Author

Keith Bio

Keith’s article “Why (& how) does yoga help lower back pain?”

Keith’s article “Why do we need gurus & saints?”

Keith’s article “Use it or lose it: Staying active into your golden years.”

I have 5 books out, that will help you go to the next level when it comes to playing the harmonium. The Ulimate Riyaaz book Series and The ulitmate book of sargam patterns. These are great books for after you have mastered the Harmonium workbook. Check them out on Amazon.com. You can order them along with the Harmonium workbook, if you wish.

I had the blessing of teaching harmonium classes at “Jai Uttal’s Kirtan Camp 2012, 2013, & this year in 2016”

I live in NYC and work as a fulltime FDNY firefighter. Kirtan has saved my life and has connected me to the Divine. Kirtan is so powerful, its beyond words. Loving awareness is at your finger tips with kirtan.

My influences in kirtan/eastern music are Jai Uttal, Krishna Das, Bhagavan Das, Anjula Prasad, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Pandit.Jasraj,Pandit Bhimsen Joshi, Ustad Amir Khan & Ustad Rashid Khan.

I am the founder & member of the Kirtan group called “The Kirtan Clan” & the FB Group that keeps you up to date with kirtans in NYC called “New York Yogis”.

This would have not been possible if it wasn’t for the Divine grace that has brought us all together through Yoga.
I have to say that I know that not everyone here grew up in a Hindu household or playing the piano as a child. At least I know, I didn’t. All I know is how much I love kirtan & playing the harmonium. It was love at first sight for me. I wanted to learn how to play so badly but it was very difficult finding someone that could teach me. Some people that I asked about taking lessons wanted to charge a lot of money & I really couldn’t afford it. But that didn’t stop me! My heart was yearning for it. Luckily I met three greatly devoted harmonium teachers. Shyama taught me the western style of playing. My Hindustani music teachers. Deepok Raman taught me the eastern Indian style of playing the harmonium. Uncle G is my north Indian harmonium teacher. I was very blessed to have had God bring them into my life. Another big influence in my life is Jai Uttal. Jai really opened the doors of the heavens to me. This brought me to a place where I can express my love of God, through the harmonium and my voice.

Through this journey I have been blessed to have met such amazing & loving people. I also realized how many people have the same passion as I do, in wanting to learn the basics of playing the harmonium & chanting the holy names of God.

That motivated me to try & figure out a way of putting this all together. I tried to put this together in a way that no matter who you are and where you live that you can indeed learn how to play the harmonium. Especially if there is no formal way of learning from someone in person. I combined the eastern and western methods of playing the harmonium & have written it in a way that you can learn from. Even if it’s just a chant that you connect with. I hope that this book helps you achieve your harmonium playing goals. I put my heart and soul into this. Thank you for giving me this opportunity of sharing my love and passion of kirtan with you.
Jai Ma!
Hanumanji (Keith Villanueva)

The RiverFund NY documentary interview

Krishna Das Music presents: The Making of ‘Kirtan Wallah’
It was a blessing & an honor to have been part of this. Jai Ma!

“Amazing Grace raining down on me” Chant by Keith

You see me at 00:42 seconds. I am the 2nd Firefighter running

Hanuman the movie 3D!!