Paul Avgerinos is one of the “Giants of New Age Ambience” according to the writers at All Music Guide. BHAKTI, his 21st album, celebrates East and West with Avgerinos’ compositions performed by an impressive list of top talent on classical Eastern and Western instruments mixed with Bollywood beats and uplifting vocals; Avgerinos himself sings and directs sound design, as well as performing on keyboards and bass, nylon, steel, 12-string, and echo slide guitars. Members of The Recording Academy embraced the popular album with a Grammy® nomination for Best New Age Album for the 57th Grammy Awards®, to be held on Feb. 8 at Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA, and broadcast live on television by CBS. “The Grammy® nomination for BHAKTI honors the spirit of love and devotion; this is a victory of the heart, a celebration of the goodness within all of us,” Avgerinos said, expressing immense gratitude for the nomination from his Redding, CT-based Studio Unicorn, which is also home to his independent record label, Round Sky Music.
An established artist with 21 albums to his name, Avgerinos rarely seeks the spotlight, preferring a quiet life composing, producing and licensing not only his music, but artists in every genre. However, upon completion of BHAKTI, the album so captured his appreciation for uniting Eastern and Western beliefs and music that he felt a calling to share it with an audience beyond his own fan list; before long, his peers were suggesting that he submit it for Grammy® consideration. Bhakti is a Sanskrit word meaning love and devotion, and indeed this album may be one of Avgerinos’ most joyful and uplifting projects to date.
A review by Russill Paul, musician and author of The Yoga of Sound & Jesus in The Lotus, deftly pinpoints the album’s subtle achievement when he writes “Veteran New Age composer, Paul Avgerinos, blends his consummate skills, not just musically, but also spiritually, to produce Bhakti. His connection to Christianity and Yoga shine together in a way that neither tradition outshines the other in his devotion, setting a model for the inter-spiritual future we may all embrace one day.”
Where does such a vision begin? Brought up in the Greek Orthodox Church, Avgerinos became a student of the Bhakti yoga guru Sri Chinmoy from India when he was 16. Since then, he has practiced yoga, meditation, chanting and devotional singing while also being active in a small Christian church near his home, singing and praying there. Enjoying both paths, he was increasingly inspired to blend the most personally-meaningful aspects of Bhakti yoga and Christianity together in a harmony of pure divine love, presenting a new sound, one of devotion and joy that is accessible to a wide audience.