No Comments 08 May 2012


Like mysterious, oceanic breezes blowing across the desert, HAMSA LILA is emerging for a rare, potent mini Northwest tour of special hand-picked rooms and dates. The group will be digging deeper than ever, down into its ancient trance funk roots, the origins of their musical influences. Plumbing far into spiritual realms, Hamsa Lila will be taking audiences on a journey to new worlds via ancient rhythms and timeless chants, while rolling out its very unique brand of deep and extended ‘healing music’ grooves, sure to leave everyone hot, sweaty, and smiling.

Starting off the tour with a double-header in Portland, the band will be highlighting a couple of music festivals nestled amid lush forests and lakes, then blessing up the greater Bay Area with two smaller club dates, before launching into its Grand Finale at the Great American Music Hall in San Francisco.

We highly suggest grabbing tickets for the club dates early, before word hits the street! These are strictly limited capacity rooms!

For those joining us for both nights in Portland there is a limited number of deep discounted tickets for you!!! click

Stay tuned for soon-to-come updates!


TWO NIGHTS in Portland – bumping tour kickoff!
July 17 & 18 / Tue & Wed
Portland, Oregon • Mt. Tabor Theater
Tickets $18/$22 & just $26! for limited # for both nights
Tix avail online:
Doors: 8:30pm Show 9:15pm

July 19 -22 / Thur – Sun (exact showtime TBA)
String Cheese Incident’s Summer Camp at Hornings Hideout, Oregon
This is an amazing historical festival String Cheese Incident puts on that Hamsa Lila has played several times, including the very first one. If you have tix already we’ll see you there! If not, there are 2 shows in Portland for you to come to!

July 22 / Sunday
Mystic Garden Festival • Selmac Lake, Oregon
Festival Tickets: $90-$110
Tix avail online – USE OUR SPECIAL HAMSA LINK AND GET $10 OFF>>>
These beautiful festival grounds are host to this super good times musical celebration from
Thur – Mon, with other acts such as Dehli2Dublin, Rupah and the April Fishes, Chris Berry, Gaudi, Cheb i Sabbah and many more.

July 26 / Thur
Sebastapol, California • HopMonk
Tickets $16/$20
Tix avail online:
Doors: 9pm Show 9:45pm

July 27 / Fri
Santa Cruz, California • Moe’s Alley
Tickets $16/$20
Tix avail online:
Doors: 8pm Show 9pm


July 28 / Saturday

San Francisco, California • Great American Music Hall

Tickets $20/$25
Tix avail online:
Doors: 8pm Show 9pm


ORIGINS 2012, sponsored by NUTIVA Organic Superfoods, a company deeply involved in educating the public about the current GMO labeling issue. The tour will feature LIVE DUB MIXING by talented producer and slamming bassist YOSSI FINE, as well as guest Yoruba vocalist WUNMI (London/NYC), and drummer BILLY SHOES JOHNSON (Santana, MC Hammer).

Digging down into their traditional and cultural origins. the band will also be bringing in to their sets a fresh sound, utilizing the talented YOSSI FINE for Live Dub Mixing on the tour. A bass virtuoso (playing with legends like DAVID BOWIE & LOU REED), Yossi also is an accomplished producer who recently did an album with Mali guitarist VIEUX FARKE TOURE, son of legendary ALI FARKE TOURE. Yossi defined the band’s sound, producing HAMSA LILA’s first studio album GATHERING ONE, which went to the top of both the CMJ national chart and Canada’s Chart Attack World Music categories in 2005. HAMSA LILA’s music broke new ground, using a plethora of traditional instruments like the Moroccan bass-like sintir, the harp-like kamel ngoni from Mail, and the gangan, a Yoruba talking drum (to name just a few) along with hypnotic drum grooves, infectious vocal melodies and traditionally-based songs and chants in a modern format, accented with dub effects and electronic tweaks.

HAMSA LILA, known for its marathon trance-inducing sets, is excited to be working with their featured guest vocalist WUNMI, a Yoruba singer based in London and NYC, who is likened to “a female FELA KUTI” and also appeared on the Fela tribute album “RED HOT & RIOT.”

The ORIGINS 2012 TOUR and line up highlights the band’s full embrace of roots music. The resonance of the sintir, the guimbri (a N. African skinned lute), kamel ngoni, and organic percussion, woven with polyrhythmic grooves, creates an aural tapestry at the core of the HAMSA LILA signature sound. With the deep love for bass in modern music, HAMSA LILA brings forward the origins of bass in the three aforementioned stringed instruments, giving people a sense of the ancient – yet in a contemporary context: one that can also be termed as ‘trance’ music, but not in the electronic genre sense of the word. HAMSA LILA is connected directly to the original trance traditions found throughout the African diaspora, often associated with healing practices and spiritual ceremonies.
“At our shows, everyone – the band included – gets to fully experience the original meaning of the word ‘trance,’ says core band member MJ Greenmountain. “There’s a definite sense of being somehow transformed through the music. It’s a mystery even to us.”

Tinariwen & Hamsa Lila & Friends VIDEOS!

Hamsa Lila & Tinariwen: 2 Night, Uncategorized

Tinariwen & Hamsa Lila & Friends VIDEOS!

No Comments 06 June 2010

As we ponder and prepare for the amazing two nights coming up in Colorado, June 23 & 24, 2010.  We spent some time on the ‘ol You Tube, we thought we would post a bunch of great vids we dug up of all the performers at the two night run we are calling WATER OF LIFE!

David Satori of BEATS ANTIQUE on Violin, Electric Saz, Slide, Beats will be sitting in with Hamsa Lila!

Jason Hann – Percussionist with String Cheese Incident and Drummer with EOTO is also going to be a guest of HAMSA LILA… enjoy a video of EOTO and SCI below


DJ JEFF STOTT (Hookah Dome of Burning Man, Six Degrees)


Photos, Uncategorized


No Comments 26 February 2010

Check out some Hamsa Lila photos albums, live, dance, posters, archives….!

Some amazing ones from Summer 2012 at Hornings Hideout!  Click Here! Thank you Brendan for them!


POWERFUL BEGINNINGS:   My Initiation with Babatunde Olatunji

MJ's Word Beat, Uncategorized

POWERFUL BEGINNINGS: My Initiation with Babatunde Olatunji

1 Comment 19 February 2010

The Master Babatunde

It all started at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California in 1990.  I was there for their traditional (in those days) 4th of July weekend celebration with Babatunde Olatunji – a Yoruban drummer and singer who is often called the ‘Godfather of African Music in America’ and known for his work with John Coltrane, Santana, and the Grateful Dead.

A roaring fire in a big stone hearth on a big wooden deck, a star-filled, clear night sky overhead, and the pounding ocean below us.  It was an epic setting for an experience that would soon change my life forever.

Olatunji’s group was set up in the corner, in front of the fire.  His group comprised mostly of African drums and vocals, and I was sitting behind the band just tapping lightly on a little conga drum, a sweaty crowd throwing down pretty hard right in front of them.  Suddenly I noticed a guy in the band, wearing a long white tunic waving towards me to come forward.  I had to look around me to make sure that he wasn’t motioning to someone else, because I couldn’t figure out why he would be trying to get MY attention.  I pointed to myself, and he nodded “yes, you!” and then motioned for me to come in.  I stood up, in a kind of tunnel vision moment, and he just stepped aside, and welcomed me to play his congas which were right up front.

In a trance-like state, I jumped on board the already fast moving train of rhythms and closed my eyes.  Immediately a conversation of beats and accents started between myself and the powerful drummer to my right.  As my head began to tilt back in a kind of bliss state, I opened my eyes for just a moment to see all the stars blinking at us.  My eyes closed again and I melted right into the music.

All at once, I was out of my body, floating above the whole scene in an ‘astral’ travel moment, and could view the dancers and musicians from overhead about 50 feet or so.  I looked up at the canopy of stars all seemingly pulsing to the music, and then looked down again at the celebration below me.  I had the sensation that the music had popped me out of my Earthly body, and my Astral body had taken over, riding on the trance rhythms.

The pulsing of the music permeated my entire being.  I was swimming in the soup of Galaxies, bathing in the celestial play of lights, planets and star systems.  As the harmonies of voices blasted me far out into the Universe, the Golden umbilical cord of the rhythm made me feel like I was home, in the middle of Space.  Each beat was like a energetic blast, propelling me further and further into unknown realms.  It was serene and glorious.  It was a timeless moment of awe – I was deep inside/outside my known ‘reality’ and didn’t have a care in the world.

I gazed down again from my hovering point above the deck party.  What an amazing thing to witness oneself engaged in an activity while being removed – I was ‘up here’ but was at the same time was ‘down there.’   I wondered at the sensation, curious at how it all worked.

But then I realized, “Oh shit!.  I am playing music, I had better be in my body fully to be able to do this right!  Afterall, I had been invited to play along and didn’t want to be the source of trainwrecking the vibe due to being out of my body!”  So I flew back down, returned fully into my body and opened my eyes.

All the while, the ‘conversation’ of beats and accents had continued with the drummer to my right.  And as I opened my eyes, I realized it was Babatunde himself, just smiling away at me.  The show finished after the next couple of numbers and I profusely thanked Babatunde and the group for letting me play with them.  After that I was high for about a month.  And I was hooked for life – on the trance of polyrhythms!

MJ Greenmountain is a central founding member of the world fusion band Hamsa Lila. He has released an album of his solo work entitled “MJ” and currently performs as a solo artist as well as with his band.  He is vocalist, multi-instrumentalist, producer, percussionist, and is also involved in the healing arts, is a writer, and a photographer.  He currently resides in Santa Cruz, California.

Hamsa Lila @ Regency Ballroom

Blog, Featured, Uncategorized

Hamsa Lila @ Regency Ballroom

No Comments 18 January 2010

Well, the event at the regency Ballroom on November 14th, 2009 was in all ways an amazing success!   We had a great turnout old family friends and fans, and lots of new ones as well.  Musically we played with some hero’s of ours including Airto Moriera who joined us on stage for the entire set!  Others included Rasaki Alodukun from King Sunny Ade’s band on talking drum, Faisel on dumbek and Climbing PoeTree bringing in some amazing voices/mc.

Others that made the evening special…

Jacob -eye

Lynx & Janover

Jeff Stott

DJ Dragonfly

the Regency Ballroom

Justin Katz

Peter Lull

Airto Moreira on stage with Hamsa Lila

Green Fest


EarthDance Network

Harmony Fest

Coconut Bliss

List all sponsors…..

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