Spirit Voyage launched its first Kundalini Yoga and Music Festival in the fall of 2010. The festival was was created with the mission of carrying forward the vision of Sat Nam Kaur, who during her lifetime, brought many many musicians together in her community in Herndon, VA to share love, music, sadhana and community. Those who knew her can hear the sweet sounds of her flute carried on the wind.
In August of 2011, Spirit Voyage officially renamed their music festivals Sat Nam Fest in her honor. Sat Nam Kaur's vision lives on through her children, Hargobind, who runs Spirit Voyage and Sat Darshan, who runs all of the Sat Nam Fests.
From her son, Hargobind:
In the late 1990's, my mother, Sat Nam Kaur, pioneered the 3HO Herndon Music Festivals. She loved the chance to to be surrounded by music, playing the flute and singing her heart out. Each Spring, she would invite a tribe of musicians that you all may recognize from the Spirit Voyage label.
Over the years, she raised money and brought numerous musicians to our Virginia community, including Livtar Singh, Guru Dass Singh, Guru Dass Kaur, Snatam Kaur and numerous others for a weekend of chanting, kundalini yoga, good food and fun times. Our community was also rich with musicians, and Guruganesha Singh, the founder of Spirit Voyage, was our neighbor at the time. These festivals were a special time for our ashram as our own talented musicians would all play along, do sadhana together and enjoy the good company that music fosters.
Guruganesha Singh founded Spirit Voyage in 2000, a stone's throw from the house I grew up in. He wanted to take the energy from these live gatherings and capture them in the highest quality music productions possible. Spirit Voyage grew quickly. Guruganesha went from selling CD's out of his garage to looking for his first set of employees. The first person he hired was my mother, Sat Nam Kaur. She did the bookkeeping, the customer service and the million other things a first employee does to help a business grow. I remember her getting rough cuts from the first Spirit Voyage albums and watching her give feedback through the musical production process.
In 2001, my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. She talked to me about carrying on this tradition of bringing musicians to our community, and I promised her I would continue it in her honor. In 2003, she passed away. In 2004, I joined Spirit Voyage, and the seed was planted for me to fulfill this promise. Finally, in 2010, we were able to launch the first Spirit Fest. And in 2011, we decided to rename this festival in her honor. It is my sincerest honor to share Sat Nam Fest with yogis and lovers of music from around the world.
I invite you to join me as we carry on this tradition of music, sadhana, and community.
From Snatam Kaur
I am so happy to hear that we are going to be calling our festival the "Sat Nam Fest" in honor of Sat Nam Kaur. Back when we first started putting out albums and touring, it was all very new for me, and at times scary. I was so deeply concerned that we keep everything sacred because the source of our music, the spirit of Guru Ram Das, is so pure and sacred. At times, I would question my capability in the touring life, in the delivery of the concerts, and the creation of each cd to keep things in that pure spirit. I can't remember the circumstances, but I was on the phone with Sat Nam Kaur one day. She said to me something like, "Snatam I am so inspired by what you all are doing. It is so beautiful!" After that phone call, I remember feeling this kind of inner strength and resolve. I thought to myself, "Well if Sat Nam Kaur thinks we are doing something good... Then my God it is!" She had the capacity to deliver that message right into my heart like nobody else because she truly believed in the power of sacred music to transform lives. She organized many Kundalini Yoga Music Festivals with this in mind. I remember attending one such festival, and as I sat in a circle chanting with about twenty other musicians, each with different instruments, I remember looking up to see Sat Nam Kaur standing on the outer rim of the circle playing her flute. My heart opened just then, her soul had taken flight in the joy of it all. So yes, let us remember her spirit with each festival and touch that space of joy that her soul most surely merged with.
From GuruGanesha Singh
This is such a wonderful way to honor Sat Nam Kaur, who was one of my dearest friends and sisters in divine. I consider her to be the ‘guardian angel’ of Spirit Voyage. She was a huge lover and supporter of 3HO music and dedicated her life to bringing us together to serve our community with joyous song. Making her employee #1 of Spirit Voyage was an easy decision as she was a constant source of positivity and unfailing commitment to the cause. Whenever a new set of mixes for an album would arrive from the studio, I would head straight over to her house to share them with her. She would welcome me warmly, sit me down in her living room, bring me a hot cup of yogi tea and a plate of her famous oatmeal raisin cookies, and we would listen to the mixes together. She would then proceed to shower our musical efforts with encouraging, enthusiastic words, and inevitably I’d leave her presence totally fired up and ready to take the next steps to bring the project to completion. Still to this day, when we are gathered together playing music, I hear her beautiful flute playing in the background. Sometimes I even look around expecting to see her. Even though I don’t see her with my eyes, I know she is there!
From Matamandir Kaur
Sat Nam Kaur was my dear, dear friend. She had an authenticity and a love of community that warmed the heart of anyone who touched her life. By just wanting to live in the joy of being surrounded by great music and friends–she created her legacy. It just goes to show when we live in our joy and share it, what magnificence can manifest in the world!