Jennifer Salima Holt

Jennifer Salima Holt

BandAlternativeNew Age

Chantmeister/violinist Jennifer Salima Holt adds techno twists to sacred chant with intricately layered musical beds. Lush songs integrate Middle Eastern/Buddhist/Hindu/Gregorian/Native/African/Hawaiian spiritual lineages.


Musician/multimedia artist Jennifer Salima Holt's three-decade musical journey includes performing at top venues in cities across the United States (New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Washington, DC), and praise in a wide variety of media (New York Times, Spin Magazine, London’s New Music Express, NPR’s “All Things Considered”, Musician Magazine, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Village Voice). Jennifer, a Sufi Music Minister, has released several musical and video projects, most recently the CD, Ecstatic Groove: Sacred World Chant Infusions (Salima’s Whirled Peas, 2009). The CD includes unique techno-infused chants from many spiritual lineages. Her musical mission is to create bridges of compassion and understanding across all world cultures.

Jennifer’s current multimedia project, “Songs and Stories of Light, Love and Liberation” features vocals, violin, spoken word and photography, telling the stories of individuals who found themselves literally imprisoned, yet who eventually attained permanent states of enlightenment. Jennifer notes, “If prisoners are able to wake up, why can’t we? If not now, when?” In this performance piece, Jennifer performs world chant and kirtan (audience sing-along) and plays the violin, accompanied by performance tracks from her CD, Ecstatic Groove: Sacred World Chant Infusions. Visually, another dimension is created with dozens of photographic images illustrating the story of each song. “Kyrie Karuna,” for example, combines an ancient Gregorian chant of Christ's mercy with a Tibetan Buddhist chant of compassion. See it on at:

In 2009-2010, Jennifer's performances have included venues and festivals in Northern and Southern, Minnesota, New York, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Oregon and Washington. She performs frequently at Michael Bernard Beckwith’s Agape International Center of Truth in Los Angeles, receiving standing ovations for each performance. Jennifer has received the personal endorsement of Rev. Beckwith as a national speaker and singer. Her multimedia performance is available for groups in a large variety of venues, including music festivals, conferences, prisons, nursing homes, community centers and educational institutions. Jennifer is committed to bringing this work to as many people as possible.

In the 1980’s, Jennifer attained national prominence with her musical project, Tetes Noires, a feminist punk folk band that released three musical recordings including a CD produced by the Violent Femmes (Clayfoot Gods, Rounder Records, 1987). Clayfoot Gods was chosen by The Miami Herald as one of the Top Ten Releases of 1987. Rave reviews for Tetes Noires included The Village Voice, The New York Times, Spin Magazine, London’s New Music Express, The Los Angeles Times, Billboard, Musician Magazine, Boston Phoenix, and the Minneapolis Star and Tribune. Her original song, “Lucky Girl,” a crowd favorite, was made into a garage video that is currently available on (

As the leader of Tetes Noires, Jennifer ‘bucked the system,’ and took many risks, independently producing the band’s first two records (“Tetes Noires” EP and American Dream LP, Rapunzel Records). She personally booked nationwide tours for the band and eventually Tetes Noires was picked up by a major New York booking agency, touring with internationally known bands such as 10,000 Maniacs, Violent Femmes and Talking Heads.

After the demise of Tetes Noires, Jennifer continued to expand her musical repertoire. She received numerous grants as a composer from such sources as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Minnesota Composer’s Forum and the Minnesota State Arts Board. The grants supported the creation and installation of “Vocalmotion,” Jennifer’s unusual performance art project combining primitive vocalizations with choreographed movement similar to the work of Meredith Monk. “Came to Believe,” which features Jennifer’s voice in an original, four-part a cappella chant, was featured in the film, Steps One, Two and Three for Young People, released by the Hazelden Foundation in 1990. Her “Affirmation Song” (1989) video extols the power of positive thinking and loving ourselves, and is available on (

Jennifer moved from the Midwest to Los Angeles in 1990, where her musical focus shifted to a more spiritual approach. In addition to being asked to provide solo musical inspiration at the Agape International Center of Truth several times, she performed for Marianne Williamson’s public lectures and at top L.A. acoustic clubs including At My Place in Santa Monica, Hollywood’s Café Largo and the Ghengis Cohen Cantina. Jennifer has also been a featured performer and workshop leader at music festivals across the country. The video, “Rain Dreaming,” a song written with the help of guitarist Jan Marra in 1990,


Laila Trance-Dance Radio Remix

Written By: Jennifer Salima Holt

The lyrics are in Arabic:

la illa ha illa lah: there is one and only one God

Allah huma sali allah sayadina mohammed wa alli hi wa sahibi wa salim:peace and blessings to the Prophet Mohammed

E Kala Mai (Forgive Me)

Written By: Jennifer Salima Holt

The Sufis’ forgiveness chant, “Al Tawbah,” partners with the Hawaiian sacred forgiveness practice called “Ho’oponopono,” both methods of forgiveness to help ‘clean’ the soul.

The lyrics are in English, Hawaiian and Arabic, and all of them basically mean:

I'm sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you
I love you

Kyrie Karuna

Written By: Jennifer Salima Holt

The lyrics are in Greek and Tibetan.

The Tibetan Buddhist “om mani padme hum” prayer sends out compassion (“karuna”) globally to all sentient beings who are suffering.

The Gregorian chant, “Kyrie Eleison,” Greek for "Lord have mercy," invokes the healing energy of Christ.


"Laila Trance-Dance Radio Remix," Oasis Sampler.
"Kyrie Karuna" youtube video:

Ecstatic Groove: World Chant Infusions (Salima's Whirled Peas, 2009).
"Rain Dreaming" youtube video:
"Affirmation Song" youtube video:
"Lucky Girl" youtube video:
Clayfoot Gods (Rounder Records, 1987).
American Dream (Rapunzel Records, 1986).
Tetes Noires EP (Rapunzel Records, 1985).

Set List

Heart Invocation - 3 mins.
Kyrie Karuna - 10 mins.
Laila Trance Dance - 8 mins
Bear Willow Chant - 7 mins
Shiva Deva - 8 mins
Dulce Madonna - 8 mins
E Kala Mai - 9 mins
Listen - 4 mins

This is a set list for my multimedia show format. I can also perform a cappella sacred chant.