David Newman’s greatest gift is his willingness to listen to his inner voice and open his heart to be of service to others. David guides and inspires fellow travelers on their paths, through his uplifting music and the valuable insights that he shares through his writings and teachings.
David’s life took a dramatic change in direction when after graduating law school in 1992, he decided to open a yoga center in his hometown of Philadelphia. The center, Yoga on Main, was one of the first of its kind, and created a new awareness of Yoga in his community. Shortly thereafter, David, a lifelong musician, discovered an ancient form of healing chant music known as Kirtan and began to apply his musical gifts to this powerful practice and to share it with others.
As a result of his immersion into Kirtan coupled with his long history as a songwriter, David began a new journey and in early 2003, recorded his first album entitled Soul Freedom. Two years later, a second CD followed. The album, Lotus Feet, received critical acclaim and was featured on on NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’. David’s music spread rapidly within the worldwide conscious community and caught the attention of yoga enthusiast Terry McBride, who also happened to be the founder of Nettwerk Records, Canada’s largest record label and home to such artists as Sarah Mclachlan, Barenaked Ladies and Passenger. David signed with Nettwerk in 2008. Since then David has gone on to release numerous recordings and has toured throughout the world. David, acknowledged for bridging the gap between contemporary western music and meditative mantras, has been an integral part of the spiritual or yogic music movement and is a frequent headliner in many yoga and music festivals and conferences that take place around the globe.
In addition to his heart opening music, David has touched and inspired others through his teachings on loving unconditionally, both as a way of life and as a means toward spiritual awakening. David shared his own personal story of awakening in his #1 Amazon best-selling book, The Timebound Traveler, released in 2014.
In 2015, David released Love is Awake, a collaboration with members of Paul Simon’s band. This new music expressed David’s desire to share a universal message of solidarity in heart to a wider audience through the power of song. The CD was released on April 21st and reached #1 on the iTunes World Music Charts. In 2015, David also released Acoustic Chant: Ukulele Kirtan Serenades, an intimate chant album featuring elements of Hawaiian, Appalachian, and American folk music.
In 2016, David debuted a single and animated video entitled: Peace and Love that presented a positive and healing theme connected to the US presidential election.
In addition to his music, teaching, and writing, David has devoted himself to charitable, and humanitarian causes. He launched The Stay Strong Project in 2011 in which he released two singles and videos featuring luminaries from the yoga and music community in partnership with Global Green USA. 100% of the proceeds of the singles have gone to support such environmental causes as the Gulf oil spill cleanup of 2010, and the building of green schools. David also donated a portion of the proceeds from his song Love Belongs to Everyone, from his 2012 album Stars, to the human rights organization, Witness, founded by Peter Gabriel. In 2015, David composed, recorded and released Song for Nepal to support the Seva Foundation’s Nepal Earthquake relief and rehabilitation fund. In 2016, David organized a benefit concert for the Standing Rock Dakota Pipeline resistance movement, and also partnered with Call and Response Foundation to embark on the "Love and Mantra Outreach Tour" bring mantras and healing music to addiction recovery facilities, psychiatric centers, nursing homes, institutions for autistic children, cerebral palsy, and homeless women and their children.
David’s strongest desire is to bring joy to others through his music, teachings and personal connections. He continues to express his passion and inspiration in creative and groundbreaking ways, and sees his life’s work simply as ‘spreading the love.’
David records and often travels with his wife Mira, a celebrated devotional singer, and percussionist. David and Mira live with their darling daughter, Tulsi, just outside of Philadelphia.
“Although David Newman is a writer, musician, and singer, for some reason I behold David's work as a painting. Within the simplest of frames and in the barest of rooms he hangs a painting. I've known the rich colors and shapes and I feel they know me. Attention is drawn to a pathway that leads into a long and deepening dark. I am gone. Then I realize I am also the lush and gorgeous colors and shapes. Colors, shapes, music, words: the David Newman experience is ambrosial.”
“David is reminiscent of George Harrison, Dylan and Paul Simon when they are in soul mode.”
“David Newman/Durga Das is a star in the international sub genre of chant artist or mantric musician.”
“At David Newman’s concert, the event’s volume knob seemed to go from low-level joy to full-on bliss, the kind you feel after climbing a gorgeous mountain or ending a tough run on a strong sprint.”
“Sacred chant artist David Newman (Durga Das) has a unique story of awakening. In The Timebound Traveler he relates with heartfelt authenticity how the path of bhakti, or devotion, and the way of direct self-inquiry collided and how the integration of these two seemingly disparate yet mutually dependent paths was revealed.”