Experience the wonder and beauty of Christmas in an East Meets West fusion of Christmas Carols and Indian Classical Music on his new album:
The Spirit of Christmas
Dan Blanchard and seven guest musicians take the listener down a pathway that is both utterly familiar yet also bracingly new on The Spirit of Christmas as he fuses the much beloved melodies of traditional carols such as “Jingle Bells,” “We Three Kings,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” with a healthy dose of Indian fusion influences. Featuring an assortment of instruments from both Indian and Western cultures such as santoor, tabla, bansuri flute, violin, and cello, The Spirit of Christmas reveals that the musical treats of the noted holiday hold truly universal appeal as Blanchard and company imbue a festive and exotic flavor into the time-tested carols. Occasionally embellished with original arrangements to more fully incorporate the Indian music elements, yet always instantly recognizable, the twelve classics will make a great addition to your holiday and world music collection!
12 Days of Christmas - listen and watch an excerpt of one of the songs each day until (and including) Christmas!
Day 12 – Twelve Days of Christmas
This is a traditional Carol with no known author, and the twelve days refer when Christmas stretched on for twelve days in the middle ages. The last day is Epiphany, the Feast of The Three Kings, which celebrates the wise men of the east who came to visit baby Jesus. In this arrangement, each day is played by a different instrument, featuring all the artists on the album – Chris Votek on cello, Sheela Bringi on bansuri flute, Paul Livingstone on sitar, Eddie Young on bass, Deepak Ramapriyan on violin, Dave Cipriani on Indian Slide Guitar, and Leonice Shinneman on tabla, and Dan Blanchard on santoor, mandolin, piano, and harmonium.
Day 11 – Good King Wenceslas
This carol is a song about generosity and caring for the less privileged. It tells a story of a Bohemian king braving harsh winter weather to feed a poor peasant the day after Christmas. During the journey, his assistant is about to give up due to the cold weather, but the king goes ahead so the assistant can walk in his footprints in the snow. This Carol was written in 1853 by John Mason Neale, a prominent English clergyman and author, and was not written about a king, but rather Saint Wenceslaus I, a Duke of Bohemia.
Indian Classical Music
Combining Christmas Carols and Indian Classical Music
Details of each song
Santoor, Harmonium, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar, Mandolin, Tanpura
Dan Blanchard is a multi-instrumentalist, blending ancient Indian Classical Music with world and western music to explore the therapeutic power of music. Dan has been playing western instruments such as guitar and piano since childhood and is classically trained in Indian Classical Music on the santoor by Indian master Pandit Satish Vyas. Joined by other talented musicians from the world and sound healing scene, Dan adapts his music for the modern world, providing a powerful and engaging experience for overall well-being, joy, and inner peace.
Leonice Shinneman is recognized as the foremost American disciple of the legendary Tabla and Pakhawaj Guru Pandit Taranath Rao. Leonice has toured extensively, performing in India, Germany, Mexico and across the USA. He holds U.S. patents for percussion instruments and received his MFA from California Institute of the Arts, where he also served on the faculty.
Deepak Ramapriyan, also known as “The Other Deepak”, is a virtuoso singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, actor, dancer and record producer. Classically trained in violin since age 4, Deepak lends his immense talent to evoke extraordinary experiences in listeners of all kinds. He is the lead singer and violinist for the pop/rock/electronic group Robot Nature, and the world sacred music band Breath of Life Tribe, and has played with great talents such as India Arie, Rihanna, Jason Mraz and many others.
Chris Votek is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, arranger, and educator living and breathing music in Los Angeles. Chris is an acclaimed cellist recording and performing with ensembles ranging from Western Classical, North Indian Classical, Arabic, Electronica, Jazz, Avant-Garde, Persian, Pop, and Rock. A devoted student of master Gayaki-Ang violinists Dr N. Rajam and Jagannathan Ramamoorthy, Votek’s subtle and nuanced sound is greatly informed by his continual study adapting this ancient music to the cello.
A musician since the late 60’s. Eddie plays the Bass, Cello and Flute. Eddie has played a variety of musical styles for many decades, but an interest in the music and philosophy of East took over, and for the last 17 years he has played in several Kirtan bands. Eddie says: “Music is my spiritual path. For me the goal is to get out of the way and let the Music happen. When I am truly playing music, it’s flowing through me and I am a witness to it.”