Suzanne is an ecstatic vocalist, innovative composer, teacher and invoker of the sacred. Both as a performing and recording artist, as well as a facilitator of transformational workshops and intensives for many years, Suzanne has received critical acclaim.
Called a contemporary “musical priestess”, she creates sacred and participatory ceremonies for large gatherings and festivals worldwide. As a voice for joyful and sustainable activism she has created trainings and curriculums for numerous communities, is co-creator of Off the Mat, Into the World® programs and co-founder of “Bare Witness” Humanitarian Tours.
Suzanne’s musical explorations in the realm of electronic dance music, devotional chanting and songs of the ecstatic soul have brought her to the forefront of the “kirtronica” sound (Conscious Dancer magazine named her a “kirtronica pioneer”) and have led her to enjoy mainstage billing at festivals such as Earthdance, Harmony Festival, Burning Man, Power to the Peaceful and The World Festival of Sacred Music (hosted by the Dalai Lama). Suzanne has performed and toured internationally both solo as well as with well-known electronic dance act Medicine Drum, innovative electronic dance act Alcyone (System Recordings NY) and acoustic trio Kali’s Angels.
Her music has been commissioned for film, theatre, and DVD, including “Gifting It,” an award winning documentary film about the Burning Man Festival, and the bestselling, award winning “Vinyasa Flow Yoga I and II with Seane Corn” produced by Gaiam Inc. She also created the soundtrack for a postnatal Yoga DVD entitled “YogaBonding” and appears in the DVD “Yoga from the Heart” with Seane Corn and produced by Yoga Journal.
Her latest performances are a thoroughly modern exploration of devotional music and have been known to have an audience on their feet in a matter of minutes. She has been called a soulful and groove-loving musical priestess – refining and reinventing the ancient traditions of ecstatic prayer through the voice. Her first solo album “Bhakti” reached #1 on the New Age radio playlists and she was chosen as “Best Spiritual Artist” in the 2008 Norbay Awards sponsored by the North Bay Guardian. Her latest album “Blue Fire Soul” (produced by Christopher K) is an album created specifically for yoga classes and will be available soon.
As well as performing, she facilitates retreats and workshops in the U.S. and abroad, and brings a special blend of music, yoga, sacred ceremony and activism to events as far reaching as yoga retreats, emerging culture conferences, and music festivals – most recently as featured artist and teacher at several Yoga Journal Conferences, The Esalen Institute, The Omega Institute, The Global Sound Conference, and Exhale Center for Sacred Movement. Suzanne has also been a ritual designer and priestess for many years and has developed curriculums, teacher trainings and apprenticeship programs for numerous communities nationwide. She offers year long apprenticeships in Ritual Skills in both SF and LA and is part of the faculty for YogaWorks’ internationally respected Teacher Training Programs in both SF and New York.
At the 2006 Shift in Action Conference sponsored by The Institute of Noetic Sciences she was a featured facilitator and “weaver” of sacred ritual, and at Earthdance 2005, Suzanne led the worlds largest Spiral Dance Ritual for 5000 people. Suzanne is also the voice for Earthdance’s celebrated “Prayer for Peace” which is simultaneously broadcast to over 250 cities in 50 different countries each year.
In 2007, with the support of Julia Butterfly Hill and the Engage Network, Seane Corn, Suzanne, and Hala Khouri, formed “Off the Mat, Into the World®”, a national leadership training program designed to help participants find their own unique purpose through yoga, meditation and self-exploration exercises, as well as provide them with the organizational skills necessary to activate that purpose through local outreach and service oriented projects. This effort is designed to initiate social circles of change in local communities nationwide.
She is also a co-catalyst of the “Bare Witness” Humanitarian Tours, which challenges the yoga community to raise significant funds to participate in third world service related trips designed to raise money, leave a legacy of change, and educate people about the injustices happening to our children worldwide. In it’s first year, the “Bare Witness” campaign raised over half a million dollars for the Cambodian Children’s Fund and the very first Humanitarian Tour saw Seane and Suzanne leading 20 participants on a Seva and Leadership trip to Phnom Pen, Cambodia.
Suzanne began her training as an actress and dancer at the early age of 10, attending theatre school and performing in New York and Rhode Island. After moving to California she was fortunate to attend an award winning alternative school where she studied philosophy and subatomic physics, alchemy, world religions, shamanic traditions, systems design, the nature of consciousness and expressive arts. This led to her many years as a student of occult and earth based traditions (including teaching in the Reclaiming Tradition for over 18 years) as well as basic and innovative therapeutic modalities and the foundations of sacred activism. She also continued working as a performer, gathering a B.A. in Theatre Arts and a minor in dance from San Francisco State University and was inspired to create her own dance theatre company “Imagica Dance Theatre”. In 1995 that company created an award winning performance entitled “Facing Aids” which toured the entire west coast and was critically acclaimed. She has studied with such esteemed teachers as Charles Bush, Ed Mock, Alonzo King, Judith Lasater, Maty Ezraty and Chuck Miller, Starhawk, Mona Miller and many more.
She lives in community in both LA and SF and is committed to a passionate exploration of truth telling, joyful purpose, finding and expressing one’s unique voice and crafting creative technologies for change, awakening and sacred service.
Suzanne Sterling Music
For more music by Suzanne Sterling visit the Music page.