…left his body on 16th December 2015
Anant Jesse was born Jesse Farbman in 1965 in New York City, NY, USA. He was a co-founder of Dramarama, an LA-based alternative rock/power pop band, formed in New Jersey in 1982. As drummer and percussionist he completed four extensive North American tours and three European tours. Their videos reached MTV Buzz-Bin regular rotation with MTV live appearances and numerous radio and syndicated TV appearances, VH1, radio, and film. The storybook success that the group experienced has been detailed in the film ‘Mayor Of The Sunset Strip‘, as well as a recent VH1 Bands Reunited episode.
He left the band after six years, after their third or fourth album, to travel to Pune. In his own words:
I took an early leave of absence from college to play music. I’m still absent. For this, I feel fortunate. For years I played a lot of concerts, sometimes for large audiences. Once, in my early twenties, on a stage in front of 300,000 people, it became suddenly obvious to me that everything was entirely too big and none of us would be able to actually connect with one another. I quit rock music soon after that and moved to India to, you know, search.
“I stayed ten years.”
In Pune he played in Buddha Hall with musicians like Chinmaya, Narayani, Ramdhan and Milarepa and e.g. produced and played drums and percussions on Narayani’s album The Power from Within. In 2001 he released the successful album Mantrica with a band composed of musicians of various nationalities, the likes of Chinmaya Dunster, Ramdhan Suissa, Steve Gorn, Ramesh Mishra, Milind Date and Prem Ageha. One of its tracks ‘Sri Rudram (Music Mosaic Remastered)’ was chosen for the compilation Urban Mantra featuring various artists including Deva Premal.
Another successful single was ‘Sarvasana‘. Anant also contributed with percussive vocals to the soundtrack for an animation film and performed, in 2012, in a solo show Select All (see video below) at the Art Neuf Theatre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada. He was also a production team member for the critically acclaimed remix project ‘Pipes of Pan At Joujouka‘ produced by Phillip Glass.
After India he had relocated to Montreal, Canada, where he started giving regular classes, speaking events, private consultations on the subjects of Creative Alchemy and Spiritual Therapeutics. He has also led self-discovery workshops across North America and Europe such as Practitioner Skills for Wholistic Health Practitioners, Enneagram and Sacred Psychology, Physicality and Voice, and since 2005, taught Spiritual Therapeutics at the NHC Institute in Montreal for senior level coaches, yoga teachers, and holistic health practitioners as well as writers, medical doctors and filmmakers, all the while continuing to record and perform internationally. He was loved for being motivating, inspiring and educating with a dynamic sense of humor and unsinkable energy.
When we love our work, the work expands. When we love our lives, everything expands.”
Anant had cancer and left peacefully surrounded by his beloved friends.
In this video Anant speaks on the Tantric Perspectives of Ego. More videos here…
Beloved or many, will miss you, dear Anant Jesse. Will always think of our last conversation, our attempts to have tea over this past year, our laughter over absurd humor, the years of shared medicine circles, pot luck dinners, birthday celebrations with dear friends, the music, the joy and your shining bright Life Light. In Love All Ways, Shine Bright <3 Anita Bensabat
Beloved Anant, I must say my heart is heavy and I have tears in my eyes as I write these few words to say that I miss you and to thank you for all the beauty we shared and the music sessions. What wonderful days in Pune! Life is so fragile, especially when it comes as in your case, you being such a vibrant creative and vital person, at your young age. I wish I could have been with you in your last days on this plane. With each friend departing, the mystery of this life gets more mysterious to me. Always love Anant…into the light <3 Ramdhan
To those that were close to Anant (Jesse) I am truly sorry for your loss. Jesse was a treasure, and any of us that knew him were better for it. I met him here in Los Angeles back in 1986 while he was a drummer for Dramarama and he changed the course of my life. He produced an album for the band I was in, and in the process I learned more from my time with him than I have learned spending a life time with others. He was wise beyond his years, a gentle soul with energy to spare and a humble confidence that left me asking “How can I get some of that?” His ability to enlighten and lead by example will be missed. I am forever grateful for his presence in my life.
I met you about 27 years ago, when you and your friend Mark helped produce my husband’s band. I knew then you were quite a special soul. Your heart, your love of life and beyond life was so real. I am so blessed that you wove yourself into our life at that time and imprinted yourself forever. I have been thinking about you for over 2 weeks now, thank you for trying to connect to me. Godspeed my friend, until we meet again.
Good bye, beloved friend. We had some close times, shared many musical highs and lows. I had no idea you were ill. You were so joyous and alive, and I enjoyed our brief times together so much. Play on!
Anant, I can’t thank you enough! You put me on the back of your bike, wouldn’t listen to a word of my refusal and insisted I come with you to some Israeli sannyasin kabbala shabat gathering at ABC Farms. There I met Naveena, my beloved partner of seventeen years, and mother of my daughter Koyal. Without you I can’t begin to imagine that that meeting could have happened. And we were blessed to share the old Buddha Hall space together and make so much fun music there.
Dear Anant, although we never met in person I had the pleasure of speaking to you numerous times. Your music, the CD Mantrica changed my life. I was shocked to read of your passing, it felt like there was a ‘rife in the force’, but the comfort lies in the knowing that your energy still exists and that on this plane or another it still enriches each one of us. Namaste dear one,
Anant… Grappling with your loss is so hard. I know you are in the divine flow now. Thank you for seeing me.
Anant! I am in shock about your early departure… remembering with tears in my eyes your beautiful face and open energy that – as soon as we met in Pune – made me feel we were brothers. Remembering a nice talk we had on Maui in a big pasture field and the recording we did together and the good-vibes chats. I am sure you will be missed by many, dear brother. Fly high, till we meet again. With deep love,
I didn’t know Anant very well but I had the pleasure of meeting him at the Northfield Conference where we were all together for a week. His peaceful, mindful presence struck me with awe and admiration. After reading his obituary I’ve learned more about him and how much he truly lived. He was an old soul who was highly evolved but I am sad that I didn’t get to know him better in this life. Sometimes it only takes a moment to know someone and be inspired by them and that he did. He was a bright light and we sure could use some of that. Maybe he is being reborn as a baby right now or maybe he is with us from a higher vibrational frequency. Blessings and love to all who miss him dearly.
Beloved Anant-ji, my brother. Hey man, wherever you are. I’m sure you’ll be blessing that new realm you are in with your joyful presence. I’m so happy we got to hang out this lifetime, our times in Goa, and jamming in Buddhahall – the tour we did in Sweden and Denmark with Sudha back in 2001. You’ve been an inspirational force, bro, and I will miss you. Fly High.
I met Anant in 2002 at Koregaon Park, Pune, at Sophia’s bookstall, at Dr Kalmadis Centre and at Swami Oorja’s place, where Anant had come to do some DTP work for his newly released album, ‘Mantrica’, for which he was to perform at ABC Farms, him and his team! We got talking and he asked me to do the publicity work and arrange for a camera video team to capture the programme live. A long-lasting friendship was sealed from then on! He was then staying at Out of Africa near the Osho Commune. I suggested we make a film based on his spiritual journey and his music album. The so-called movie would showcase the journey of a non-resident Indian who took to spiritualism, Yoga and Ayurveda. Last year we were still very confident that we would go forward with the said film project… until this afternoon, when I heard from Anant’s friend the sad news of his demise! But still, God willing and with Anant’s blessings, the movie could still see the light of the day.
Vikram Singh Chadha
Jesse was a good friend and fraternity brother, had great times living at 321 High Street in Newark, NJ. His band played a great set in the Sigma Pi basement, will never forget it. Rest in peace, brother.
Anant, miss you a lot. You were always there for me, even when no one else was. It’s harder without you around. Love you, man. You will always be remembered for your extraordinary gifts and the healing and joy you brought to the world.