Sometimes I wonder when I made the choice to sing? Could it have been before I was conceived? I was birthed from the womb of a singer, whose mother before her was a singer, and my father is a jazz musician. My earliest memories are wrapped in sounds and songs… being carried in the backpack by my dad as he practiced his saxophone for hours. Lying on the floor of the church as my mom conducted church choir rehearsals literally bathing in the vibrations of the music through the floor.
I sang in front of people from age 5 onwards and as a young woman I decided to pursue a classical singing career. After a period of study, it became clear that I was uninspired. Writing music and singing music that really moved me had me involved in many collaborative artistic experiences in Santa Cruz where I felt I was more engaged with my music. I sang with 2 different a capella groups there; Sirenz and Dis Moi, toured the Pacific Northwest a couple of times, recorded 2 albums, wrote music and performed live for our local aerial dance artists, and participated in experimental art.
It was in my late 20’s when my love of holistic health and music collided, and I discovered the realm of sound healing. I felt like I’d struck gold, and began to study for many years under the instruction of Silvia Nakkach and her Vox Mundi School. Eventually this path encouraged me to explore Kirtan, the beautiful expression of call and response singing while invoking “the Holy names” or as I like to think of them, divine rays of consciousness that all have their particular flavor and energy. Hence the last 2 years of my musical journey have been exploring this path, writing Kirtan chants and sharing them!
Ashland,OR based Samantha Keller is a vocalist, vocal instructor, Kirtan leader and faculty at Kirtan Leader Institute. She offers positive and fun voice lessons in person and virtually via FaceTime, Skype, and Zoom. In addition to private sessions, Samantha offers inspiring workshops that guide students to their deepest expression which they can then share with the world. Her vocal workshops are playful, loving, and sacred.
Samantha is a passionate stand for helping students find and express their authentic voice and tap into their creative potential. She has been described as encouraging, warm, caring, and one of her students recently described Samantha as a “midwife for her voice”. She is skilled at calibrating what she gives her students based on extensive experience and heightened sensitivity. Samantha has a well-honed sense of what’s too much and what’s not enough.
A life-long performer, the last 2 years Samantha has shared the stage with Kirtan luminaries such as Mike Cohen, Tim Jordan, Katie Wise, Ganesha Das and Kat MacMillan. Samantha loves collaborating with other Kirtan artists. She recently performed at Bhakti Fest and Bhakti Village and sings regularly at Jackson Wellsprings. Samantha was featured on Mike Cohen’s 2016 release titled Illumination, and has joined him in the studio for his forthcoming album.
Samantha studied with Silvia Nakkach and the Vox Mundi School for 7 years. In 2008 she received a sound healing certification through C.I.I.S in San Francisco, CA.
In an earlier musical incarnation, Samantha performed at EarthDance, Beloved, BaliSpirit, and the Whole Earth Festival with her a cappella groups Sirenz and Dis Moi. Her bands toured the Pacific North West, recorded 2 self-titled albums and performed regularly in the Santa Cruz and greater Bay Area.
In her youth, Samantha acquired extensive Western classical training with her mother, Cheryl Keller Brooks, as well as other teachers. She sang with Vocal Motion - a professional a Capella group connected with Oakland Youth Chorus - and shared the stage, and studied, with Bobby McFerrin’s Voicestra.