I grew up in Tempe, Arizona, in a pretty idyllic suburban environment. I was very active — in music, sports, student council. I was a child actor, appearing in professional theater productions, most notably as Winthrop in “The Music Man.” (The part played by Ron Howard in the movie). I also was the Lead Singer of a band called “The Altar Boys” in college. This type of performing experience has served me well in Kirtan–mostly. Kirtan is really about singing from something bigger and greater than the self, and leading a group of bhaktas full-throatedy chanting “Sita Ram!” takes me to a place I can’t get to in any other way. In my twenties, I had a deep spiritual awakening while at a Vipassana Meditation Retreat. For the last 25 years, I’ve been a Seeker, finally landing with my Guru, Swami Kaleshwar, and studying with him in India. I want to share with you how rich, fulfilling, ecstatic, and blissful my relationship with the Divine is — through my Kirtan.

– Neil Martin