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Guest Name
Johanna Beekman
Johanna Beekman
Guest Occupation
Singer, Songwriter, Vocalist
Guest Biography

Johanna Beekman is one of a kind. Whether she’s leading a kirtan, performing original music at a concert or festival, or guiding students through a Lullaby Yoga session, she warms hearts with her soulful music and her soaring spirit. Her velvety voice, her creative interpretations of music from various world traditions, her gorgeous original songs, and her open-hearted presence come together to create unforgettable musical experiences.

Johanna wrote her first song when she was 9 and did her first solo performance at 10—a benefit for a children’s charity in which she performed John Lennon’s Imagine. By the time she was 20 she had performed in clubs, coffee houses, colleges, benefit concerts, rallies, festivals, musical theatre, rock and world-beat bands, gospel and women’s community choirs, improvisational acting and singing troupes, and films.

Johanna’s songwriting knows no stylistic boundaries. Her catalog includes heart-opening folk-pop songs, gospel hymns, a cappella anthems, classic soul songs, and jazz-infused love ballads. And these songs haven’t gone unnoticed. One of them, Free to Decide (Breathe), has been performed by several choirs and a cappella groups across the United States and Canada.

But for the last few years she’s been focused mostly on creating original kirtan—sacred music from the traditions of yoga. Many of her kirtan compositions interweave mantras and chants from other cultures with their English translations. Some are unison meditations, some are ecstatic call-and-response jams, and all are paths to a deeper awareness of Source.

In recent years Johanna has been a featured artist and/or singing yoga instructor at major yoga and music festivals across North America. She has collaborated with world-renown musicians and yoga teachers. When she’s not touring she spends time in Oregon doing yoga, singing, and giving back to her community.

Johanna loves singing for yoga classes, including Lullaby Yoga—her one-of-a-kind blend of music and restorative/yin yoga. In Lullaby Yoga, Johanna gently guides participants through a series of relaxing poses while singing and playing soothing songs and chants to them. The music facilitates the process of letting go by providing a luxurious, peaceful space for the mind to rest while the body relaxes, rebalances, and restores itself.

Johanna also provides music for RhythmAsana, a unique, joyous blend of yoga, movement meditation, dance, and global rhythms. For RhythmAsana events, the band’s engaging blend of Johanna originals and traditional music from around the world inspires inner and outer movement.

In 2016 Johanna released Heart Beats One, her fourth CD and her first-ever album of original kirtan music. The album, two years in the making, is a critically-acclaimed collection of Johanna’s soulful and strikingly original interpretations of sacred chants. It features guest appearances by Ben Leinbach, Hans Christian, Benjy Wertheimer, Jaya Lakshmi, Ananda, Gina Sala, Daniel Paul, and other esteemed members of the global kirtan community.

While she was completing her year-long Heart Beats One tour Johanna embarked on a new recording project: a collection of soothing songs for the soul in the spirit of Lullaby Yoga. Working with award-winning producer Ben Leinbach and a handful of gifted sacred music players, she created Beyond Love, an intimate and serene musical experience.

Johanna’s singing has always had a soulful, gospel-like quality. During her teenage years she sang in a gospel choir let by Reverend Isaiah Jones (who toured with the Fifth Dimension before becoming a minister). Mantra Soul, her followup to Beyond Love, bridges the worlds of Eastern kirtan and Western gospel with an irresistible collection of upbeat songs and chants.

During the pandemic Johanna explored a variety of ways to share her practice with others via the Internet. She developed and offered a series of Lullaby Yoga videos and a one-on-one online version of her Free Your Soul’s Voice playshop. She created and hosted One Heart TV, a series of insightful and inspiring interviews with many well-respected members of the yoga and kirtan communities. She made guest Zoom appearances on online programs and virtual church services. And she taught a variety of internet-only classes.

Early in the pandemic she discovered a mantra for healing by a beloved Indian teacher. With his blessings, she transformed that mantra into a beautiful, powerful chant: Mantra Shagha: Health and Healing. She recruited many of the best known and loved kirtan artists in the West to record the chant and make a remarkable music video. Everyone donated their time so that all of the proceeds from sale of the recording could go to support children in Nepal.

Johanna continues to explore new musical avenues in the studio and on the road. Her more recent work includes Heart Beats One: Feel the Heartbeat, an all-English version of her popular song; an electronic remix by Equanimous of her transcendental Om Shanti chant; collaborative singles with Joss Jaffe and with Mikey Palker; and Yoga Soundtrack, Volume 2, a meditative collaboration with long-time producer Ben Leinbach.

Johanna continues to perform and teach at festivals, studios, churches, and other venues across the country. But she’s also become more involved in making those events happen, co-producing Bhakti Love and helping coordinate other festivals. She and Sherrie Howard recently launched their first-ever week-long Sacred Chant and Yoga Retreat in Costa Rica. And Johanna recently became a voting member of the Recording Academy, producers of the Grammy Awards.

As Johanna’s journey continues, her music and her spirit reach more people around the planet. We’re all on this journey together, and our hearts beat as one.