Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Success as an artist by 'Letting Go'

Ram Dass Khalsa grew up in a musical family in the San Francisco Bay Area. He took to music very quickly and was raised on styles ranging from the Beatles to Beethoven, Prokofiev, and John Coltrane. He has used his diverse background in his pursuit of becoming a multi-faceted professional musician. Adamant about the importance of exposure to the arts at an early age, Ram Dass is currently spearheading a project to encourage politicians to provide funding for the arts in the public schools, reconsider current teaching methods, and make the arts accessible to the general public.

Ram Dass was the winner of the Rachel Reilly Young Artists Award in 2002 and was selected to debut Pulitzer Prizewinner Steven Stucky's "Meditation and Dance for Bb Clarinet and Piano" in 2004. He has performed in productions of Guys and Dolls and the University of Oregon's production of Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro". He appeared at a benefit concert for the Indonesian Tsunami in 2005 and alongside Ian Mackaye and Amy Farina of Fugazi in a concert benefiting arts departments in public schools. In 2006, Ram Dass played at the Ford Amphitheater in Hollywood with jazz greats Joseph Jarman and Roscoe Mitchell of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Currently, he performs alongside Snatam Kaur on her worldwide peace tour, and with Manish Vyas on his SATTVA tour. He also has shared the stage with Jai Uttal, Krishna Das, Deva Premal, Miten, Manose, and Carioca.