Back to All Events

Simrit – Songs of Resilience

  • Center for the Arts 314 West Main Street Grass Valley, CA 95945 (map)

with Shannon Hayden opening
Saturday, October 29, 7:30PM
Section A $35 advance / $45 door
Section B $20 advance / $30 door

“For Simrit, singing is not a performance, it is a sacred worship of the Divine. Her voice, her music, and her teaching, reflect this devotion which seems to come from her so effortlessly. This devotion is a gift, a talent beyond any, that will lead thousands into the lightness of being and awareness that is so vital to humanity in this day and age.”  – Snatam Kaur

“First of all, I’m such a fan of Simrit. The first time I saw her live I thought – wow she’s kind of punk rock. I don’t know why I thought that, but that’s the element that drew me to exploring her music. Her sense of melody, her energy and musicality set her apart. Simrit, to me, is the voice of this new day and age.” – Belinda Carlisle

Syllables of Change: Simrit Brings Musical Innovation and Personal Devotion to One of the World’s Oldest Poetic Lineages

Some performers can bring true commitment to age-old meditations, urging everyone from pop stars to club audiences to fall in love with the words of South Asian sages. Some artists have a presence that engages and soothes, an ear that can hear the resonances that bridge continents and souls.

Vocalist and songwriter Simrit, born in Athens, Greece, adopted and raised in the American South, is one of these artists. Drawing on the harmonic beauty of the Greek Orthodox chants she grew up with, adding the pulse and melodic sensibilities of West African traditions she studied intensely, Simrit and her ensemble tease out distinct facets of devotional poetry and the intimate ardors of the spirit on Songs of Resilience (release: September 30, 2016).

Working with an elegant, expressive musical palette–rich cello, exquisite kora, rolling percussion–and with veteran rock and Americana producer Paul Mahern (Willie Nelson, Iggy Pop, Lily & Madeleine, John Mellencamp), Simrit reveals new sides to ancient gems, encouraging listeners to find grounding endurance, hope, and transformation. “Our songs are about the soul, about all its experiences of love, pain, and joy,” says Simrit. “These are all things that people on this planet deal with each and every day.”

Featuring Salif Bamakora or kora, Tripp Dudley on percussion, Shannon Hayden on cello & guitar, and Jared May on bass guitar.

Simrit and ensemble will perform across the US and Canada in October 2016. She will be in Grass Valley with her band performing at The Center For The Arts on Saturday, Oct.29!


Her sound is hailed world-wide as haunting, hypnotic, healing and majestic, and it has topped World Music Charts including iTunes at #1 and Billboard Music at #3. Her voice communicates with so much humanity. Simrit was born into a lineage of beloved Greek women singers, going all the way through her great-grandmother. Simrit was born in Athens, Greece to a 17 year old singer who wasn’t able to take care of children at that time in her life. When she was just over a year old, she was adopted into the United States and raised in South Carolina by another Greek family.

She was steeped and studied in the mystical Byzantine music of Greece from a very young age, and she was also influenced by the classical and folk music of Greece. She also grew up expanded by the swirling sounds of Nana Mouskouri, Glykeria, Singh Kaur, Led Zeppelin, Mazzy Star, The Grateful Dead, Bob Marley, Jeff Buckley, Loreena McKennitt, the devotional music of India and Africa, and many others.

As a child Simrit was joined and raised with a brother with special needs who was also adopted from a different family in Greece. With her unique upbringing with no one in her family that was blood related, Simrit learned at an early age that connection is incredibly deep and profound through the heart and soul of sound. Her voice has been what she has always experienced as her true connection to herself and others. Her energy and music have a way of deeply touching people, understanding them, and bringing them with her into the unapologetic realm of the soul.

Simrit is an independent artist who runs her own record label, Simrit Kaur Music. She is a Renaissance woman who is known for her revolutionary innovation in mantra and world music and her undeniable ability to transmit a potent level of humanity, healing and pure love through her sound.

“The Revolution is the courage to be who we really are…to speak our truth in the midst of fear…to be authentic, no matter what people may think or say. It is the strength to walk alone knowing we are not alone, and it is the strength to walk together into the unknown” – Simrit

As listeners describe her music as otherworldly, Simrit is known for her profound relationship with melody and rhythm, and she continues to inspire an authentic and fresh experience through her albums and her live concerts. By simply existing within her natural relationship to music, she enchants the listener into a world of wonder and mystery. Simrit’s music brings the depth of the sacred and ancient to the modern, and her timeless sound deeply weaves the listener into what many have described as an altered state of consciousness while simultaneously bringing them into the depths of their own healing and humanity.

Simrit is a student, practitioner and teacher of Kundalini and Naad Yoga (the sciences of sound and consciousness). Her yoga of the voice and sound course, ‘The Supreme Sound’, has been highly acclaimed worldwide. She records, composes and produces music, and tours with her band giving concerts and workshops across the globe.


Ground breaking cellist, Shannon Hayden, began playing cello at the age of 7 and over the next several years she studied and competed both nationally and internationally. Her playing attracted the attention of acclaimed cellists Janos Starker and Aldo Parisot, who invited her to enroll in the Yale School of Music at 18 to begin graduate studies. While there she concentrated primarily on 20th century music and had the opportunity to work with contemporary composers Ezra Laderman and David Lang. Interest in furthering the range and the future role of her instrument continued and even eclipsed her interest in traditional cello works. Reluctant to accept offers from recognized and established groups after graduation Shannon released her second album, Solid State Cello, combining both classical and pop elements.

Shannon Hayden’s third album, to be released in 2015, walks a thin line between avant experimental and more accessible themes. Her sound has been described as an emotionally charged journey through surreal, sonic landscapes. She performs her own compositions around the world while also providing multi-instrumental work for the Asthmatic Kitty Records artist Lily and Madeleine.

“Doing what is expected isn’t something everyone does well. Following years of classical training at the highest level, Shannon Hayden’s very non traditional interpretation of cello performance is an example of why that is a good thing. Running her instrument through more electronic gear and amplification than some metal band with a stolen credit card probably wasn’t something anyone back at the conservatory had in mind, though it really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise these days. Art has always found ways to embrace technology without becoming a slave to it and Shannon’s compositions owe as much to her brilliant mastery of the cello itself as they do to the latest technical innovations which greatly expand the range and complexity of the instrument. Occasional heavy outbursts of distortion with elements bordering noise punk are matched with layers of lush ambiance combining both current and traditional styles with all the virtuosity of a player redefining our expectations of maturing young prodigies. Some musicians make you feel good about where music is headed and Shannon Hayden is one of them.”

Earlier Event: October 29
Halloween Fun Day
Later Event: October 31
Safe Trick or Treat