About The Joy Singers

The Joy Singers are a singing group based near Nevada City, CA whose purpose is to help make Ananda Music more widely known.

They offer music that will inspire and uplift, not dogmatize or threaten anyone with new and unfamiliar beliefs; what they offer is more human than religious teaching.

They sincerely feel that this music, as a new form of artistic expression, is destined to have a major impact on society as a whole, and uplift our materialistic civilization into a more spiritually oriented one. At any rate, such is their deep hope, for too much of modern music is lacking in high aspiration.

Satyana (Lauri) Willard, soprano

Satyana comes from a musical family, and has been singing and dancing since childhood. In 2001 she joined Ananda, in part because of the inspiration she felt listening to Ananda Music. In 2005, she started singing with the Ananda Palo Alto choir, and soon joined a small ensemble and became a soloist.

When she was asked to move to Los Angeles to sing soprano with the The Joy Singers, she prayed that her voice be improved and infused with the high consciousness and love the music inspires. She continues to study voice with Ramesha Nani, and is working on the guitar. It is her great joy to share this music.

Satyana is a Pilates, Yoga and Meditation Instructor, and teaches Balance, a technique that improves posture for pain relief and brings out the natural attractiveness of the human body. She is also a Massage and Reiki Practitioner. Satyana recently relocated to Ananda Village and is currently on staff at the Expanding Light Yoga and Meditation Retreat. She also sees clients privately and in groups.

Bhagavati (Sharon) Nani, alto and flute

Bhagavati received her Master of Music in flute performance from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. For many years she performed and recorded with a number of orchestras and chamber ensembles in the greater Bay Area, including the San Francisco Opera and The Women’s Philharmonic.

After coming to Ananda in 1998, Bhagavati began focusing on music as a ministry. Bhagavati plays on various Crystal Clarity CDs, such as Secrets of Love; Relax: for Flute and Cello; and I Came From Joy).

In 2002, she moved to Ananda Assisi (Italy), where she toured for two years as part of an Ananda singing group. Later, she and her husband, Ramesha—who are both Ananda ministers—helped lead the meditation group in Lugano (Switzerland), where they also taught meditation classes to adults and children. They moved to the United States in 2006 to participate more fully in the music ministry at Ananda Village in northern California, and began performing and recording together regularly.

Bhagavati and Ramesha lived in Los Angeles for three years, heading up the Ananda LA music ministry and expanding the music outreach, but they are now back at Ananda Village, helping lead Ananda Music Worldwide.

Ramesha (Fabio) Nani, tenor and guitar

Ramesha began his formal music training with classical guitar at the age of seven. After switching instruments at thirteen, he received his Diploma in violin performance from the Music Conservatory in Como (Italy). But by the time he had finished his studies he had become disillusioned with music as a career and instead became a music teacher in his hometown of Lugano, Switzerland. During this time he shifted his musical focus to studying voice with Swiss soprano, Giovanna Zaugg-Casella.

Years later, during repeated visits to the Ananda meditation and retreat center in Assisi (Italy), Ramesha was introduced to Ananda Music, and as he tuned into it more deeply he felt himself changing. His love of the violin was rekindled and he began to play again. But now, music has a completely different meaning for him. He realized that what matters most is not how well he plays or sings, but rather how open he is as a channel for blessings to flow through the music and touch people’s hearts.

Ramesha met his wife, Bhagavati, when they performed together at Ananda Assisi and moved with her to the United States in 2006 in order to participate more fully in the music ministry of Ananda. Ramesha is in demand as a vocal instructor; in addition to in-person lessons, he teaches online to students throughout the world.

Ramesha and Bhagavati lived in Los Angeles for three years, heading up the Ananda LA music ministry and expanding the music outreach, but they are now back at Ananda Village, helping lead Ananda Music Worldwide.

Sanjaya (Peter) Kretzmann, Bass

Sanjaya was born and raised in Ananda Village, an intentional spiritual community in Northern California. After studying electronics in Sacramento he took a frank look at the life choices in front him. Since then he has continued to live his life in the only way that made sense to him—always trying to be in tune with the inner light and sharing that light with others.

He feels that singing Ananda Music is perhaps the most direct and tangible way to do this. Sanjaya moved to Los Angeles in the fall of 2010 and began singing bass with The Joy Singers soon thereafter. He relocated back to Ananda Village in May of 2013 in order to take over the running of his family’s business, Ananda Woodworking. He was very pleased when–within a year–the rest of the group had also moved north.

  • Photo of The Joy Singers
  • Testimonials

    “Listening to you called to mind this documentary on barbershop quartets I saw recently on Netflix: “American Harmony,” and how four voices to combine to form something greater than the sum of the parts. That’s what struck me instantly about your singing — the new and very magnetic entity that the sum of your parts became. It made me want more.”

    — J. W., Nevada City, CA
  • Janaka Foundation

    The Joy Singers are the grateful recipients of a 2014 grant from the Janaka Foundation.
  • Listen to The Joy Singers