The Bhakti Connection
The Bhakti Connection have been sharing the spirit of kirtan and chant in Ottawa, Canada since 2007. Together they bring a multi cultural world music ‘unity’ kirtan to new heights. The essence of voice and music are the keys that unlock perceptions of separateness, and the unification of community naturally evolves as a result. The Bhakti Connection’s musical background brings together a variety of styles and influences to create a vibration and energy that is truly unique.
Kirtan is a devotional group singing, or chanting meditation, with roots going back far into ancient history. It is a form of Bhakti yoga (devotional yoga) and reaches deeply into the spiritual heart.
The Bhakti Connection hosts a musical journey around the Sacred World. Be it from Ancient texts or modern melodies, The Bhakti Connection works them into a smooth meditative experience. The group sees all sacred music, from all backgrounds, as carrying the vibrations of Truth – the vibration of unity in all faiths is a much needed and sought after current ideal, which can be practiced easily with chant.
The Bhakti Connection can be found leading kirtan and hosting Sound Yoga workshops at various yoga centres in Canada, and internationally, as well as playing at festivals and other events. Each year they host a yoga music festival called “Bhakti in the Woods” at the end of August. www.bhaktiinthewoods.com
Their first European tour of Belgium and Netherlands was in March 2014. Next tour of Canada’s East Coast slated for September 2016!
Join The Bhakti Connection in their musical journey across the ages. No passport is required, just your heart and soul as you sing along with the group, play some shakers or drums or just sit back and listen. Let it take you where you need to go.
Joe Ronco is originally from Montreal. His journey has led him through Calgary and Regina and finally to Ottawa for the last 15 years.
His love for playing music has been strong for more than 40 years and was given the opportunity to play and tour most of Canada in different groups playing Country, Rock and Blues . He has been lucky enough to have some great musical memories over the years such as playing at various festivals, jamming on stage with Buddy Guy, being friends with Big Mama Thorton (she was an amazing person and singer) and has recorded CD’s or Vinyl Releases with several of them.
Over the years he learned how to do Live and Studio Engineering working through a recording studio in Rigaud Quebec and Live Theater Productions in Montreal.
While in Ottawa he started a Kundalini Yoga practice (more than 10 years now). This was his first exposure to Mantras and Chanting. Discovering that he loved it, he wanted to learn more. Joe has had the opportunity to play for Mirabi Devi, backing up Matta Madir Singh and helping Snatam Kaur and GuruGanesha Singh with their stage show set up.
In 2005 he had the good fortune to meet Amanda Porter and Tara Porter at a kirtan and from there blossomed the idea of The Bhakti Connection.
– Playing in the Danger Zone
Melodies on Canvas Vol 1, Vol 2
Bishop & Masse
– Steam Train Whistle
– Twelve Reasons to Believe
The Bhakti Connection
– Bhakti Connection
– For All the Beings
Ever since early childhood, Bermalva (Amanda Porter) has had a keen interest in music, movement and the arts. Various choirs, piano lessons, art projects and classes as well as family support made growing up in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, Canada, very colorful.
In high school she was introduced to chant by her first yoga instructor, Michael Fahey in Truro, Nova Scotia. From that moment on, she felt the deeply reaching vibrations of Love emanating from that primal place of origin, and was hooked!
She moved to Ottawa, Ontario to study massage therapy and received Hatha Yoga teaching certification from the Sivananda Yoga Ashram in Val-Morin, Quebec. At this time she also met her spiritual mentor and guide Berdhanya Swami Tierra. She learned how to teach children and seniors from various trainings throughout the years as well.
Bermalva started teaching yoga at age 19, and insists she will keep teaching the various aspects until she departs from this Earth. Since then, she has taught countless classes, workshops and programs with special interest in pre and post natal yoga, family/childrens yoga, seniors yoga, Naad Yoga – the yoga of sound, and Bhakti yoga -the yoga of devotion. She is a certified Doula (birth and postpartum specialist), a Bioenergetic Massage Therapist in private practice, infant massage instructor, lay herbalist, multi-media artist, and is currently studying Iridology.
After meeting a few musical yogis through her spiritual guide and mentor, Berdhanya Swami Tierra ( berdhanya.com ) it was decided to create a kirtan group – and The Bhakti Connection was formed. The unique shamanic/yogic style of the chanting concerts, ceremonies, meditations and celebrations echo in the teachings of Berdhanya, who has been a fountain of wisdom and evolution for Bermalva since meeting her in 1999.
The calling to learn and share the gift of chant resonates deeply within Bermalva’s heart and soul, and she feels blessed to have found this accessible technology for Self-transformation and healing.
She currently resides in rural Western Quebec, living off-grid with her partner and two children, chickens, dog and rabbit on their hobby farm.
Find out more: http://ladysmithyoga.blogspot.com/
An Industrial Engineer by profession, Reaz Bacchus has been learning tabla since 1998 as a student of Amjad Sabir in Winnipeg, Manitoba and most recently as a student of Moheb Hashimi of the Mushfiq Ensemble in Ottawa, Ontario.
In 2009, after attending a Bhakti Connection Kirtan and feeling its meditative healing effects first hand, he joined the group.
Reaz has accompanied singer Amjad Sabir for the 2004 CBC Tsunami Relief Concert in Winnipeg,accompanied visiting singer Mata Mandir Singh in October 2009 for his Ottawa concert and currently also accompanies sitarist, Arif Jinha and collaborates with 8th Generation dance group at various performances throughout the Ottawa Area.
He has also provided tabla for Bhavan2’s debut album, A.J.Parker’s Album “Aya” and both the self titled debut album for The Bhakti Connection and their second release “For All the Beings”.
Reaz currently resides in Ottawa and performs with The Bhakti Connection throughout the Ottawa area and Montreal.