Shantavaani translates from Sanskrit as “Peace through music”. Something magical happened when seasoned musicians came together for the first time and they realized there was no walking away from this creative opportunity. Together they somehow naturally pull together from their eclectic backgrounds of jazz, classical, Americana, blues, folk, reggae, Ghania, East Indian raga, bhajans, & Shabads to create an original sound that can both stir you to move while simultaneously inducing sublime meditative states. They all deeply honor the traditions they’ve studied and hope that this convergence of musical traditions can also facilitate something more than simple entertainment but also enrichment for the soul…
Jay Brown: Guitar, Harmonicas, Vocals
Jay is a founding member of the classic blues, country and swing group, Lazybirds. He has played his guitar and harmonicas with the likes of Doc Watson, Etta Baker, and Old Crow Medicine Show. Jay has studied the roots of American music all across the south, traditional Ghanian music in West Africa, and Indian Classical music with his wife, Aditi. His original music is a regular feature on WNCW.
Aditi Sethi-Brown: Vocals, Harmonium, Harp, Percussion
Aditi began playing the harmonium, an Indian instrument, and singing bhajans and shabads, spritual songs of indian traditions, when she was 5 years old. She first learned music from her grandparents in India. Her family moved to America from India in 1983. As a child, Aditi frequently performed at concerts with her father, who is an accomplished singer in the traditional Indian style.
Sarah Siri Kirtin Carlisle: Upright Bass, Vocals
Sarah graduated from the Peabody Conservatory in 2002, with a joint degree in classical & jazz performance. Before and during college, she traveled the world playing in orchestras as far reaching as Brazil, Israel, & Russia. After college, she devoted herself to the study of jazz music, under the guidance of renown musicians Gary Thomas, Michael Formanek, and Herman Burney. She became a solid figure in the DC/Baltimore jazz scene playing at venues such as Twins, Blues Alley and The New Haven Lounge with musicians such as Gary Thomas, Joel Holmes, Cyrus Chestnut, Steve Carrington, Michael Raitzyk, Eric Byrd, and many more. She has since completed a Masters of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia where she studied with Robert Kesselman and John Hood of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Her devotion to the path of yoga has led her to find a natural fusion of music and spirit, and has spent recent years touring and playing with Kirtan (sacred chant) artists David Newman & Mira, Snatam Kaur, Prabhu Nam Kaur, Sada Sat Kaur, Girish, & Prema Hara, in addition to playing with conscious songwriters Kristin Luna Ray and Chana Rothman, as well as her beloved band Shantavaani. Being a member of Shantavaani has filled her heart and life with much joy, love, and musical prayer, and she hopes to share that vibration with you!
Matthew Cox: Tabla, Percussion, Vocals
An extraordinarily sensitive and creative percussionist, Matthew's style of Tabla playing is melodic and expansive, adapting a unique form of modified tabla tarang to allow for chord changes and harmonies not found in Indian music. With over 25 years in music, he pulls from diverse backgrounds in classical, jazz, Native American sacred singing under the apprenticeship of Cherokee elder Ed Littlefox, and electronic music with the late Dr. Bob Moog followed by the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He began in 2005 with his East Indian music teachers Samir Chatterjee, Kuntala Ray, and Kumar Das. He has accompanied the likes of music historian and virtuoso Gerald Trimble, Wynne Paris, Wynton Marsalis, the late Sean Layton of JFJO, the Carnatic Brothers, Durga Das, Tibetan sacred singer Yungchen Lhamo, Sangita Devi, and the world class female pioneer of the hansaveena Indian slide guitar, Kuntala Ray.
Sarah Moor: Cello, Vocals
In what can now feel like a past life, Sarah Moor had a successful regional career as a professional cellist. She served as Principal Cellist of the Evansville Philharmonic, and her live performances were broadcast on WNIN Public Radio. She taught cello at the University of Evansville, and spent summers studying in Switzerland and Aspen. She holds a Bachelors of Music from UT Austin, and a Masters of Music in Cello Performance from Indiana University. In recent years she’s taken a spiritual adventure, serving in Monasteries in India and England. The result of this search has led her to Applied Integral Studies with Integral Coaching Canada. Her passion is to help people reunite Spirituality with their Vitality, and to embrace what it means to be fully human in order to grow and serve. Shantavaani is her new playground of improvisation, a beautiful mix of diverse cultural influences, and a family of musicians who know what it means to love big.