ChantLanta began on a cold night in January 2010, at an announcement for people interested in creating a chant event to support 2 charity partners (1 local, 1 international). In 2 months, a small group of dedicated people brought the idea into reality.
The first ChantLanta featured 5 local or regional bands, a yoga class, free dinner, and a silent auction. At the time, Atlanta’s chant community was very small. The first Chantlanta brought 150 people to the First Existentialist Church, many of them brand new to mantra and kirtan.
Over the years, many people and volunteers have continued the vision of a chant event open to all humans, in the spirit of seva. Of the original organizers, Ian Boccio and Karen Dorfman remain on the committee. ChantLanta proceeds have been donated to various causes.
Along the way, Chantlanta has been the single largest catalyst of one of the most diverse and thriving chant communities in the US. Atlanta has been home to over a dozen kirtan bands, most of which formed out of people’s inspiration from the festival.
Chantlanta remains singularly unique in its mix of supporting charity and building community. The organizers maintain their commitment to a space that is accessible, open, and transformational.
Join us at the most unique chant festival in the US!
Ian Boccio, Festival Director
Ian has been engaged in musical explorations for more than 30 years, as a bass guitarist, singer, recording engineer, and music producer. He discovered the power of mantra and sacred sound in 2005 and has since dedicated his life to spreading this knowledge and facilitating transformational experiences through chanting.
Music & Workshop Coordinator
When you meet Karen she might ask you what makes your heart sing. Her joys are dancing, exploring, and spending time in nature with her dog. She is a massage therapist of 23 years, a yoga teacher, retreat leader, and creative planner. She has found grace and gratitude from her life experiences and is inspired by all the fabulous people she meets along the way!
Christine Peck, Volunteer Coordinator
Christine was introduced to kirtan in 2009. She had no idea what the words she was hearing meant or even how to pronounce most of them, but she knew how kirtan made her feel, and that was enough. She attended the first Chantlanta in 2010 and in 2011 she joined the organizing committee, serving as a Volunteer Coordinator since 2013. Christine practices both yoga and Reiki, and loves animals, chocolate and visiting Arabia Mountain and other beautiful places around Atlanta every chance she gets.
Andrea Perez, Volunteer Coordinator
Andrea has been a teacher for 15 years and has studied abroad in Spain. She is also a health coach and practices aromatherapy. Healing through music has been one of her top priorities and she is proud to assist a community that promotes healing through bhakti yoga. She joined the ChantLanta organizers in 2012.
Don Martin, Auction Coordinator
Don is a native Atlantan who has been a spiritual counselor and teacher for over 30 years. He is currently the CEO of Aquarius Media Network, which publishes Aquarius Magazine and website. He is the founding member of two kirtan bands, the Adi Shakti Tribe and Narayani.
Dan Lentine, Food Coordinator
Dan has been on the Chantlanta organizing committee since 2016. He is a dedicated yogi, devotee of Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaji-ji), and student of Ram Dass. When he is not in Maui with his teacher, he is scheming ways to get there. Dan works at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a policy analyst and is raising two beautiful teenage daughters.
Quinton Johnson, Merch Coordinator
Quinton is a Singer/Songwriter, Percussionist, and Eco-conscious Entrepreneur who loves to travel, be in nature, and create art with others. His spiritual journey has blossomed much like the lotus, surfacing through the muck and mire of religious doctrines and fear-based methodology. A purging of force-fed programming brought him to a place where the light could be recognized in everything. He soon realized Source was all around and in each of us. This journey continues to amaze and lead to new and exciting opportunities where collaboration and participation have brought some of the greatest joy. Being a part of the Chantlanta team means a lot and he's excited to be of service.
Margo Gomes, Vendor Market Coordinator
Margo is a vibrational sound therapist who utilizes a powerful healing practice in which a variety of Himalayan singing bowls are placed directly on and around the body to induce profound relaxation and to bring mind and body back into a state of health and wholeness. She also facilitates sound experiences in the yoga and meditation community. In addition, Margo is a Thai bodywork practitioner, yoga instructor, and avid kirtan lover who is passionate about using all of these modalities to help to bring balance and harmony into the lives of others.
This is the original ChantLanta mission statement from 2010. It's still true:
It is with great joy and love that we put forth the intentions for the ChantLanta Sacred Music Festival. This multi-day spiritual event seeks to serve those in need, to share in community with neighbors both near and far, and to engage in heart-opening and transformative spiritual practice together. We also wish to affirm our commitment to the spiritual community, in order to create opportunities for all spiritual seekers to share in the practices of love and devotion.
Importantly, we want to help deserving charities raise money, yet keep the event inexpensive and accessible for everyone. ChantLanta accepts donations for both Atlanta-based and international charity partners, providing a means for attendees to give back to both the local and global communities as a form of seva (service).
Bhakti yoga, the tradition from which kirtan comes, may be thought of as the yoga of the heart or the yoga of divine love. It is often called the yoga of devotion. The Sanskrit root also translates as "to share in" or "to belong to," so bhakti yoga can also be described as a path of participation. Kirtan and ChantLanta both embody this concept perfectly. Call and response singing blurs the line between performers and spectators, uniting all in loving consciousness. We connect not only with each other and our immediate community, but the greater spiritual community: family, neighbors, teachers, students, and ultimately, our planet.
Throughout all the planning of these events, we focus on the importance of fostering interaction among the many spiritual communities around the southeastern US. You may hear some mantras more than once, yet you'll experience many ways to express the same sentiment. Likewise, as a larger community, we encompass a variety of perspectives, lifestyles, and practices, yet we also overlap more than we may notice. It is our hope and our intention that you have an abundance of opportunities to bring more love and light into our greater community, both today and onward.