Dave Stringer | Japa

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World: Chants Spiritual: Mantras Moods: Type: Vocal
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by Dave Stringer

Kirtan CD of call and response Sanskrit chants featuring gospel-inflected vocals and barefoot grooves, recorded live in the studio.
Genre: World: Chants
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Ganapati Om
8:08 album only
2. Jay Ambe
7:31 album only
3. Hey Shiva Shankara
9:30 album only
4. Devakinandana Gopala
9:22 album only
5. Shri Ram Jay Ram
6:10 album only


Album Notes

"A volcano of a voice! Stringer transported us to another time and place."- LA Yoga Pages

"Stringer's voice is rich and expressive... a divine mindtrip you won't want to miss." - Mas-India.com

Profiled in Time and Billboard magazines as a leader of the new American kirtan movement, Stringer fuses the East Indian form of rhythmic call-and-response mantra chanting known as kirtan - a practice that has become popular as a live music happening in hundreds of yoga studios across the USA - with the exuberant, groove-oriented sound of American gospel music. As Stringer describes, participating in a kirtan "You're not just listening to the music, you are the music."

Recorded in a series of live-in-the-studio sessions, Japa is infused with barefoot grooves, swirling incense and improvisational epiphanies. Produced by noted yoga teacher Saul David Raye, the CD also features the amazing voices of Toni Childs, Donna de Lory, Danny Peck, Suzanne Sterling and C.C. White, along with yoga teachers Seane Corn, Samantha Mehra, and Steve Ross. The backing band, which includes Girish Gambhira on tablas, James Harrah on electric guitar, Ian Walker on bass, and Jay Bellerose on drum set, along with special guests on sitar, saxophone, string quartet and trumpet, swings seamlessly from the soulful communion of Saturday night to the joyous redemption of Sunday morning.

Although frequently played as an accompaniment to vigorous yoga practice, Japa was actually made for driving and singing along to. The staff at City Yoga in West Hollywood, CA have called it "the perfect cure for road rage". And Dave and his band know plenty about the road: they tour tirelessly, playing about 100 dates a year across the United States, Canada and Europe.

About Kirtan:
Kirtan is a folk form that arose from the devotional Bhakti yoga movement of 15th century India. The primary musical feature of kirtan is the use of call and response, a figure that also deeply informs Western bluegrass, gospel music and jazz. The form is simple: a lead group calls out the melodies and the mantras. The crowd responds, clapping and dancing as the rhythms build and accelerate.

The Bhaktis had no use for orthodoxy. They wrote ecstatic love poems, and went around singing all the time. They saw the expression and form of the divine in every direction they looked. Their message was simple: Cultivate joy. See the divine in one another. They taught Sanskrit mantras to common people using simple melodies, accompanied by handclaps and finger cymbals and drums.

The intention of Kirtan is consciousness-transformative, directing the singers to vanish into the song as drops merge into the ocean. Sanskrit is the mother tongue of many modern languages, and a kind of periodic table of elemental sound-meaning. The mantras are primarily recitations of names given to the divine. But perhaps the true understanding of the mantras can be found in the sense of unity, well-being and timelessness that they elicit. The mantras quiet the mind, and the music frees the heart. Ecstasy is both the process and the product.

About Dave Stringer:
Initially trained as a visual artist and jazz musician, Dave started chanting in the early 1990?s when a film editing project brought him to the ashram of Swami Muktananda in India. When the editing project ended, he remained in India to teach school in a rural village, and continued studying the traditions of yoga with Swami Chidvilasananda. After returning to the US, Dave taught meditation and chanting to prison inmates, and began leading kirtans at yoga studios in Los Angeles and Chicago.

In the past four years Dave and his band have toured all over the United States, Canada and Europe, giving more than 400 performances. He has collaborated on recordings with Vas, Rasa, Donna De Lory, Axiom of Choice, Suzanne Teng, and Sheila Nicholls, and has performed with other noted kirtan singers Krishna Das and Jai Uttal. His voice can also be heard on the soundtracks of the film Matrix Revolutions and the video game Myst.



to write a review


I'm practically addicted to this CD
I had the opportunity to hear Dave live and thoroughly enjoyed the performance. After purchasing Japa a few months later I remembered just how much I enjoyed the performance. I find myself taking time out to dance to it in my office during my work day. I usually listen to Kundalini mantra music but I am glad to have added this one to my collection!

Jeffre yLidke

Stringer bridges worlds with soul-jazz-funk compositions that preserve the power
Japa is the finest chant cd on the market. Stringer has done an exceptional job of combining the live vibe of chanting with the refined sound of a studio production.

Keep on, keeping on, Brother D

David Runk

I Love This CD
It's over too soon but this is exactly how I've always wanted to hear Bhajans done. Westernized but very soulful. It reminds me of the chanting circles I used to attend in the hippie days and I mean that as a compliment.


powerful. moving. empowering.
it is somehow soothing and relaxing while at the same time powerful, moving and empowering. it brings energy, a sense of calm and a feeling of strength all at once. amazing.


More fun to sing along with than Showboat!
Whatever with the enlightenment. It sounds great, feels great to sing along with and doesn't get stale with repeated listening, i.e., it's just good music, no sticky mat required.


i was introduced to this CD by a friend who happens to be in the chorus on this lovely recording. I have a long standing hatha yoga practice and am always looking for inspirational music to practice along with. Music such as this is part of the reason i am increasingly drawn to expanding my yoga practice to include Bhakti Yoga, the yoga of devotion. Thank you Dave for sharing your beatiful gift with me.


Fantastic CD. The singing and feeling in the music is truly wonderful. A must
Heard the CD in a yoga class and just had to ask the instructor who it was. Long story short - I love it. The feeling in the music, the instuments and the singing, is truly wonderful. I highly recommend this CD to all. Fantastic!


If you like Kirtan OR even if you don't know what Kirtan is, this CD is great. It may not be for those who lean toward super mellow savasana type music but it is the freshest blend of traditional East Indian and Western sounds. Dave and his band are really unique. The musicianship is incredible, singers too. See him live if you can so you can experience what they could not capture on a CD. If you can't catch him live, you'll still be able to soar with the CD. It's beautiful and fun and may put you in a very good mood!

Helen H.

Amazing!!! His voice is just incredible. It's my favorite CD.

Marilyn S

Joyous, Uplifting & Moving
This CD is a beautiful way to build my spiritual practice. David Stringer has a beautiful, rich voice and I feel free, joyful and inspired whenever I chant with him and Japa. I had forgotten how much I love to sing as a self-expression.
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