Friday, 9 January 2009
Snatam Kaur, born 1972 in Trinidad, Colorado, is an American singer and songwriter. She performs Sikh devotional music called kirtan and has toured around the world as a peace activist. She currently lives in Española, New Mexico with her partner Sopurkh Singh Khalsa. Kaur's family moved to California when she was was two, living in Long Beach and Sacramento. When Kaur was six, the family went to India where her mother studied Kirtan. Kaur lived on a ranch near Bolinas, California as an adolescent, playing kirtan with her mother in Sikh temples and attending Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley. While at Tam High, she played violin in the school orchestra and began songwriting. Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead coached her and her classmates before they performed her song Saving the Earth at an Earth Day concert in San Francisco. Snatam was also active in social and environmental causes while in high school, serving as president of the Social Action Club, which started a campus recycling program and organized environmenal awareness programs. The Club also led the effort to change the school mascot and sports team names from the Indians to the Red Tailed Hawk in 1990 and 1991. After graduating she attended Mills College in Oakland, California, receiving a bachelors degree in biochemistry. She then returned to India, to study Kirtan under her mother's teacher, Bhai Hari Singh. In 1997, Kaur began a career as a food technologist with Peace Cereals in Eugene, Oregon which is a company started by followers of the Sikh Dharma that donates 10% of its profits to peace causes. Snatam Kaur was nominated for a Grammy Award for her album Shanti(2004) in the new age category.