Amikaeyla Gaston, an artist of rare talent and depth, has spent a lifetime touching others with the power of song. From award-winning performance albums to world travels teaching and healing through the power of song, Amikaeylas spirit and power shine through.
Growing up in a musical family and spending considerable time away from her Washington D.C. home, Amikaeyla was often noticed for the clear, resonant voice, which she cultivated in secret, singing along with recordings of musicians such as Sweet Honey in the Rock. There was always music in the house she recalls and the game we used to play while we washed the dishes was to see who could write the best verse to the song we were making up on the spot. Unaware herself that singing would become her life calling, she learned to play instruments instead; first piano and then, as the years went by, viola, western & Indian flute, dulcimer, and later on, a multitude of percussion instruments from around the world, such as djembe, bata, conga, tabla, taiko, & timbale.
Regardless of her obvious talent, she put music to the side, planning to become a physician instead. But the music in her could not be sidelined. While a pre-med student, she was still cast in every musical the college produced during her four years. Off-Broadway roles, recordings and tours with numerous top artists followed. Despite all of this, Amikaeyla still thought her career would be in medicine.
It took being run over by a truck in a hit and run hate crime, and coming close to death, to cement her calling. While mending her body and spirit, music was indispensable. The resonance of sacred music from around the world helped her to rebuild her health and spirit and, upon her complete recovery (surprising everyone) she committed herself fully to music. She also committed her life to cultivating love and compassion. Love needs to win, she says.
This experience also resulted in both a deeper integration of the traditions of her ancestry, African, Native American, Haitian, & Cuban, and to the study of sacred music from around the world. Melding these with her jazz sensibility creates a powerful experience for listeners and for participants in the work for healing she has conducted around the world through her foundation, the International Cultural Arts & Healing Sciences Institute. She says of this work, I felt called to share my experience of music and healing further & examine this more deeply on a larger, broader scale within the allopathic and naturopathic medical framework as well as the artistic & spiritual.
As a result of her mastery, at the request and invitation of His Holiness the Dalai Lama in India, she was invited to perform at the Inaugural Festival of Sacred Chanting and Singing for the commemoration of the Golden Buddha.
Through her foundation, Amikaeyla has created Music-Spirit Health Conferences for at-risk populations of women and girls of color, conducted Hope and Healing retreats for women affected with cancer, and held concerts & in-home services for terminally ill patients in hospitals and transition homes. She has brought together artists and therapists of all disciplines and from all specialties to promote wellness through the arts & activism. She has also worked with the UN, most recently as a Goodwill Ambassador, employing music as a restorative modality with refugee children in the Middle East and across the globe.
Driven by a desire to open for others the profound transformation Amikaeyla herself has experienced through music, she touches the heart and feeds the soul while exciting the senses! Listening to her, whether on her numerous albums, in concert or in her healing workshops, is both a keen pleasure and an incomparable privilege!
Solo Projects ~
Lush - Live at the Kennedy Center
Being In Love
Collaborative Projects ~
To Eva, With Love
Feet Of Clay