JAMeeSHKA is a live music anomaly, weaving an eclectic blend of heart-stirring harmonies, outlandish vocal play, and creative instrumentation into multi-layered compositions and extensive theatrical improvisation. Every JAMeeSHKA show pulses with raw vocal power, positivity, and poetry on a number of subjects ranging from love, desire, and loss to invocations of personal power, devotion, and magic—but more than anything, they're a call to unity. Co-creators, James Caran and Ishka Lha, delight in producing site-specific art and music journeys for private and public events, frequently causing audiences to erupt with fervid laughter, cry with introspective reverence, and dance in ecstatic wonderment.
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James Caran was the first kid on the block to own a four-track. Before he could read, he could cut a blues album playing all the instruments himself. Today—hand him an obscure and oblong-shaped artifact, tell him it's a musical instrument, and within an hour he'll be playing it proficiently. Next week he'll be recording it to analog tape.
But James doesn't just make great music. He fosters it. He creates the circumstances wherein music happens. And he does so not simply with his own virtuosic skill, but by bringing great musicians together and letting their uniqueness enrich the groundwork he's laid—producing mixes and engineering sound in multiple different formats and environments for and with countless acts the world over. He has collaborated with some fine folks, establishments, and organizations such as The Roots, Quincy Jones, Herbie Hancock, Coldplay, Naturally Seven, Diana Ross, Michael Bublé, Taj Mahal, the Budokan, Arseneo Hall, Jay Leno, Madison Square Garden, New Orleans Jazz Festival, and The White House. And when he’s not throwin’ down for giant arenas, he’s gettin’ down in the dust on such projects and phenomena as Feed The Artists, Living Pulse, Sacred Spaces, Wagonistas, Jimmy Dies of Dysentery, ManiFest Destiny, Monticello, the DoDo, Red Lightning, and The Soundcave.
As a man of many talents—singer, composer, multi-instrumentalist, producer, director, sound engineer, technician, teacher, and creator of countless recording studios, stages, and performance venues across every continent on the globe except Antarctica and the North Pole—his role is possibly boiled down to just three words: Sound Escape Artist.
Making music has been an integral part of Ishka Lha’s healing and creative practice since she was a little girl. When she was just a wee sprite, she often sang improvised songs to her favorite animals on the family farm, and at age seven she took up piano as one of her main instruments. For several years in school, she played flute and clarinet in band and jazz band, and sang in chorus and at church. She also took on supporting and leading roles in her town's theater productions every year, starting in third grade until she graduated high school. At age twenty-one, she began composing original music and started sharing her songs in community and ceremony.
Ishka is historically known as a visual artist (a devoted catalyst and inspirator in the visionary art movement), and after she became recognized for her particular style of mystical and healing paintings, she began developing music pieces as conjuring counterparts to her visual art. After a time, her two arts became inseparable. She and her husband, James Caran, have been incorporating art and music installations into their offerings at private events and festivals for many years now, including 3-hour long A.R.T. Experiences (Arts, ritual, and transformation experiences) for community on and offline, to help spiritual seekers connect more deeply with their mystic heart.
Ishka strongly believes that music has the ability to carry us through all kinds of moments in this life—into celebration and wonder, through pain and suffering, and beyond the beyond—it is one of her deepest desires to help bring us through all these riches with a melody on our lips and a song in our heart—in harmony—together.