Ever-since being introduced in the year 1969 to Gursikh Panth by Singh Sahib Bhai Harbhajan Singh Khalsa (Yogi Bhajan), his American students, who were unfamiliar with the traditional Indian music and Punjabi language, began creating songs with English words and western melodies. Even though lyrics for several English language songs were direct translations from Gurubani, new lyrics were poems written by creative songwriters who were inspired by the stories of the Sikh gurus and the courageous Khalsa. This new style of music became known as “American Kirtan” and since the 1970’s these songs have been sung in all the Sikh Dharma International (SDI) and 3HO congregations.
Many western musicians now also sing Gurbani Kirtan in its traditional language and styles. Musicians who performed at Guru Gaurav included an accountant, school principals, yoga teachers, and SDI and 3HO community leaders who are also Bhai Baldeep Singh’s students of Gurbani Sangeet since 1996. The Songs of the Khalsa were performed by SS Harbhajan Kaur Khalsa and SS Dr. Kirpal Singh Khalsa (Guitars and Vocals), SS Siri Sevak Kaur Khalsa, Nirvair Kaur Khalsa and Gurmukh Singh Khalsa (Vocals), Nanak Nihal Singh Khalsa (Guitar), while Dr. Nirinjan Kaur Khalsa, Los Angeles California, professor Loyola Marymount University and Nihal Singh accompanied on the Pakhawaj and Jori respectively.