Inspired by the deep devotional mood of Indian singing and music, Jaya Lakshmi began leading kirtan with harmonium and 12 string guitar and writing her own devotional songs in the early 1990′s on the island of Hawaii, shortly after receiving harinam initiation from Srila Govinda Maharaj, a great Vaisnava saint from West Bengal, India, who graciously bestowed on her the name “Jaya Lakshmi”, which means “victory to the goddess Lakshmi”, the Hindu goddess of fortune and spiritual wealth.
She has since created 4 solo albums on Sequoia Records* and recently released the double disc album ‘Live at the Altar of Love’ June 2011 in collaboration with her partner Ananda. She is also known as the lead singer and songwriter for the techno-tribal group ‘Lost at Last’ that toured the US West and produced 3 albums during the years of 1997-2004. She continues to explore the format of mixing of electronica and sacred chant (‘kirtronica’) through composing and performing with Ableton LIVE.
Her ecstatic singing and kirtan leading, often accompanied by other talented artists, has had a powerful effect amongst various communities in the islands of Hawaii, the West Coast, and Europe, always creating a deep sense of intimacy with the divine. She has a unique style that blends beauty, power and purity to create a truly transcendental sound driven by her deep connection with spirit. A gifted songwriter, she weaves English, Sanskrit, and prayers of other spiritual traditions with musical influences from India, indigenous trance, Celtic, psychedelic and folk rock.
She has sang on stage with Jai Uttal, Shimshai, Tina Malia, Dave Stringer, Phil Lesh, and Benjy and Heather Wertheimer among other great artists and played for many yoga classes and retreats with well known teachers such as Saul David Raye, Sianna Sherman, Janet Stone, Pete Guinosso, and Dawn Cartwright.
* Her four solo studio albums Ocean of Mercy (2003), Jewel of Hari (2004) and Sublime (2008) and Radiance (2009) are available on Sequoia Records, all magnificently embellished by the fine guitar and sarod work of Deva Priyo and tabla master Daniel Paul. On Sublime also featured are bansuri flute player Manose, Ananta on violin, Yoko Silk on cello, and Luna Marcus on support vocals.
As a vocal artist she is featured on Steve Gordon’s Drum Prayer (2002, Sequoia Records) and William Ackerman’s Hearing Voices (2001, RCA/Windham Hill records), and co-produced the track ‘Tantroktam Devi Suktam’ with Ben Leinbach on his new compilation album ‘Sangha’ (2011 White Swan Records)
Since coming together with Ananda in November 2010, she has been steadily involved in their collaboration of sacred music and creating Altar of Love Immersions which involve teaching yoga together, performing music and holding ceremony.
She has practiced Hatha yoga regularly for over 16 years, diving into Anusara yoga since 2007, and practicing Kundalini yoga daily since partnering with Ananda.
The mother of two beautiful daughters, Jaya Lakshmi is also the Special Events Representative at Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss, currently based in Eugene, Oregon.