Wynne Paris and Friends Kirtan Music by Honora Finkelstein (This article was originally published in the “Network of Light News” column in the March 2010 issue of Pathways Magazine of Washington, D.C. )  Wynne Paris is a world beat artist/producer and musician who has spent the last decade devoting his artistic energy to the music of yoga and Kirtan, a special chanting form of spiritual song. Paris says his artistic sound is derived from 20 years of musical adventures and spiritual experiences. In his 20s he played rock guitar and sang the blues at nightclubs around Washington, D.C. Then in 1994, at the age of 30, he took up yoga, dated a belly- dancing astrologer, and had a series of spiritual and mystical experiences that transformed both his musical style and his vision of the world. One evening in 1996 he was invited to jam with the Indian “hugging saint” Amritanadamaya Ma, known to her devotees as Ammachi or Amma. Amma makes it her mission to hug each and every person who attends her ceremonies. The blessings he received in her darshan inspired him to make a vision quest to California and ultimately a move to Marin County to study Indian music, shamanism, and yoga. Paris said yoga gave him a new voice (the call-and-response singing of Bhakti yoga); a new instrument (the sarod, a 26- stringed, sitar-like instrument from India); and a new venue (yoga centers). Paris has since collaborated with yoga’s most famous musician, Krishna Das, at such sites as the Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York; the Jivamukti Yoga Center in New York, which is the largest yoga institute in the U.S.; and Yogaville, the Satchidananda Ashram in Virginia. Paris played guitar, sarod, and saz (a stringed instrument in the lute family) on the groundbreaking Krishna Das CD,  Pilgrim Heart, one of the genre’s defining albums, which also featured  Sting. Wynne also played sarod on the Krishna Das CD All One, and composed the music for the Krishna Das single, “Prayer to Rudra” on the CD Planet Yoga. Ghandarva Café, Paris’ first CD, was written in homage to Indian mystics and saints. It featured spiritual Indian melodies, and several tracks were used on compilations that are popular in the yoga market. Emptiness and Ecstasy, his second CD, released in 2004, was written as the soundtrack to his explorations and many adventures in the worlds of yoga, tantra, shamanism, and goddess culture, and earned him articles in newspapers and magazines both nationally and internationally. Paris’ latest CD, Groovananda, was released in December 2009. Paris has performed at dozens of events in Washington, D.C., New York, California, and Florida, as well as at museums, holistic resorts, bookstores, raves, churches, temples, and private gatherings. One of his most cherished experiences was singing at a Washington event that featured His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. For more about Paris and his music, please visit his website at http://wynneparis.com.