“Joey Lugassy’s songs and chants are filled with warmth and musicality and his voice beautifully conveys deep longings of the heart.” – Jai Uttal
“Joey Lugassy is a multi-talented kirtan artist whose connection to the inner heart of Bhakti permeates his kirtan and teachings. As a professional songwriter and yogi, his personal songs have become like anthems in the LA yoga community, calling forth the authentic soul of the human experience. Most of all, Joey is loved by all for his natural presence and depth as a bhakti rocker. In my life, there are a storehouse of memories of amazing yoga sessions with Joey and band that I treasure in my heart.” – Shiva Rea
“I just wanted him to play and play.” – India.Arie
(3 time Grammy award winner)
“Awesome voice! I can’t believe how he makes only two words that I don’t even understand, work so well.” – Diane Warren
(Grammy and Academy Award song writing legend)
“Joey Lugassy is frickin amazing!” – Dave Stringer
Joey Lugassy is the first of four siblings to be born in America. With 3 sisters all coming from Morocco and the youngest being 16 years older, he was practically raised by four mothers.
Joey started his musical career at age seven when world renowned singer and composer of Sephardic sacred music, Cantor Isaac Behar, selected him as his protégé to train and sing beside at Temple-Tifereth Israel in Los Angeles. Thereafter, Lugassy chanted in the Temple every Friday night for most of his childhood with performances before thousands at the Lindy Opera House in Los Angeles. At the age of 15 he was offered a scholarship for Brandeis University to become a Cantor.
As an adult, he has been in various bands in the US and England. In the 1980s he began writing music for children’s pilots and MTV commercials. In 1997 he created Daysix (http://daysix.com/), a Los Angeles based rock band. Daysix has played the L.A. circuit including The Mint and The House of Blues. Among the band’s highlights is a song called “Today” (A Song for Amnesty). Upon hearing this song, Amnesty International’s head of artist’s relations was so moved that she wanted the rights to use it as an official Amnesty International song. Amnesty International gave full access to their video archives in New York and together with Winston & Davis’ Chief Editor, Richard Moreno (Spiderman I and II, Charlie’s Angels, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), directed a powerfully touching music video that debuted at the first Amnesty International Film Festival at the Directors Guild of America in Hollywood, California. The video is currently in eight countries around the world.
In 2002 & 2003 Lugassy wrote songs and was the singing voice for the starring character in the popular cult soap series, Port Charles (ABC). Eight songs later he was nominated for two Emmy Awards in the category of Outstanding Original Song in a Drama Series. He continues to write for various television projects which include All My Children and General Hospital (ABC/Disney).
Joey has been formally studying metaphysics since 1976. One class alone lasted for 23 years. He has taught classes, workshops and served on a panel at USC as a lay philosopher. His intention is to show through essays, art and music, the common thread that goes through all divinely inspired works. His passion is in translating the metaphor which lies at the heart of all great religions of the world.. Joey’s main teachers are William W. Walter, Alan Watts, Phil Gerlach, Thich Nhat Hanh, Joseph Campbell, Ammachi and Ram Dass for whom he has great love and gratitude.
His current love is his harmonium; an Indian keyboard used for kirtan, a path of yoga called bhakti in which devotional chanting is practiced. In 2004, Joey was graced to study kirtan with Grammy nominee and World Music pioneer, Jai Uttal. This work and subsequent relationship with Uttal helped open an area that has been pressing since childhood; “Transforming performance to prayer.” This same year Joey was humbled to sing for Zen Master, Poet, Author, and Nobel Peace Prize nominee, Thich Nhat Hanh. He muses and laughs at the thought that his life has come full circle and is once again chanting. “The experience of chanting these ancient Sanskrit words is mind and heart altering.”
In 2005 he joined the internationally celebrated group, Shaman’s Dream (Sounds True Records) where he performs lead vocals, percussions and harmonium.
Joey performs and gives workshops on chanting and a non-sectarian approach to religion mostly throughout his home city, Los Angeles, and the San Francisco area. He’s played with Jai Uttal, Dave Stringer, Krishna Das, Wah!, Bhagavan Das, Shaman’s Dream, musical guest for Jack Kornfield and recently at the Greek Theatre (Los Angeles, CA) with Grammy Award winner, India.Arie. He is often featured at Esalen Institute where he has co-led retreats and workshops with Shiva Rea, Seane Corn, Dr. Robert Svoboda, Christopher Tompkins, Sharon Gannon, David Life, Michael Franti and many others.
He is currently busy at work with Shaman’s Dream, television projects, kirtans, workshops and a forthcoming follow up CD to Interim.