Join us for an evening of uplifting, soulful, and sacred music. Francesca, Swetha, and members of the Adeline Yoga “house band” will lead us in kirtan, a joyful practice of call-and-response chanting. Singing as a group connects us as a community and is an opportunity to open the heart, still the mind, and experience joy in our connection to the Divine.
We will also celebrate and bid farewell to our dear friend and drummer Doug Chermak before his upcoming cross-country move.
All are welcome, no musical experience necessary, just an open heart and mind.
Adeline Yoga, 3320 Adeline @ Alcatraz in Berkeley
Francesca Nicosia, vocals and harmonium
Swetha Rao-Devigere, vocals
Yari Mander, percussion
Doug Chermak, percussion
Francesca Nicosia has been chanting and leading kirtan for over a decade. She grew up in a musical family and started playing piano and singing in choirs at a young age. She was first exposed to the sacred music of India during a semester abroad in Northern India, after studying vocal performance in college. While living at Shoshoni Yoga Retreat in Colorado, chanting became an integral part of her daily sadhana and she was blessed to play with members of the ashram’s acclaimed kirtan band, Shiva’s Garden. Francesca regularly led kirtan in Denver and Boulder before moving to the Bay Area in 2010 to complete a doctorate in Medical Anthropology. Chanting is her musical prayer and offering on the path of devotion, or Bhakti yoga. As a Certified Iyengar Yoga Teacher and instructor at Adeline Yoga, she loves sharing her deep love for this devotional practice as a way to open the heart, still the mind and take refuge in our innermost experience of the Divine.
Swetha Rao-Devigere is from Bangalore, India, where she grew up in an atmosphere of daily Vedic chanting and hymns, owing to her family’s practice of Bhakti Yoga. This led her to learn South-Indian classical (Carnatic) music for several years during her childhood. Swetha has been singing and performing since she was three years old. Through her school years, she studied Western music under the tutelage of her versatile British-Indian music teacher and performed in several musical theater and concert productions, choirs and competitions. During her college years in Bangalore, she continued her musical journey as a lead vocalist for a local rock band. Shortly after moving to the Bay Area, Swetha was delighted to find Adeline Yoga where she went on to graduate from the two-year Sadhana Studies program and currently serves as Adeline Yoga’s Student Support coordinator. Swetha is thrilled to be reunited with music through her gifted friends at Adeline Yoga. She enjoys performing vocals and harmonies at kirtans while continuing to explore all the wisdom, love and joy that Yoga has to offer.
Yari Mander is a drummer and rhythm facilitator, and teaches 5th-8th grade music full-time at Children’s Day School in San Francisco. The founder of Heart of Rhythm drum school, Yari has also studied in Africa and Latin America. He loves exploring the integration of voice, rhythm, and movement to create connected and fun embodied musical experiences.
Douglas Chermak has practiced Iyengar Yoga since 2001 and is a graduate of the inaugural Adeline Yoga Sadhana Studies program. He has studied Middle Eastern and Indian percussion since 2006 with teachers including Aharon Wheels Bolsta and Faisal Zedan. In addition to the Adeline yoga house band, he has played percussion for kirtan in the Bay Area with Carolina Grace Lorenzo. Doug’s day job is as a plaintiff’s side environmental attorney with the Oakland-based firm Lozeau Drury LLP, where his practice emphasizes the protection of water quality.