About


Press | Background | Performance History | Discography | Testimonials

Indian American musician Sheela Bringi has been exploring the connections between her ancestral and actual homelands her entire life. The singer and instrumentalist plays the harp, harmonium and bansuri (Indian classical bamboo flute). 

As a young woman Bringi was influenced by M.I.A. and Dead Can Dance, studied with Cecil Taylor and Meredith Monk, while at the same time deepened her studies with Indian classical masters like Pandit G.S. Sachdev and Ustaad Aashish Khan.

This unique background has resulted in her debut album, Incantations (Black Swan Sounds), rooted in India’s classical music tradition and the beauty of its mantras, as well as a groundbreaking exploration of American jazz and blues. The album was released in 2014 and garnered praise from National Public Radio, the Guardian, Public Radio International and more, and debuted at #9 on the iTunes World Music chart.

She has performed in a wide range of venues, including concert halls and universities presenting traditional material, yoga studios leading kirtans and in dance clubs overtop throbbing, bass-heavy beats (she’s toured with Karsh Kale, DJ Drez, and many others). In 2016 she was an instrumental soloist on Madi Das’ GRAMMY-nominated album, Bhakti Without Borders.

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Press Highlights

Public Radio International’s The World ‘Global Hit’ Feature:
“What do you get when you cross British-Tamil pop, avant-garde piano and ancient Vedic chanting? Sheela Bringi.”
go there

The Guardian: “…It succeeds because she is respectful of the original material and is an excellent musician, matching her cool, clear vocals against her skills on the harp, harmonium and bansuri bamboo flute…” (Four Stars) go there

NPR’s The Record:
“Indian music expands to accommodate the spirit and whatever human circumstances enclose it…Hip-hop, Balkan music and the blues all meld within grooves that only gain intensity from the reformulations Bringi and her collaborators explore…This music isn’t just for your yoga practice.” go there

Exclaim Canada: “Sheela Bringi’s latest is vibrant in its lyricism, spiritual in its composition and meditative in its presentation… As an Indian-American, her continued collaboration with Atlanta-born African-American songwriter/trumpeter Clinton Patterson brings forth a sonically pleasing, subtle mix of American South and South Asian musical sensibilities…” go there

Pasadena Weekly Artist Feature:
“…It isn’t often you hear a harp in Indian music these days. Or a trumpet, or a didgeridoo, or a blues guitar riff, for that matter. That Sheela Bringi incorporates them all as fluid, organic-sounding elements of her music is a testament to her artistry and that of trumpeter/producer Clinton Patterson, as well as their vision of the common ground connecting different cultures…” go there

fRoots Album Review:
“…a thought-provoking release where sparks fly with a real feeling for Hindu divinity” (Five Stars)
go there

LA Yoga: “..Tiny she may be but out of her diminutive frame comes a smoldering voice that is surprisingly nostalgic for her age. Incantations is Sheela at her newest and best, an elixir of sounds and traditions that are compellingly complex.” go there

Yoga Chicago: “Sheela’s classically trained voice and slightly avant-garde energy create magic.” go there

Whole Life Times: “A heartfelt and beautiful debut from an artist from whom we’d expect nothing less.”

Complete listing of articles, interviews and reviews: www.sheelabringi.com/press

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BACKGROUND

Sheela sings and plays the Indian classical bansuri (bamboo) flute, harmonium and harp. Sheela has trained extensively in north Indian classical music traditions over the past 15 years. She has studied raga with Indian flute master Pandit G. S. Sachdev, maestro Ustad Aashish Khan, and tala (rhythm) with tabla virtuoso Pandit Swapan Chaudhuri. Sheela has been shaped as an improviser by her work with diverse artists including Meredith Monk, Cecil Taylor and Fred Frith, and renowned jazz faculty during her MFA in World Music Performance from the California Institute of the Arts.

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SELECT PERFORMANCE HISTORY

Festivals + Venues
Bali Spirit Festival (Bali)
Omega Ecstatic Chant Retreat (New York)
Bhakti Fest (California)
Omega Being Yoga Conference (New York)
Conga Room (Los Angeles)
Kuumbwa Jazz (Santa Cruz)
Yoshi’s (San Francisco)
BellyUp (Aspen, CO)
Yoga Barn (Bali)
Kripalu (Massachusetts)
Ananda Ashram (New York)
Air Yoga Munchen (Munich)
Jivamukti Yoga (Munich)
Svaha Yoga (Amsterdam)
Blue Whale Jazz + Art (Los Angeles)
De Young Museum (San Francisco)
Red Poppy Art House (San Francisco)
LA County Museum of Art (Los Angeles)
Tadasana Festival (Santa Monica)
Esalen Institute (Big Sur, CA)
Moksha Festival (California)
Hanuman Festival (Boulder, CO)
Lightning in a Bottle (California)
Zanzibar (Santa Monica)

Artists
Karsh Kale
Dwight Trible
Cecil Taylor
Fred Frith
Meredith Monk
Mandeep Sethi
Masood Ali Khan
Pankaj Mishra
Aditya Prakash
Amadou Kora
Carlos Malta
PremaSoul
Vishal Vaid
Gaura Vani
DJ Drez
Dave Stringer
EarthRise SoundSystem
Suzanne Sterling
Wah!
Daniel Paul
Paul Livingstone/Arohi
Jagan Ramamoorthy
Ranjit & Ajeet Patak

Yoga Teachers
Shiva Rea
Elena Brower
Saul David Raye
Micheline Berry
Sara Ivanhoe
Sianna Sherman
Janet Stone
Peter Sterios

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SELECTED DISCOGRAPHY

Featuring Sheela Bringi as a Solo or Featured Artist

DJ DREZ Chanting With Tigers ‘Nandalala feat. Sheela Bringi’ (lead vocals, bansuri)
Black Swan Sounds (2013)

EARTHRISE SOUNDSYSTEM Rock Beats Paper ‘Bhavani feat. Sheela Bringi’ (lead vocals, bansuri)
Yoga Organix/Black Swan Sounds (2013)

MASOOD ALI KHAN Hang With Angels ‘Gopala feat. Sheela Bringi’ (lead vocals, harp)
Yoga Organix/White Swan Records (2012)

DJ DREZ Sound Ambassador 12:12:12 ‘Colors feat. Sheela Bringi’ (lead vocals)
Say It Loud Music (2013)

GLOBESONIC DJ ALSULTANY Sounds of Tadasana ‘PremaSoul feat. Sheela Bringi’ (bansuri)
YogiTunes (2012)

Featuring Sheela Bringi on Bansuri

NUSRAT FATEH ALI KHAN & MICHEAL BROOK: Remixed. Star Rise. Real World Records (2013)
SNATAM KAUR. Light of the Naam: Morning Chants CD. Spirit Voyage Records (2014)
GLOBESONIC DJ ALSULTANY. Yoga Lounge. Black Swan Sounds (2011)
GURUNAM. Breath of Devotion. Spirit Voyage Records (2013)  
JAI JAGADEESH. Of Heaven and Earth. Spirit Voyage Records (2013)
KRISHNA KAUR. One Creator. Spirit Voyage Records (2013)
ASHANA. River of Light. Spirit Voyage Records (2014)
PALOMA DEVI. Let It Be So. Spirit Voyage Records (2014)
FRED FRITH. Eye to Ear, Vol 3. TZADIK (2010)
FRED FRITH. Happy End Problem. ReR USA (2007)
R.K. MISHRA, ADITYA PRAKASH, SHEELA BRINGI. Mantras of the SVA Tradition. Adishakti (2013).
DAN STUART. Deliverance of Marlowe Buillings. The Cadiz Recording CO (2012)
PREMASOUL. A Shrine to All Things. PremaSoul Music (2009)
DAN BLANCHARD. Awakening: Raga Bhairav. Dan Blanchard Music (2011)

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TESTIMONIALS

“When she sings, it’s like the clouds part, the rivers flow into the spaces in our hearts and in our bodies that need that sonic amritha (nectar).” - Shiva Rea

“…You will literally gasp out loud when you hear Sheela’s voice. The purity, the beauty will SHOCK you. She is the real thing, don’t miss it…” – Sara Ivanhoe

“When she plays, it is as if an angel has entered into the room.” – Robin L., San Diego

“…. Seeing her playing the Indian harp, the flute.. and chanting, particularly the Saraswati mantra, was heavenly beautiful.” -Jeanine B., NY, NY

“With incredible classical Indian AND jazz training, she is a powerhouse with a growing fanbase…” – Shilpa S., Portland

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