mj greenmountain
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mj greenmountain

Band World Reggae


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"MJ Greenmoutain's New Solo Release"

LA YOGA REVIEW January 2009 page 63

MJ Greenmountain is essentially the product of a talented West Coast artist
who has become a mainstay in many world music festivals. MJ might be
remembered as the captain of the successful sacred world music act
HAMSA LILA , which had its day several years ago, but today MJ is taking
his personal approach to music to the tribes with a new approach and new

The music on this release comes across as reggae with spiritually attuned
lyrics pulled together into a fusion of ancient and modern melodic an rhythmic
roots elements. Using a wide variety of percussive instruments from all over
the world, MJ delivers world music that is life-affirming, peaceful, compassionate
and organic. Accompanied by congas, flutes, guitars, kalimbas, djembes, and
shakers, the music definitely fills up a room and conveys a sense of love with
every beat.

With "Elegua," MJ delivers Afro-Cuban chants with plenty of energy and a high
level of musicianship. The deeper you plunge into the music on this album, the
more you experience the eclectic approach and dexterity of the music. With
Brazilian medicine songs and ancient Latin prayers, MJ tries to give us every
thing he has to deliver the message of peace and love. The musicians playing
with him are all top-notch and the production is clean and sweet.

The music here is perfect for a day on the grass in Topanga or for lounging in a
natural habitat. This is homegrown world music with a spiritual vibe and
message, but can also be applied to just straight up music for basic listening
pleasure. www.mjgreenmountain.com MRM


"MJ's New Album"

"MJ's latest musical voyage transcends the boundaries of so called "world music" and updates the healing power of sound." Cheb-i-Sabbah - Cheb-i-Sabbah.com

"Hamsa Lila's MJ Greenmountain Comes with New Album"

"Music to raise listeners to a higher realm." - World Music Central.org

"Music You Can Feel"

MJ Greenmountain
The two halves of this West Coast singer’s last name reveal much: the first half, symbolic of the environmentally progressive state of mind; the latter, of natural landscapes and solidity. These two merge in his music as well—the organic and rootsy offerings of devotional lyrics and open-mindedness, tempered by a deeply produced album of bass and drums. The mountain is solid, firm. The organic appears spontaneous and of the moment. Devotion is the key word here.

What makes this an exceptional recording is the integrity of production where many others of similar ilk fall flat. Greenmountain, coming from a six-year sting with a band he co-founded, Hamsa Lila, continues his sonic exploration of Moroccan ritual music, which is governed by the bass lute, the sintir. The rituals do not stop in North Africa; every track is expressive of another culture. Greenmountain pulls this off without appropriating the culture (think New Age), a rare feat, indeed.

Part of this is intention: you can feel his music, inside out. The connective tissue he weaves between nations and songs is percussive; the drum, being a universal instrument, merges easily into his paradigm. Brazil street music appears (“Carnivao”); the mbira hint at Africa (“Atom’s Song”); intercultural messages are embedded into the Gnawa (“Salaam Shalom”). At heart, Greenmountain takes the musical structure of an acoustic singer/songwriter, distinguishing himself by feeding the melodies to the loas of bass.

Perhaps the most prevalent influence is reggae, appearing on the album’s two finest cuts, “Rock & Redeemer” and “Ancestar”. He begins in Jamaica and ends in India, making an important cultural connection: the word “Jah”, in island lingo the term for the supreme, is most likely a derivation of the Hindu chant “Jai”, imported when coolies sailed oceans to work cheaply on Jamaican coffee and banana plantations. This interesting cross-cultural meeting solidifies the idea that faith is universal, regardless of what or who the faith is offered “to”.

Which makes a track like “Save the Humans” interesting. It’s catchy, in a Michael Franti sort of way, and yet the idea that humans need to be “saved” on a devotion-based album brings up a paradox: if it is geared towards faith, why the clinging? Uncertainty grips; faith lets go.

Yet in these uncertain times, Greenmountain’s intentions remain pure. Where we’re going “to” is not as important as where we’re at; this is the basis of most ritual to begin with: presence. And throughout the entirety of Greenmountain’s dozen songs, you feel he is with you every step of the way, company you certainly enjoy having. - Pop Matters


'MJ' (2008) - MJ Greenmountain debut solo album
'Allianca' (2008) - Shimshai (multi-song guest vocalist & percussionist)
'Live in Santa Cruz' (2007) - Hamsa Lila
'Gathering the Tribe' (2006) - Interchill Compilation/Hamsa Lila
'Jaya Baghavan' (2006) - Tina Malia & Shimshai (multi-song guest vocalist & percussionist)
'Gathering One' (2004) - Hamsa Lila
'Skin' (2003) - Hamsa Lila
'Raw Live Treats 1 & 2' (2002) - Hamsa Lila



MJ 2008 Bio & Gig History (current sampling)
For Video go here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q64R-EspHI0

MJ Greenmountain embodies the essence of modern World Music, singing in multiple languages,
organically fusing ancient and modern melodic and rhythmic roots elements with real instruments and
vocal layering, all while syncronizing dub-style effects in a fresh, Medicinal Global sound. His original songs
and adaptations include flavors primarily from Africa, Brasil, India, the Middle-East and the Caribbean.
MJ’s undeniably powerful, yet humble stage presence has been recognized World wide as a potent lead
singer, percussionist, and central founding member of the popular World Fusion band Hamsa Lila, who's
album "Gathering One" hit the tops of the CMJ (US) and Chart Attack (Canada) World Music charts in 2004,
earning the band international acclaim for it's ground-breaking sounds, and hypnotic, memorable
performances. Hamsa Lila is recognized as a pioneer in the field of World Fusion, and MJ’s role in the creation
of the band‘s sound was not only crucial, but trend-setting.

Establishing himself now with 'MJ', the brand new self-produced debut 2008 solo release, one can hear threads
of traditional Yoruban, Gnawan, Native American and Rastafarian musics weaving through captivating, conscious
vocals and polyrhythmic arrangements, revealing his years of World Music studies and colorfully reflecting his multi-continental travels and tribal connections. Ever pointing his compass towards the Divine, he is both an inspired solo performer and a powerful band leader - where his ‘Fela-esque’ qualities can be witnessed. Whether it‘s a yoga studio, dance club, or festival, MJ’s music vibrates hearts and bodies in a Ceremony of Life. His new
release has already begun to catch the attention of renowned DJ’s like Cheb-i-sabah, who’s been spinning
an original track (#5 ) from the album, with many mistaking it as Cheb-i’s own remix - a telltale sign of MJ’s honed producing skills as well as his musical talents.

Artistically, MJ's makes use of an array of instrument choices and sounds. Rhythm guitar, kalimbas, various
drums, flutes, percussion, keyboard, exotic textures, looping pedal, dub-delays, and laptop spin together amid
trance-inducing vocal lines, seamlessly forming a new kind of World Fusion: one in which the sacred, the tribal,
the melodic, and the modern alchemize into a potent Shamanic blend. Receiving direct transmissions from
Elders and Masters, assisting in healing cerermonies, and learning sacred chants and ancient tribal traditions
has made MJ's music authentically grounded, simple yet expansive, giving the songs depth and impact. Crowds
celebrate and participate, as he guides them on a mystical journey around the World and ultimately deep inside
themselves - the essential part of Healing Music - thus bringing both listener and musician to a higher place.

MJ has been honored to record and/or perform with notable artists such as Ozomatli, Michael Franti &
Spearhead, Jai Uttal, Babatunde Olatunji, Azam Ali, Hassan Hakmoun, DJ Cheb-I-Sabah, Haale, Ras Michael,
String Cheese Incident, STS9, Yossi Fine, Toots Jr., Krishna Das, Steve Kimmock, Rena Jones, Ganga Giri,
Shimshai, Sambada, Joann Shenendoah, MC Yogi, Prince Diabate, Albino, Tina Malia, and many many others.

Composing and producing original music scores for independent feature films and documentaries has helped
to perfect MJ’s producing skills, which he has begun to offer other artists as well.

MJ currently resides in the Santa Cruz mountains of Northern California.


02/06/09 8pm Yoga Soup Attendance: 50
Santa Barbara, CA
Healing Concert featuring sitar master Paul Livingstone

01/23/09 8pm The Studio Maui Attendance: 50
Ha'iku, HI
Healing Concert featuring Antion, lead guitarist from the 60's band
The Animals, and bassist Timi Marshall (Lost at Last)

01/03/09 8pm - THe Bodhi Tree (above Blossoming Lotus)
Kapa'a Town
Kauai, Hawaii
Healing Concert with local musicians accompanying

12/06/2008 08:00 PM - The Ashkenaz
1317 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, California 94702
Description:Members of Hamsa Lila Cheb-I-Sabah Many special guests..... MJ’s major SF Bay Area CD release event.

10/24/2008 08:00 PM - St. Joseph Cultural Center
410 S. Church St.
Grass Valley, California
Description:MJ and Friends will be giving a devotional booty shaking, song chanting, spiritual good times throw down up in GV......to celebrate the release of MJ’s new album, just out! Many local GV and Nevada City star musicians will be in the line up.

09/27/2008 07:00 PM - house concert: private home
4134 N. Borthwick
Portland, Oregon 97217
Description:A very special acoustic evening with MJ!!! Comfortable private home setting. Intimate and beautiful!

08/16/2008 11:30 AM - Beloved Sacred Music