen, Sianna Sherman, Janet Stone, Saul David Raye (all based in USA) and Anand Mehotra (Rishikesh, India) for whom she has often provided music for in their retreats and classes.
2017 ~ Live Experience (Sanskrit & Devotional Songs) (Independent)
2017 ~ Live Experience (Kundalini Mantra) (Independent)
2016 ~ Kundalini Morning Chants (Sounds True)
2015 ~ Kundalini Kirtronica (Sounds True)
2015 ~ Saraswati Dreams Re-Mix
2015 ~ As the Lotus Blossoms (Independent)
2015 ~ Kundalini Mantras Live (Independent)
2014 ~Saraswati Dreams (Sounds True)
2013 ~ Kirtronica (Sounds True)
2010 ~ Live at the Altar of Love (Independent)
2009 ~ Radiance (Sequoia)
2006 ~ Sublime (Sequoia)
2005 ~ Are You Dreaming?" One at Last (Sounds True)
2004 ~ Jewel of Hari (Sequoia)
2003 ~ Ocean of Mercy (Sequoia)
2001 ~ Lost at Last (RCA Records)
1997 ~ Lost at Last (Independent Release/Holon Records)
Jaya Lakshmi's music creates an opening for light transmission and healing to occur. Connected to an ancient lineage of 'bhakti', she reminds us of the nectarian sweetness of our true devotional nature and the bliss of surrendering to the Divine. Her songs summon courage and faith and reveal the alchemy of personal transformation. She invites us to celebrate our ability to turn pain to peace, fear to love, and darkness to light by fully facing and embracing what we resist. From there we can shift our perspective by the power of our will.
" Through singing and mantra we learn how to open ourselves in a gentle way and accept the perfection of what is, increasing our capacity for unconditional joy and contentment in life." JL
Born into a family of musicians, Jaya Lakshmi's natural talent for creating music developed early. She was trained in piano by her mother, who was an accomplished pianist and teacher, and influenced by her brother, a popular rock drummer on the local music scene. She began singing and writing songs on the guitar at age 15 and formed a band in high school that performed originals and covers of popular folk songs with four-part harmonies. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire in 1987 with a degree in Anthropology, she moved to rural Western Oregon where she resumed her songwriting and singing, inspired by the lush green forests, misty mountains, and the ring of the twelve string guitar.
After 5 more years of chilly winters, she moved with her two-year-old daughter to the big island of Hawaii in 1992 where she was introduced to Srila Govinda Maharaj from West Bengal India, from whom she received harinam initiation and her spiritual name Jaya Lakshmi, which means "victory to the goddess Lakshmi," the Hindu goddess of prosperity. The seed of bhakti (devotion) had been planted deeply in her heart and began to flourish as she dove into learning the mantras and devotional songs of the Gaudiya Vaisnav tradition (Hare Krishna). On the enchanted slopes of Mauna Kea her second daughter was born in 1994.
The Hawaiian Islands, known for their rich spiritual energy, have opened the door to many faiths. Here, Jaya Lakshmi made a profound connection to her own Native American ancestry (Sauk Fox) through traditional ceremony and the singing of powerful medicine songs on the Big Island and Maui, where she moved in 1996.
It was on Maui that she met up with Deva Priyo and Om and formed the band Lost at Last in 1997, which officially marked the beginning of her professional music career. The vision of the band was to blend ancient and modern music (acoustic and electronic) in a mood of love and devotion, with chanting and devotional singing. The band quickly became very popular, assuming an almost cult-like status for festival-goers at Burning Man, Harmony Fest, and other alternative events.
The band finally relocated to Northern California and Oregon, in order to keep building their growing fan base on the West coast. Jaya Lakshmi performed as the lead singer and keyboardist, as well as playing the harmonium, 12-string guitar and various percussion instruments. She was a prominent songwriter in the band, whose first major album titled "Lost at Last," was released in August of 2001 (RCA) .
After the band dissolved in 2004, Jaya Lakshmi began to compose her own original electronic music using Ableton Live, establishing the term
'Kirtronica’, to describe a new genre of music that is becoming more popular in the yoga world: electronic dance music combined with live Sanskrit/Indian chanting (kirtan) with various live instrumentation.
Given the challenge of building a music career and having to support her daughters, she was faced with the fact that she needed more reliable income. In 2005 she was blessed with the good fortune of landing a steady job in what was to be one of the most successful new businesses on the rise: Luna & Larry's Coconut Bliss. To this day Coconut Bliss remains a regular sponsor and supporter of Jaya Lakshmi's tours.
Juggling family life with job and music career, she still managed to create 4 solo mantra albums between the years of 2003 and 2009, with the help of Sequoia Records. During this time she also continued to perform occasional solo concerts and at summer festivals, often sharing the stage with talented artists such as Jai Uttal, Dave Stringer, CC White, Shimshai and Tina Malia. She played regularly with Daniel Paul, who also contributed tabla on her albums.
In 2010 she met Ananda Yogiji in Eugene, Oregon. Realizing their powerful potential together, they joined forces musically and entered into what was also to be a profoundly creative love relationship, that merged career and personal life. In just over 6 years together, they released 11 mantra albums on Sounds True, Spirit Voyage and independently. When her younger daughter graduated high school in 2012, Lakshmi left her 'day job' at Coconut Bliss and they began touring together full-time.
They established their 'Altar of Love' weekend retreats, which included a Sacred chant concert, yoga, mantra and singing workshops, performing live 'Kirtronica' for ecstatic dance and a closing cacao ceremony. They toured regularly on the West Coast USA, Hawaii, and have led Altar of Love retreats also in Bali and Guatemala. They have played and taught yoga at numerous festivals, including Bhakti/Shakti Fest, Sat Nam Fest, Beloved Festival, Oregon Country Fair, Bali Spirit, Prana Fest, Hanuman Festival and Telluride Yoga Festival, among others. They have been pioneers in bringing music and conscious businesses together, especially on their USA west coast tours. Their sponsors have included Coconut Bliss, Medicinal Foods, Blue Lotus Chai and Jem Organics.
In addition to regularly performing with Ananda, Jaya Lakshmi continues to explore her unique individual expression as a singer, songwriter, musician and composer with her upcoming solo recordings and performances.