Exposed to kirtan and bhajan in early childhood after her father returned from a trip to India and the family began attending a local satsang, Prajna fell in love with the spirituality of ancient India. Growing up on beautiful Vashon Island, near Seattle, she studied piano, dance, theatre arts, and singing extensively since age four.
The sacred chanting of mantras and hymns in Sanskrit awakened a deep longing that led her down diverse spiritual paths in her adolescence. Prajna fell in love with the work of the Sufi poets, and through her exploration of that path came across Irena Tweedie’s acclaimed autobiography, Daughter of Fire, in which the author documents her years of intensive training with a Sufi master. Realizing the necessity of a Satguru for a spiritual aspirant, Prajna began praying earnestly to meet her own teacher. In 1998, Prajna met Mata Amritanandamayi, or Amma, and has been her grateful disciple ever since.
Prajna has tread a sometimes beautiful, sometimes difficult life-path over the years; from the LA rock scene to the transformative, awakening power of yoga, into addiction and loss, self-effacement and redemption. She understands firsthand the healing and restoring nature of kirtan, and describes her experience returning to the spiritual music of her childhood as “life-saving.”
Today, as lead singer and keyboardist of acclaimed kirtan ensemble Mukti, Prajna knows the pure joy of following her heart’s desire. In September 2009, Mukti released their debut CD Light of the Sun, produced by the legendary Ben Leinbach (Jai Uttal, Deva Premal, Shiva Rea) and featuring exuisite guest performances by Manose (bansuri flute) and two-time Grammy Award winning violinist David Balakrishnan (Turtle Island Quartet). Prajna wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the album, and in November 2009 the group was able to finally offer their work to Amma in person. Mukti continues to play regularly around the Bay Area.
In addition to her work with Mukti, Prajna has co-writen and co-produced a new collection of original Sanskrit bhajans (“Amrita”, to be released 5/22/12 on Mantralogy Records) with Ben Leinbach. In addition to singing regularly and recording with Jai Uttal, she has performed and/or recorded with Snatam Kaur, Donna DeLory, Tina Malia, Jaya Lakshmi, The Mayapuris, C.C.White, Manose, Suzanne Sterling, and many other gifted artists of the western kirtan world. Jai has been an inspiration and mentor to Prajna.
Prajna lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband (sound healer Anaghan Vieira) and step-daughter. She teaches regular vinyasa and yin yoga classes in the South Bay, teaches workshops on yogic philosophy and chanting, and continues to perform regularly.
Prajna with Donna DeLory
With 2x Grammy Award-winning violinist David Balakrishnan (Turtle Island Quartet)