Interview with Jim
Returning to the Body Mind”
with Dr. Melissa West
Jim Gelcer is an internationally acclaimed musician, composer, and producer. Originally from Cape Town, and based in Toronto, Jim has recorded and performed around the world with artists as diverse as Lee Aaron, The Flying Bulgar Klezmer Band, Reg Schwager, and Dave Young. He is at home in a wide range of genres — from rock, pop, and r&b, to jazz, classical, and world music. One of the few Canadian artists invited to perform at Bhakti Fest, Jim’s debut recording “Bhagavan” was hailed as one of the year’s best by American radio shows In The Spirit and Full Lotus Kirtan. Yoga Chicago magazine called him “the perfect bhakti singer”. His style has been called “welcoming, inviting, and contagious”, and mashes up traditional Sanskrit chants with r&b, jazz, and rock. Jim’s second album, “Bhakti Groove Machine”, was co-produced by Grammy-nominated producer Ben Leinbach (Jai Uttal, Deva Premal, Snatam Kaur). David Newman (aka Durga Das) called it “sweet, soulful, smooth and sublime.”
Kirtan is an ancient form of call and response singing. The idea behind kirtan is that by repetitive chanting of ancient Sanskrit and other mantras, we open our heart and connect with our true nature. Jim artfully combines traditional kirtan with modern influences like jazz and world music into a unique blend unlike anything else you’ve heard. At a live kirtan with Jim you may hear mashups of mantras with just about anything from Leonard Cohen to Bob Marley, Bill Withers, or even Black Eyed Peas.