The Hanumen bring you an unforgettable sound of world music, mystic poetry and mantra chanting – a musical journey to the deepest parts of the soul.
A percussionist & mystic poet, a world-class kirtan leader & storyteller, a bassist with a huge heart and groove to match, and a multi-instrumentalist create a totally unique improvisational sound, playing a wide range of traditional World instruments with a sensibility that is instantly accessible to Western audiences.
The Hanumen create a soulful and ecstatic celebration combining Naada Yoga (the yoga of sacred sound and vibration) and Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of love and devotion in complete surrender) with an array of unique instruments from around the globe. They deliver a mesmerizing set of chanting, world rhythm, poignant stories and mystic poetry.
Named after Hanuman, a brave monkey featured in South Asian legends, the Hanumen are: John de Kadt (johndekadt.com), Purusartha Dasa, Gaura Vani (gauravani.com), and Benjy Wertheimer (benjymusic.com).
CDs and downloads of The Hanumen are available on the Mantralogy website.
“HEARTS AFIRE. The stunning debut release from a new four-man band, the Hanumen, blends chanting, poetry, world music and storytelling into a magical brew of sacred love songs. The band – mantra musicians Gaura Vani and Benjy Wertheimer, poet-percussionist John De Kadt, and instrumentalist Purushartha Dasa – creates an inspiring musical unity from diverse spiritual and musical traditions. Touching on themes of grief, love, and devotion, the songs on this self-titled album (a play on the name of the Hindu monkey god, Hanuman), include a zydeco-style “Hare Krishna” chant; a 10-minute hymnlike love song called “Come Dance With Me,” inspired by a Sufi poem, and an epic rendition of the African American spiritual, “Wade in the Water.” The latter weaves in poetry from Rumi, a chant to Krishna, and Benjy’s bluesy, baritone rendition of “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” while instruments including the hang (a metal hand drum), violin, and clarinet add rhythm and melody. A highlight of the album is “I Love You,” a stripped-down yet sweetly moving call-and-response between Gaura Vani and a heavenly chorus, accompanied by acoustic guitar, with lyrics that express adoration for the divine in all its forms. Driven by Vani’s tender, tenor voice, every song the band performs pulls at the heartstrings. The Hanumen provides a mellow yet uplifting soundtrack for yoga and relaxation, and may even move some listeners to raise their own voices in melodic prayer.”
-November 2013 Yoga Journal, Shannon Sexton