Benjy and Heather Wertheimer have been leading kirtan (sacred chanting) worldwide since 2001 as the duo Shantala. They are known for their special gift of bringing the audience into a vast and loving experience through their unique blend of exquisite voices with instruments of India and the West. Together they create music with beauty, passion, and reverence. Heather and Benjy have released five beautiful and well-loved albums of sacred chant music since 2003, including Living Waters, Jaya, LIVE in love, Sri, and The Love Window.
Shantala has performed and recorded internationally with such sacred music luminaries as Krishna Das, Deva Premal & Miten, and Jai Uttal. They were named as one of the top Kirtan “Wallahs to Watch” by Yoga + Joyful Living Magazine. Kirtan is a celebration of spirit through the chanting of sacred names, carrying the audience into a state of heightened awareness, bliss, and devotion. The audience is invited to participate fully through call-and-response chanting, dance, and meditation.
Heather Wertheimer is a kirtan artist, singer, songwriter, and guitarist who combines her special love of both music and yoga to lead devotional chanting internationally. With a rare ability to sing directly from the heart, she infuses sacred chanting with a powerful sense of peace and depth. Heather has toured in the U.S. and abroad with her husband Benjy, Steve Gorn, Manose, and Deva Premal & Miten. Heather’s debut CD with Shantala, Church of Sky, was named by New Age Retailer as one of the top ten albums of the year. It has been aired on radio stations internationally. Heather brings the richness of her healing background as a therapist, meditator and yoga teacher into the practice of kirtan.
Master musician Benjy Wertheimer is an award-winning songwriter, vocalist, composer, and multi-instrumentalist (playing tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar, and keyboards). His extraordinary and unique musical gifts from East and West create a sense of wonder and awe in the listener. In addition to touring with Shantala, Benjy is a founding member of the sacred music ensemble The Hanumen (including Gaura Vani, John De Kadt, and Visvambhar Sheth of the Mayapuris) and has toured and produced two CDs with them since 2009. Benjy has toured and recorded with such artists as Krishna Das, Deva Premal & Miten, Jai Uttal, Walter Becker (Steely Dan), and virtuoso guitarist Michael Mandrell. He has opened for such artists as Carlos Santana, Paul Winter, and Narada Michael Walden. A founding member of the internationally acclaimed Ancient Future world fusion music ensemble, Benjy also toured the U.S., Canada, and Japan with renowned bamboo flute master G.S. Sachdev. He studied Indian classical music for over 25 years with some of the greatest masters of that tradition (including Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Ali Akbar Khan and Z. M. Dagar). Benjy has produced 17 CDs since 2000, which receive extensive airplay around the world, and his CD Circle of Fire went to #1 on the New Age radio charts.
For more about Benjy Wertheimer, visit www.benjymusic.com