Cari Cole
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Cari Cole

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE

New York City, New York, United States | INDIE
Band Pop Folk


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"Interview with CIM Radio"

Interview with Cari Cole - December 22, 2003
L O V E in capital letters is her favorite word and inspires her work at all times. Cari Cole "heals" her audiences through her soothing vocals. Believe it or not, she has got one of the most beautiful singing voices I've ever heard and you can hear all that from her latest album "The Circle Of Fire". I had the chance to receive her album in late 2002 and my was it a true treasure. There are no questions about it, the lady sings like an angel. Read on to find out what she has to say:

Cari Cole CIM Radio:
You've been touring around the country, so how is your audience responding to your music?

Cari Cole:
It has been a great experience to go out and perform "live" for the audience of this record. From Teotihuacan Mexico to New York City, the response has been exceedingly warm and fuzzy. I notice people are particularly receptive to the soul/healing aspect of this music and my voice. More often than not, much of the audience is teary.

CIM Radio:
Speaking of music, are you writing new materials? If yes, what kind of direction are you aiming at?

Cari Cole:
Yes, I am constantly writing new music. I have about 30 new songs that are in consideration for the second record. We will make some "live" versions available to our fans for 99 cent downloads on sometime in Feb-Mar of 2004. The songs have a similar message to Circle of Fire with a bit more about the world we live in. This new record will take the beauty and message from The Circle of Fire, bump it up a notch in production and arrangements, take more chances musically, while making a bigger sound. The sonic integrity of the voice, music and the artistic integrity of the message will be at the forefront.

Cari Cole & Don Miguel Ruiz CIM Radio:
Your biggest inspiration comes from the teachings of Don Miguel Ruiz. He is also the biggest influence on your latest CD "The Circle of Fire", how did you come to know him?

Cari Cole:
My biggest inspiration is LOVE with capital letters. Love in any and all forms is the most important thing and inspires my work. Don Miguel Ruiz is a teacher of love. His teachings are some of the most profound and experiential I have found. In 1999 I read his bestseller, The Four Agreements and began an apprenticeship under his teaching. It was a turning point of my life. I had no idea it would result in the birth of The Circle of Fire record. I am so very grateful.

CIM Radio:
With your latest album, what messages were you trying to deliver to your audience?

Cari Cole:
Messages of peace and of our humanity are at the forefront of this new record. It is time for us as human beings to come to the table with all that we have to offer. There is no time for holding back our love. "Ripple in the Sea of Humanity" and "Let Me In" are some of the new titles. These new songs are the most powerful and beautiful I have written to date.

Cari Cole CIM Radio:
The single "Beautiful Life" made the Nominations Ballot for the 2004 Grammy list, so what's the situation now?

Cari Cole:
Yes, Beautiful Life made the Nominations Ballot for the Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for the Grammy's 2004. The nominations were chosen from the list I was on - Christine Aguilera, Kelly Clarkson, Dido, Avril Lavigne and Sarah McLachlan were the winners. Even thought I do not have the popularity to garner a Grammy - I am so pleased to be on the list with these talented ladies.

CIM Radio:
Besides making records and touring, you also offer singing courses. How long have you been teaching and what is "The Cole Technique"?

Cari Cole:
Besides my record, my busy touring schedule and writing songs, I am still teaching a few days a week in New York at Cari Cole Voice Studios. I'll be passing the baton in the next year to my Associate teachers who are teaching my methodology. I founded Cari Cole Voice Studios that teaches The Cole Technique developed by my many years of teaching and singing. The technique is a very in-depth program for professional singers that develop their sound and style. My voice studio also fosters and develops singers' talents which we find so important in today's music business due to less and less artist development out there.

Cari Cole CIM Radio:
You've also worked and taught with Donald Fagen of the duo Steely Dan, how did that come about?

Cari Cole:
I taught for Katherine Agresta Studios where I worked with Donald Fagen. I taught him technique and coaching during the recording of a soundtrack for the Michael J. Fox movie ~ Bright Lights Big City.

CIM Radio:
What other artists have you worked with?

Cari Cole:
Thousands of singers, music artists, songwriters, producers and record labels. Donald Fagen is the most well known.

Cari Cole CIM Radio:
Besides singing, you also play several other instruments, would you ever consider releasing a smooth jazz instrumental album with you playing electric guitar for example?

Cari Cole:
I - Peter Su, CIM Radio


You know, there are singers like Celine Dion, who belt out big pop hits like that Titanic number, and Enya, who makes big swoopy new-age stuff that just leaks out of the speakers. Cari Cole's disc is similar, but for whatever reason doesn't grate on my ears like the aforementioned. Her inspiration for this disc comes from don Miguel Ruiz's book, "The Four Agreements," and the result is a healing/holistic disc with absolutely gorgeous vocals. Cole, a former soloist for the Metro Mass Choir in NYC, has a voice that is pure in tone and a pleasure to listen to. And though the instrumentation and arrangement of the songs here are lush, they aren't overbearing, or weighed down by tons of reverb, or inundated with strings. The result is a calm listening experience, kind of a massage for the ears and skull. Much in the way a good cup of tea takes the edge off an ugly day, so does Cole soothe your soul. Even if the lyrics are too preachy or touchy feely for you (I'm not ready for salvation yet), the sonic beauty and Cole's voice will please". - Bill Ribas

"Linear Reflections Review"

Music - Jan 2004
Reviewed by: Naomi DeBruyn
Circle of Fire, The by Cari Cole

I was intrigued with this disc from the get go, but couldn’t believe it when I popped it into the CD player and was literally hooked from the first track. Cari Cole is a magical talent, her vocals reach into your soul, her lyrics follow and plant seedlings. I’d have to call her addictive and heady. Cari is reminiscent of Jan Arden, Stevie Nicks, Celine Dion, Cheryl Crow, just to name a few. She has what it takes to be a lasting and beloved artist, and I am thankful that her disc crossed my path.

Though Cari is best known as a singer and songwriter, she is also a very versatile musician - playing the piano, acoustic and electric guitars, dulcimer, and the flute. In the teaching arts, Cari is regarded as one of the most notable in voice studies. She’s worked with four-time Grammy Award winning recording artist Donald Fagen, among others, and shared the stage with such notable singers as Cissy Houston and Martha Wash.

Cari read the teachings of Toltec Shaman don Miguel Ruiz, author of the bestseller “The Four Agreements,” and it changed her life and her work. don Miguel’s teachings inspired a new album, and a new musical path. It began with a score written to accompany the words of don Miguel’s “The Circle of Fire Prayer.” Cari’s husband Paul St. James helped produce this CD, and to quote Cari: “the goal was ‘to create a recording of songs that would evoke our highest selves into being in this very moment.’”

I think the only disappointment I had in this release is the shortness of it - ten tracks just doesn’t seem to be enough. Oh, and for those of you out there who are worried that this is one of those “shove it down your throat” style religious releases, it isn’t. Far from it, in fact. There are references to be found to a higher power, but for the most part it all comes down to accepting yourself and those around you for who and what they are. Being alive is a gift, and a wonderful one. Use it.

“Beautiful Life” is the opening track, and this folksy tune has a Celtic flavour to it. Cari’s explanation of this song is: “Each of us perceives life through our own unique lens. This song is about stepping outside our usual perception into a reality where we are content with what is. When we are content, we accept all that is. When we accept all that is, it’s a ‘Beautiful Life.’” How right she is... This track is light and airy, free and releasing, it sends the mind dancing even when the feet cannot.

One of my favourite places in the world is Mexico, and one of Cari’s songs deals with a wonderful place in that country. “Teo” According to the liner notes, Cari wrote this song “after returning from a power journey in Teotihuacan in Mexico. Teotihuacan was built by the Toltecs for their symbolic journey to enlightenment. In Teo, everything that you are is powerfully reflected back to you. It is a place where the energy of transformation and truth live. This song captures the resonance of the culture, the lyrics capture the spirituality of those who “journeyed” in this sacred place, known as “City of the Gods.”

“I’m Ready” is a song that wasn’t intended to be one. Cari’s explanation put this piece as a vignette written as a personal prayer, or affirmation. It is a powerful piece both lyrically and musically. The piano provides a perfect backing for Cari’s opening of her soul, and her vocals won’t leave you untouched. Her voice is the mountain stream as it wends it way to the sea; the spirit of Nature, captured momentarily.

This is a fantastic production and I’d heartily recommend it to all of my friends, especially those who like to follow the spiritual pathways of the world. This would be a delightful backing to yoga or pilates, or simple meditation. It will be seeing hours of play when I am able to enjoy the tranquility of an afternoon or evening alone in the house! Perfect for relaxing and just “being.”



"Cari Cole was minding her own business as a successful singer and voice instructor in New York City when she turned on to a book called "The Four Agreements" by don Miguel Ruiz. The book aims to help people realign themselves with love, balance and spirituality."

"The book affected Cari on a very deep level so she decided to begin writing and recording the music that called from her heart. Her debut solo album, The Circle of Fire, combines Cari's angelic voice with messages of hope, unity and love".

"Every time you are lost/ every time you wanna cry/ just hear it, feel it/ taste it, don't waste it/ it's a beautiful life," she sings on the upbeat opening track, "Beautiful Life." The song is a perfect mix of pure acoustic tones, soaring vocals and pitch perfect emotions.

While the truth of this music continues through the disc these songs take different turns. "Teo" opens with a haunting native American flute before drifting into a gorgeous piano/ guitar arrangement. "A Million Kisses" integrates violins into a love poem so clear and vulnerable it's bound to resonate with anyone in earshot..."
"Circle of Fire is a magical journey that spins together waves of heavenly music, compassionate ideas and the clarity of Cari Cole's exquisite voice".

- Jeff

" review"

Cari Cole
circle of fire
Rating - A+

The press surrounding Cari Cole makes many big promises and Cari does not fail to deliver on any of them. The title track, a beautiful acoustic number made the ballots for the 2004 Grammys, and deservingly so. Cari's voice is angelic and wafts magically over well thought out musical phrasing in the style of acoustic adult oriented music.

I owe Cari and her publishing company, Amber Allen Publishing, an enormous apology as I have been sitting on this CD for several months and depriving my readers the opportunity to go out, purchase it, and experience the magic for themselves.

This is the perfect CD for a Sunday morning spent relaxing over coffee and the newspaper or for late nights spent cuddling with the one you love. The music and Cari's angelic voice create a very special magic. Cari possesses a certain happiness in her writing that is not often found in today's world where it seems record companies have an easier time marketing angry, bitter music. It is refreshing to find that there are still people out there writing music of love and hope for a better future.

This CD will absolutely make the perfect Valentine's Day gift for the love in your life.

If Cari can continue to create such melodic and harmonious music as she accomplishes on this CD we can expect big things from her and I firmly expect her to be a household name in the not to distant future. While the Grammys overlooked her this year, they will have no choice but to recognize her in the future.

Dennis Halsey
The Best Female Musicians
- Dennis Halsey

"What People are Saying..."

"Cari's music inspires us to live the vision of a new dream.."
—don Miguel Ruiz, New York Times bestselling author of The Four Agreements.

"Listening to this CD for the first time was a transformative experience. Ifelt so inspired about my life and my connection to the world around me. Thank you."
—Sabrina in NYC

"This music is of critical importance in the time we are in. It's like a light in the dark and it makes me feel grateful and hopeful, gives me a sense of peace and well being."
—Ellie Sarty, Esmedia

"Cari has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard. The lyrics are straight from the heart."
—Margo Carrera, review

"Beautiful Life" a perfect song to begin the new year with. It inspires and uplifts. "The Circle of Fire" is a CD that renews hope in these troubled times."
—Maureen Neville (DJ - WJFF)

"I love it!"
—Lee Abrams, Senior Vice President and Chief Programming Officer of XM Radio

"Putting on the CD, The Circle of Fire is entering an experience of Love. As Cari sings, "in every moment, There is Love in You." The music lingers on long after and her words waft through my consciousness. Cari's vocals and beautiful musical accompaniment are clear, strong, spiritual yet distinctly human. She sings of the ache and longing for the human spirit to soar! I thank Cari for bringing Spirit to light and life."
—Gary Goldberg
In The Spirit
Thursday 2-4 pm EST

"We have been listening to your CD almost every day since receiving it. We cannot adequately express with words the wonderful gift your music has been for us. The tears flow often, in awe and gratitude for life, love, and the joy that we are alive. I gave your CD to a friend as a gift, and she listens to it every morning as a way to start her day. Thank you so much, Cari, for sharing your gift with the world!"
—Dan and Gretchen Bradley / Oregon

"Cari brings a healing spirit and soothing seduction to her art..."

"I am playing the song Beautiful Life again this Sunday morning on 91.9 FM. I really can't explain what happened when I initially played your record. A certain sense of abundance, joy and warmth filled me that I can't explain. It was a feeling of being in the Circle of Fire. For the first time in a long while I could understand a lot of things that I have not been able to understand. Thank you for your music."
—David Ross, DJ Mixx,

"I've been listening to your record for 2 days straight now. It is absolutely beautiful and refreshing!"
—Chay Alexander, Look Alike Productions, producer

"I am really, really glad to have met and connected with you at the GEMS Summit in NY, 3/03. You have a remarkable warmth and presence about you and your music shows it."
—Andrew Kaen, photographer

"I must tell you again how much I love your record. It has not left my CD changer. You guys really did a fantastic job."
—Bill Maier, songwriter

"Cari Coles' music is filled with the expression of love and creates that emotional quality where ever it is heard. It is music that awakens the heart."
—Rita Rivera, master teacher of The Four Agreements

"Your CD is always in our CD player. I love it...every song is great!"
—Debbie Tassone., singer/songwriter/mother

"Thank you so much for changing my life. My children listen to your music 24/7. They even learned the Circle of Fire Prayer and say it every morning."
—Dana DiMatteo, healer, mother

"Your music brings peace to my home. And it has changed my life, no kidding, no exaggeration. I listen to it over and over again!"
—Beth Agnauck

"What a gift your music is. I have decided that I need to get another CD, so I can always have one in my car and one at home. It brings me right back into centeredness and love when I hear it. Thank you so much for creating the CD. We are blessed by your expression of your love."
—Noreen Tierney

"My sister-in-law sent us your CD as an anniversary gift last month and we immediately fell in love with your music and your wonderful voice. When my husband put on the CD he sat and listened to it in its entirety and cried through most of it having been so inspired.My husband and I were so inspired by your CD that I called Amber-Allen Publishing and opened a professional account and immediately ordered 10 of your CD's. I have the Center for Transformational Healing in Soquel, California.I am in a 60 person choir (we've been together for 9 years) that sings inspirational and spiritual songs in many languages. Our sold out holiday concert sang songs in 11 different languages including ending Silent Night in sign language. We've been looking for a song for the couple's group to perform and I think Circle of Fire Prayer would be perfect."
—Ilianna Culver-Dufford

"Thank you for your music. It soothes my soul. I would like to get an autographed copy, so I'll be ordering another shortly. I am going to try to get -

"Music-Tech Contest winner"

Cari Cole
5 Stars: Spectacular
A pop chanteuse and beyond, Cari Cole wields the dramatic vocal execution of performers like Kate Bush plus a smidgen of Sarah Brightman. Songs like “A Million Kisses” and “Heaven” would have the potential to sound overly sentimental in the hands of a less talented and inspired vocalist. But, Cole soars above the rest. -

"Music-Tech Contest winner"

Cari Cole
5 Stars: Spectacular
A pop chanteuse and beyond, Cari Cole wields the dramatic vocal execution of performers like Kate Bush plus a smidgen of Sarah Brightman. Songs like “A Million Kisses” and “Heaven” would have the potential to sound overly sentimental in the hands of a less talented and inspired vocalist. But, Cole soars above the rest. -


Circle of Fire
Thirst for Life Publishing/ASCAP
all songs, words and music Cari Cole, except The Circle of Fire Prayer words by don Miguel Ruiz and The Lord's Prayer words anonymous.

1 Beautiful Life
2 Whenever the TIme is Now
3 The Circle of Fire Prayer
4 Teo
5 A Million Kisses
6 Heaven
7 There is Love in You
8 Only Truth Knows
9 I'm Ready
10 The Lord's Prayer



Circle of Fire, music inspired by The Four Agreements, by don Miguel Ruiz

Re-issued 2008 Cari Cole/ Thirst For Life Publishing/ ASCAP

Songs of faith, songs of transformation, songs that blaze a journey back to the heart and seed "the vision of a new dream" - this is the gift of "The Circle of Fire," the debut CD by singer-songwriter Cari Cole, inspired by the teachings of don Miguel Ruiz (NY Times best-selling author of "The Four Agreements") and released on Amber-Allen Publishing. An oasis of hope and healing that reflects a passion for life and the power of love, "The Circle of Fire" is like the voice of an angel lighting the depths of our soul through song.

A musical alchemy of classic original songwriting merging elements of pop, folk, rock, and jazz with a contemporary new age twist, Cari Cole interweaves her unique artistry, sonic vision, and poetry of spirit into an expansive work. Compelling vocals soar and illuminate with poignant melodies that feel profoundly familiar and make the heart yearn with recognition. Musical traces call to mind echoes of artists as diverse as Sarah McLachlan, Sheryl Crow, Enya, and Celine Dion as if seamlessly spun into one. Cari Cole is a master singer with a voice that is distinctly her own, emanating a power and grace that is nothing less than magical.

"The Circle of Fire" is rich in instrumental texture but beautifully spacious, honoring the integrity of its songwriting, which is as timeless as groundbreaking works like Carole King's "Tapestry" or Joni Mitchell's "Blue". Producer Paul St. James has created a definitive soundscape for a music that transcends trend and a record that is highly accessible while remaining true to its authenticity and intent. Rooted by Cari's exquisite piano, acoustic guitar, and gorgeous vocals, and sculpted by the fret-less bass work of Paul St. James and Larry Saltzman's ambient guitars, the CD hosts a spectrum of musical color in arrangements of violin, native American flute, and melodic drums and percussion that flow throughout.

"The Circle of Fire" embraces a wide audience with songs that are both universal and deeply personal all at once. It is a record that speaks to all time, but to our time especially now. The CD's title song is a musical composition created for The Circle of Fire Prayer written by Toltec Master don Miguel Ruiz. It is a call to our divinity and a call to dream, resonating like a great divining rod towards the road back to ourselves and each other. "The Circle of Fire" CD is an opus of love and Cari Cole is its 'soul singer', with a music that transforms the listener like gold through the flame, in songs of heaven on earth.

"Cari's music inspires us to live the vision of a new dream; the dream of heaven on earth". Don Miguel Ruiz, author of the NY Times bestselling book, The Four Agreements.

Originally from Minneapolis, Cari Cole has been a musician and songwriter for most of her life, exploring a variety of musical endeavors through her early beginnings - performing, leading, and collaborating with several well known New York bands. A former soloist in The Metro Mass Choir of New York City, she has performed at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and The Apollo Theatre and has shared the stage with legendary singers such as Cissy Houston and Martha Wash to name a few. Although she is best known as a vocalist and songwriter, Cari is also a versatile musician : playing piano, acoustic and electric guitars, dulcimer, and flute. In the teaching arts, she is regarded as one of the most notable in voice studies, working with four time Grammy Award winning recording artist Donald Fagen, Courtney Love, American Idol finalist Kimberly Locke and the legendary band of JOURNEY among others.

"Beautiful Life" joined Annie Lennox, Evanescence and Sarah McLachlan on the Grammy 2004 Nominations Ballot for the BEST FEMALE POP VOCAL PERFORMANCE!