The Rapidian

Jahman Brahman invites you to a night of musical healing

Inspired by the Hindu concept of Brahman and musically influenced by everything from funk to R&B to electronica, Jahman Brahman to bring a unique blend of feel-good music and evolved consciousness to the stage at Billy’s Lounge on Friday night.

Vandanta (Hindu) Understanding of Brahman

"The later Vedantic philosophers teach that the liberated being, upon realizing his or her true nature, reaches the state of existence, awareness and bliss; as such, when asked to describe Brahman anthropomorphically, philosophers use the term saccidananda even though Brahman is beyond the grasps of words. The term saccidānanda is regarded as the only possible, yet inadequate and inaccurate, term which can be used to explain Brahman.

It is said that Brahman cannot be known by empirical means — that is to say, as an object within our consciousness — because Brahman is our very consciousness. Therefore it may be said that mokshayogasamādhi,nirvana, etc. do not merely mean to know Brahman, but rather to realise one's "brahman-hood", to actually realise that one is and always was Brahman. Indeed, closely related to the Self-concept of Brahman is the idea that it is synonymous with jiva-atma, or individual selves, our atman (or Self) being readily identifiable with the greater reality (paramatma) of Brahman."

-Source: Wikipedia

/Courtesy Jahman Brahman

Ohio-bred, Asheville-dwelling band Jahman Brahman desires to bring more than just great music to Billy’s Lounge this Friday, May 23. They want to create an atmosphere of healing, understanding and love with their musical compositions – a Brahman experience.

The name Jahman Brahman derived organically from a feeling of unity the band gets when they are jamming, or “jahman,” together.

As guitarist Casey Chanatry explains, this sense of oneness is called Brahman, an important concept in the Hindu religion, and resonated with the band’s members while they attended Ohio State University together.

“We were learning about various religions and were intrigued by the concept of Brahman as the universal soul, or all is one,” Chanatry said. “[It was] a feeling we had experienced a few times while jamming together, and we wanted it to continue.”

Success is defined unconventionally by Jahman Brahman. Instead of seeing success as a sold out show, they see it as being able to reach their audience in an exceptional way.

According to drummer Rowdy Keelor, the band is trying to transplant the Brahman into the audience every night.

“Our goal is more than just giving someone a fun night of getting wasted and rubbing up against someone,” Keelor said. “I mean, we’ve had people who’ve come up to us and said that our song has helped them through a particularly hard time, and that’s as good as it gets, you know?”

Chanatry echoes the same sentiment:

"We are always trying to find new ways for people to have a deeper or even just a more fun experience at our shows. Ultimately we hope the musical vibrations created in each space are inspiring, motivating, uplifting or healing in some way...whether the music allows people to meet new friends, come up with a cool new idea for their own creative path, find a path to self-realization, or to smile...we hope to make everyone feel Brahman at some point."

“Scope Scale” is an example of a song by Jahman Brahman that many might be able to connect to, with singer and rhythm guitarist Justin Brown writing uplifting lyrics like “It’s a long, long climb/We all fall sometimes/so when you feelin’ blue, remember/It’s so much bigger than you/Look outside of yourself/that’s where you’ll find mental health/spent too much time in the mirror/It’s so much bigger than you.”

Musically, Jahman Brahman doesn't stick to one specific genre. While they fall under the umbrella of a jam band, each member contributes different influences to the band, resulting in a sound that is all their own.

In the rhythm section, Keelor’s drumming style brings a mix of classic rock rhythms with other percussive sounds, while bassist Nate Brown keeps the low-end groove with a style influenced equally by the exploration of Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh and the heavy Jazz-Funk of Victor Wooten. Keyboardist Josh Loffer provides atmospheric sounds as well as sharing solo duties with lead guitarist Chanatry.  

“For a while we described our sound as Shred 'n' Flow because a lot of the sound is very guitar based and quite shreddy in nature, but then we also love simpler funky, R&B type feels, AKA flow,” Chanatry said. “Over time we have attempted to focus less on shredding and more on the song as a whole which I think has given us a unique mix of an alt-rock type sound along with the improv jamming.”

Hailing from Ohio originally, Jahman Brahman is no stranger to playing West Michigan.

“We have had a great time in both Kzoo and Grand Rapids every time so far. There are a lot of really nice music-loving folks up there that seem to pay attention to the details of the jams,” says Chanatry. "One of the best parts of touring is getting to have a little reunion each time you go back… [so] come on down to Billy's for some uplifting musical vibration. Whether you just like to dance or you prefer music that takes you on a journey, we have a little bit for everyone.”

Show starts at 9 p.m. Pleasant Drive and That Freak Quincy open. 

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