Jeff sits down with ecstatic vocalist, innovative composer, teacher and invoker of the sacred, Suzanne Sterling, as she shares deeply about her journey and her work in creating and performing healing music and in facilitating sacred and participatory ceremonies for large gatherings and festivals worldwide. As a voice for joyful and sustainable activism she has created trainings and curriculums for numerous communities, is co-founder of Off the Mat, Into the World® with other yoga luminaries, Seane Corn and Hala Khouri.
Suzanne’s musical explorations in the realm of electronic dance music, devotional chanting and songs of the ecstatic soul have brought her to the forefront of the “kirtronica” sound (Conscious Dancer magazine named her a “kirtronica pioneer”) and have led her to enjoy mainstage billing at festivals such as Earthdance, Harmony Festival, Burning Man, Power to the Peaceful and The World Festival of Sacred Music (hosted by the Dalai Lama). Suzanne has performed and toured internationally both solo as well as with well-known electronic dance act Medicine Drum, innovative electronic dance act Alcyone (System Recordings NY) and acoustic trio Kali’s Angels.
Her music has been commissioned for film, theatre, and DVD, including “Gifting It,” an award winning documentary film about the Burning Man Festival, and the bestselling, award winning “Vinyasa Flow Yoga I and II with Seane Corn” produced by Gaiam Inc. She also created the soundtrack for a postnatal Yoga DVD entitled “YogaBonding” and appears in the DVD “Yoga from the Heart” with Seane Corn and produced by Yoga Journal. Most recently completing a three DVD set to accompany Seane Corn’s Chakra Flow DVD series.
Her latest performances are a thoroughly modern exploration of devotional music and have been known to have an audience on their feet in a matter of minutes. She has been called a soulful and groove-loving musical priestess – refining and reinventing the ancient traditions of ecstatic prayer through the voice. Her first solo album “Bhakti” reached #1 on the New Age radio playlists and she was chosen as “Best Spiritual Artist” in the 2008 Norbay Awards sponsored by the North Bay Guardian. Her latest album “Blue Fire Soul” (produced by Christopher K) is an album created specifically for yoga classes and will be available soon.
As well as performing, she facilitates retreats and workshops in the U.S. and abroad, and brings a special blend of music, yoga, sacred ceremony and activism to events as far reaching as yoga retreats, emerging culture conferences, and music festivals – most recently as featured artist and teacher at several Yoga Journal Conferences, The Esalen Institute, The Omega Institute, The Global Sound Conference, and Exhale Center for Sacred Movement. Suzanne has also been a ritual designer and priestess for many years and has developed curriculums, teacher trainings and apprenticeship programs for numerous communities nationwide. She offers year long apprenticeships in Ritual Skills in both SF and LA and is part of the faculty for YogaWorks’ internationally respected Teacher Training Programs in both SF and New York.