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DRK at Kripalu, 2015

(L to R) Joe Johnson, Amanda Turk, Dave Russell, and Holly Hartmann


"You three vocalists sounded like Crosby, Stills and Nash tonight! - J.N.

"I never got to share with all of you how much your kirtan meant to me because it came at such a profound moment in my life I couldn't find words beautiful enough to express it. I pray spirit support you guys to keep going. When I first attended your kirtan I had just started walking again after about eight months of a massive healing journey/initiation that almost took my life. During that time the veils between the worlds was very thin and light beings were talking to me and visiting me constantly. They were teaching me to receive the nectar of God. There instructions were specific, detailed, and far more wise then anything I could dream up. My body was so tender but I was in bliss straight through the whole time. Then your Kirtan was one of the very first outings I had when I could walk without being held up. I felt the pure love of God and the wisdom of the heart journey you and Holly brought your service to the Beloved divine to that space. That is all this life is for and most people forgot how to live that way. Or many have a lot of stuff blocking authenticity and just want it to look a certain way on the surface. There is so much non-practice kirtan. It means well I'm not here to judge, but I know the difference. I feel it. It was a sacred space for me to let those tears and love for God overwhelm my heart. It was healing me. You service to God is medicine to open doors. I thought I should pay my respect by telling you the story. I'm so grateful." P.G.

"I love your music so much. Whenever I am feeling lonely or depressed I play Dancing in the Heart and start singing along and feel instantly better. It's like there's a whole community of people singing with me in my room and I feel supported all of a sudden. I love the melodies and the repetition gives me a sense of consistency and safety that's often missing from my life. I tried to make it to the last kirtan session at Kripalu, but it didn't work out...if you have any suggestions for where I can experience kirtan in person in or around NYC please let me know." A.U.

"We have been attending kirtan with Dave Russell. We have noticed a big shift in vibration at Dave's kirtan and attend more regularly. We love Dave's acceptance of all beings and his devotion and faithfulness to sing almost every Sunday in Northampton, MA. We've decided we are going to call him "Ja Bhaktila," faithful singer! I would heartily recommend Dave's kirtan to all who want to advance their spiritual practice and exercise your voice singing the name of the Divine." - Ed Ritz and Susan Murphy

"It is always a pleasure to come to kirtan, but there was something unbelievable about last night. The harmonies were so beautiful and powerful. I woke up chanting kirtan this morning instead of my mind thinking about this and that, and I had this super peaceful feeling remembering last night's concert and what we all created. That kirtan was absolutely memorable! Thanks again to you and your wonderful musicians and singers." - Becky Castro

"I LOOOVE singing with you...I think your kirtans are the best I've been to because they are the most grounded in this reality here and now...not making stuff up or doing someone else's thing. You just do you...and that's perfection"!
- Megan Grennan

"I have had the great pleasure and blessing to sit and experience kirtan with many great spiritual teachers. Therefore I can say wholeheartedly and with absolute certainty that Kirtan with Dave Russell is a transformative spiritual experience. The purpose of Kirtan is to remember or return to our source and give acknowledgement and thanks. And as Dave says, "not a spectator sport." Kirtan is a stepping stone to infinity. One Sunday night after Kirtan with Dave, I felt very moved and grateful to be alive. As I walked to my car, I was flooded with memories of many great spiritual epiphanies I had the joy to come to and once again I was in that place of remembering and gratitude. I felt a wonderful sense of purpose and belonging. What gift is greater than that? So I say to you, give yourself a gift. Chant with Dave in the name of the Lord and remember that you are the gift waiting to be opened."
- Robert Abietello

"Your CD has brought so much joy and healing to my life. I can start my day singing along to its heart opening chants...and I experience the energy building inside me. It is as if the chants, being so simple and repetitious, are singing me...I do not have to use my head to participate, so I can accomplish much as the vibrations continue their healing within my body. My mood is one of body begins to move spontaneously...I am alive and filled with energy. My apartment is filled with my voice joined with many, and my heart is overflowing with gratitude. Thank you, Dave, for myself and all those who feel in their heart as I do and do not express it in words. You are a blessing for all of us"!
- Elaine Mishkind

" I'm driving to Worcester listening to your CD. I am is so joyful, elevating, inspiring and opening! It seems like this combination of your stunning voice, amazing musicians, and a culmination of all the inner work you've done on yourself. It is angelic, transforming, and totally transcending!"
- Linda Levine

"The first time I stumbled upon Dave Russell's Sunday night kirtans I was very confused spiritually and without a clue as to what I was about to experience. I was immediately captivated, bit by the kirtan bug, and found myself being drawn back week after week. Dave's peaceful, inviting nature as well as his humor make his weekly kirtan a welcoming experience for all. Dave's kirtan celebrations have helped me to become more in tune with myself, to recharge and energize my soul, and they have deeply enriched my spiritual practice. Ram Dass said, "We have known experientially the spiritual planes of reality, and the experience always comes with the feeling, 'I'm home!'" This is exactly the way that I feel when I am experiencing Dave's kirtan-"I'm home!" I am eternally grateful to Dave for sharing himself and his practice and for helping to guide me along my spiritual path"!
- Amanda Woolley

"Words-on-screen, no matter how eloquent, will not do justice in explaining the experience of kirtan with Dave and friends. The overall atmosphere is welcoming, warm, friendly. The chants themselves are powerful, yet very accessible. Something about the music remains with me throughout the days following each kirtan I attend, leaving me feeling both grounded and freed. Kirtan is an art I find energizing as well as calming; its presence in my life has allowed for profound changes in my path. My gratitude to Dave and all who attend."
- Em Jollie

"Dave's kirtans are an hour and a half away from me, but I still try to get to them whenever I can because they are healing for my soul. He is a peaceful calm presence, and you can tell he is doing this to commune with the divine and to bring that experience to others. He always has great musicians playing with him, and is welcoming of my harmonies that I always can't resist adding to the sound. As someone who is a member of another kirtan group, I enjoy going to different kirtans to see what others are doing. Dave always makes us, and everyone else there, feel welcome and safe to chant however we feel moved to."
- Sophie Goodenough

"Dave Russell's kirtan has this incredible surge of energy that helps cleanse and recharge my soul each and every week. It's an experience that helps to ground me and love myself in so many ways. Dave, I can't ever thank you enough."
- Sherisse Veray

"After attempting silent meditation on and off for 15 years, I felt I finally understood what it meant to truly connect with divine energy after my first experience with kirtan led by Dave. The power of voice and music when guided through ecstatic and meditative chant is astounding and can be life-changing. Dave's kirtans are very "user friendly" and feel accessible and open to people who are new to chanting. The fruits of this practice are easily carried into the grind of daily life and help with everything from dealing with difficult family members to facing another difficult day on the job."
- Katherine

"Although without any prior experience of kirtan singing, Dave Russell's presence and manner immediately put me at ease. I felt a wave of relaxation wash over me as I began to sing without any self-consciousness, enjoying the feeling of being both alone yet also part of a like-minded group." - J.Z.

"Sunday evening kirtan with Dave Russell recharges me for the week, sending me home feeling elated and in a state of bliss. This elation carries over into the new week with renewed inspiration and a broader perspective influenced by the deep wisdom that comes from kirtan. My actions are more conscious and my presence more luminous. This somehow seems to "open the doors" for good things to happen."
- S.B.

"For me, Dave Russell's kirtans are a true treasure. The divine gift he has been given pours forth upon us. He shares with us his fine musicianship, a soulful mellow voice, as well as wisdom and humor. Being a part of his kirtans is a blessing as well as a highly important part of my life." - Lesley Slay

"David brings a deep, sweet, and humble devotion to his kirtan that leaves me feeling soft, spacious, and open-hearted. It is always a reminder to me to come back to love." - Linda Frisone

"David Russell is a gifted Kirtan Leader. His chanting guides us on a gentle journey . . . moving us all both deeper and upward at the same time. He creates a warm sense of community and I always leave feeling more balanced and openhearted." - A.G.

"Dave Russell's kirtans are filled with much bhakti energy. I feel like I'm in the temples of India." - Sultana

"It's always such a joy to chant with Dave Russell and Friends. Dave's warm, unassuming nature puts even the newest of chanters at ease and the terrific musicians who join him on a variety of instruments add much beauty. Chanting with Dave leaves me content and wearing an ear to ear smile every time!"
- Wendy Rezzonico, Kirtan Leader, Keene, NH

"Dave Russell offers wonderful insight into the meaning of the kirtan chants and how they affect you on an energetic, spiritual and emotional level. The chants that he uses are beautiful melodies that are both enjoyable to sing and very helpful in opening your heart and feeling peace and joy." - John Bauman

"After chanting at Dave's kirtan, I feel fortified for several days meaning I don't hear all the mind "noise." Instead I awake again to that sacred place (because my left brain has stopped hogging all the air time) where my right and left brain are instead integrated. That's the powerful place I prefer to live from that allows me to hear my soul deep down inside and also where I dare myself to act on what it tells me."
- Becky

"Brother Dave's resonate, vibration, harmonization and divination creates sacred space. My chakras are blessed by the chalice of communion in fellowship of satsang. Inspiring!" - Phoenix

"Chanting with Dave Russell leaves me feeling inspired and peaceful. Dave's sweet voice and skillful accompaniment on the harmonium, along with his fellow musicians on drums, create an uplifting and joyous experience for novice and experienced singers alike. I am grateful for Dave's offering to our kirtan community in western Massachusetts." - Rahima W.