Our confirmed song leaders for 2023 include:
(Listed A-Z by last name)
Shireen AminiShireen Amini (non-binary using she/her in English, elle in Spanish) is a queer, Puerto Rican-Iranian American, Earth-loving singer-songwriter, percussionist, and song leader based in unceded indigenous territory known as Portland, Oregon.
While holding transformational space, Shireen leads infectious, soulful, and groove-based community songs, often engaging her participants in rhythm, because she believes strongly in music’s power to propel cultural revolution.
Laurence’s songs are easy to learn; mostly layered, often with several phrases taken from inspiring writings, and sung in a gently challenging rhythmic and melodic interplay.
Folks support each other in holding their particular part, then experience the pleasure of blending with other parts to co-create a tapestry of harmonic beauty, rhythmic interest, and shared meaning that nourishes our souls and restores our vision for living into the more beautiful world our hearts know is possible.
Karly is a passionate songleader in the Ubuntu Choir Network tradition and a Permissionary of heartfelt expression.
She leads multiple groups in person and online through Singing Heart Harmonies in Kalapuya territory now known as Eugene, OR; learning and sharing ASL Signs as she sings. Karly’s prolific songwriting reflects her embrace of being embodied as a human and demonstrates her relationship to song as healer. Her circles are an expression of immense love and joy.
Shanti Shivani is a singer/nada yogini/sound healer, internationally acclaimed seminar leader, performer and recording artist. She is one of the few Western pioneers bringing the sacred traditions of Nada Yoga and Dhrupad, the most ancient style of Hindustani classical music, to the West. Since 1981, Shanti has been the disciple of the premier family of the Dhrupad lineage, the Dagar family, who has been passing on the Dhrupad tradition for nineteen generations. Shanti has been performing Dhrupad and sacred music from various traditions (Hindu, Buddhist, Sufi, Gregorian & Hebrew etc.) internationally since 1993. She has several albums to her credit and has been recording as a solo artist and in collaboration with many World Music artists since 1993. She currently lives part time in Eugene, OR, when she is not traveling the world.
Alexandra “ahlay” Blakely
Ahlay (she/her) is a song carrier remembering that which was meant to be forgotten in her lineages: song technology as connective tissues of the communal body.
She blends song, body percussion, dance, stillness, breath & silence with the intention to support others in remembering their inherent birthright to song which she believes is fundamental in the expansion of one’s internal capacity to participate in the collective shift towards life-affirming conditions.
Kjersten Hallin is an artist, musician, mother, gardener, song leader and beauty activist, living and singing on Kalapuyan land of the Cascade foothills. Kjersten’s original songs are medicinal Earth-loving anthems, some lively and uplifting, some deep and reverent, with multi-layers, rhythms and harmonies.
Kjersten has been performing, holding ceremonies, tending fires, loving and leading CommUnity BlesSings song circles in the Willamette Valley for the past 8 years.
Osprey (they/them) plays ukulele and writes quirky, authentic lyrics about love, self-exploration, grief, gender, and our relationship with the planet. Their catchy tunes stay in your head for days, but it’s all good because they hint at answers that are relevant to now. A blend of queer-folk-pop, their songs are genuine, heartfelt, and easy to sing along to.
Katie loves to lead groups in song. She writes layered part songs to remind us of simple truths. Her song circles are welcoming, heartfelt, moving and fun. She is a graduate of the Ubuntu Network’s Community Choir Leadership Training as well as Lisa Littlebird’s Flight School.
Katie’s songs have traveled to Hawaii, Victoria BC, Denver CO, and Big Sur CA and elsewhere. Katie is also a singer/songwriter, band leader and a mother.
Writing, performing, and leading song circles for over 20 years, Shiloh’s music is lately accompanied by her ronroco instrument. A Renaissance water nymph who sings magic into being, adding her pulsating moisture to the heart center of all entranced by her spell.
Aaron Johnson is a facilitator, public speaker, and touch activist. As co-founder of both Holistic Resistance and Grief to Action, Aaron takes the time to hold the stories of black people around internalized racism and those that are Chronically UnderTouched.
Because oppression is a part of American culture, the impact of lineage stories should be held as a map for our collective healing. Aaron reaches for that healing through song, meditation, and earth grounding.
Since experiencing deep liberation with her own voice through oral-tradition community singing, Kira has been on this path. She brings her heart to group singing and nurtures collective experiences that are connective and healing…and that sound delicious! Sharing a wellspring of powerful songs, she currently leads Open Hub Singing in Bend, OR, and at singing gatherings around the country. She is a graduate of Lisa Littlebird’s Songleader Flight School.