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Katie Wise + Bhakti Explosion fuses the sweetness of heart-opening mantra with contemporary folk.
Bhakti Explosion was created in 2014 when yoga teacher and classically trained pianist Katie Wise combined her passions into leading kirtan (mantra chanting) with a western rock and roll flavor. The band's current lineup solidified after Katie’s longtime partner and bass player, Holy John Hoelle (Pro Audio), made room for the expansion of a family when Katie recognized a karmic connection with drummer JJ Jones (Girlyman). Joined often by lead guitarist Yoshi Aono (Acoustic Junction), this musical tribe has appeared at the biggest transformational music festivals in the US and internationally, such as Lovelight (MD), Unify (NM), Arise (CO), Folks Fest (CO), Hanuman Festival (CO), Bhakti Fest (CA), Shakti Fest (CA), Festival of Colors (UT), Stonehenge Music Festival (UK), and Holistic Manchester (UK).
Their debut album, Lovolution, produced by Grammy-nominee Ben Leinbach and featuring guest vocals by Jai Uttal, has received acclaim in the US (Yoga Journal, Yoga International), UK (Kindred Spirit, Yoga Magazine) and Australia (Soul Traveller Radio, and Australian Yoga Life), and was named “best chant album of the year” by American promoter Lloyde Barde. To capture the magic of their live events, they released two live albums: Live at the StarHouse (2019), and Live at eTown (2021) from their electrified sold out show at the legendary eTown Hall. Their second studio album, Akashic Rock, was released in 2023 on White Swan Records.
The band looks for ways to serve the greater community through music, through livestreams during the pandemic, and benefit concerts like #BoulderStrong, Yoga Gives Back for India, and StopBatten.org concert, where thousands of dollars were raised for the families of Boulder shooting victims families, better gun policy, Covid relief, and efforts to eradicate the rare children's disease Batten.
David Newman calls Katie a "a solid force and presence for those who look to their music for peace, heart, groove, and spiritual inspiration.” Australian Yoga life writes “Wise’s soulful, earthy voice embodies vulnerability in a way that turns emotion into art.” Katie Wise + Bhakti Explosion are America's pioneers of mantra-rock music. Their music has the power to heal and inspire the world. More at BhaktiExplosion.com.
Genre: Contemporary Folk / Kirtan / Rock
Hometown: Boulder, CO
Influences: Trevor Hall, Jai Uttal, Deva Premal
Sounds Like: Sarah McLachlan, Rising Appalachia, Cowboy Junkies