Benjy and Heather Wertheimer, also known as the musical duo Shantala, lead devotional chanting for workshops and at yoga centers across the U.S. and in Costa Rica.
Benjy Wertheimer, a founding member of the internationally acclaimed Ancient Future world fusion music ensemble, has studied Indian classical music for over 20 years with some of the greatest masters of that tradition (including Alla Rakha, Zakir Hussain, Ali Akbar Khan and Z. M. Dagar). An award-winning songwriter, composer, multi-instrumentalist (playing tabla, congas, percussion, esraj, guitar, and keyboards) and vocalist, Benjy frequently tours and records with Krishna Das. He has also toured the US, Canada, and Japan with renowned bamboo flute master G.S. Sachdev, and opened for such artists as Carlos Santana, Paul Winter, and Narada Michael Walden.
Heather is a singer, songwriter, guitarist, yoga teacher, and therapist, whose beautiful vocals, unique perspectives and unusual depth reflect a wide array of human experiences. Heather performs and tours with Benjy and with virtuoso guitarist Michael Mandrell. She combines her special love of both music and yoga to lead devotional chanting for workshops and spiritual gatherings. Her debut CD with Shantala, "Church of Sky," is a contemporary folk CD with musical influences from around the world. In the past, Heather was a featured vocalist in the musical "Return to Avalon" and has performed throughout the Northwest with the groups HeartStrings and Lonesome Taxi.
Devotional chanting is an opportunity to open your heart to the divine through the singing of ancient mantras. You may offer your devotion to whatever it is that you hold dear in your heart. Chanting the names of ancient deities speaks to spirit that lives inside each one of us, evoking the power of the ages. No experience is necessary, and no musical talent is required in order to participate.