Krishna Das

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Krishna Das (born on 31 May 1947) is an American Vocalist and his real name is Jeffrey Kagel. He is widely known for his performance of Kirtan (Hindu Devotional Music). Since 1996, he has released seventeen albums. His album Live Ananda (2012) was nominated for the 2013 Grammy Award for Best New Age Album. The New York Times has described him as “the chant master of American Yoga”. He performed at the Grammy Awards ceremony as well. At the Grammys, he was referred to as “the Rockstar of Yoga”.


kd Krishna Das
Krishna Das 9

Jeff Kagel was a student of State University of New York at Stony Brook when he was the band’s lead singer of a rock band for a brief time. It was a small group of school and college students on Long Island in June 1967 which would eventually become Blue Oyster Cult and later, he quit.

He traveled to India in August 1970. Under the spiritual teachings of Ram Das, he became a devotee of the Hindu guru Neem Karoli Baba (Maharaj-ji). Consequently, he started to use the name “Krishna Das” given by his guru.

Krishna Das’s Discography

1996: One Track Heart
1998: Pilgrim Heart
2000: Live… on Earth
2001: Breath of the Heart
2001: Pilgrim of the Heart
2003: Door of Faith
2004: Greatest Hits of the Kali Yuga
2005: All One
2007: Gathering in the Light with Baird Hersey & Prana
2007: Flow of Grace: Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa
2008: Heart Full of Soul
2010: Heart as Wide as the World
2012: Live Ananda
2014: Kirtan Wallah
2015: Laughing at the Moon
2017: Trust in the Heart
2018: Peace of My Heart

Krishna Das, the Devotional Singer

Krishna Das Live at Soulshine Bali Krishna Das
Krishna Das 10

Krishna Das released his album Kirtan Wallah in April 2014 under his own label Krishna Das Music. Krishna Das helped to form the Kirtan Wallah Foundation in 2014 in dedication to spread the teachings of his spiritual teacher, Neem Karoli Baba.

Krishna Das worked with many other artists. In two of his albums, Hans Christian as a multi-instrumentalist and Gordon Matthew Thomas Summer (Sting) appears in the album Pilgrim Heart.

He even worked on an album called “Gathering in the Light” with Baird Hersey & Prana, a group combining Western music and overtone singing. Walter Becker of Steely Dan plays bass guitar on and co-produced All One (2010). It also features Rick Allen of Def Leppard on drums and Steve Gorn on Flute. In several albums, Ty Burhoe plays Tabla and Breath of the Heart is produced by Rick Rubin.

krishnadas Krishna Das
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His other appearances include Open to the Infinite: Live at the Inner Directions Gathering (video), with Ram Dass, Bertram Salzman, Matthew Greenblatt. Inner Directions, 1999.


A documentary was made on Krishna Das’s life called One Track Heart: The Story of Krishna Das and directed by filmmaker Jeremy Frindel. It highlights interviews with Krishna Das and others, commenting on his life and spiritual quest. This documentary was picked up by distributor Zeitgeist Films for US distribution in late 2012 which came out in the US in May 2013. The soundtrack was tracked by Krishna Das and the film score was by J Mascis and Devdas.


Flow of Grace: Chanting the Hanuman Chalisa. Sounds True, 2007. 100 pages.

Chants of a Lifetime: Searching for a Heart of Gold, by Krishna Das. Hay House, Inc, 2010. Memoir.

Money Laundering

Krishna Das was pled guilty to a federal charge of money laundering in 2002. Due to this, he was sentenced to three years probation and six months’ house arrest. The singer recounted in a 2013 interview how he had introduced some old friends who imported hashish to a banker. Regarding this matter, he was contacted by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding the matter many years later. Krishna Das described the experience as “one of the most liberating experiences of my life… I don’t have to keep any secrets anymore”.

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