Mystic Journey

 "Mystic Journey takes you there.  Close your eyes, trust, and you will go somewhere else.  When you return, you'll be different... better.  Your inner windshield wipers will have washed off what you don't need.  What you need... is a Mystic Journey.”

                                                                                                                - John Densmore (The Doors)

 

Mystic Journey is...

Suzanne Teng (world flutes), Gilbert Levy (world strings and percussion, synths), Dann M. Torres (guitar, oud, electric sitar), and Jon Ossman (bass and dilruba). This unique world music ensemble creates a new type of instrumental music that is ethereal and exotic,  soulful and healing,  and “sensual and serene,” as described by Billboard Magazine.  The band has evolved over the years and has become an internationally-known ensemble performing at a variety of venues including large outdoor festivals, formal concert halls and intimate settings.  Because their music creates a magical space for deep listening as well as joyful celebration, they are often invited to perform at major events benefitting numerous social, environmental causes.  

 

Award winners...

Mystic Journey creates music that is not only critically acclaimed but has won them numerous awards such as the Independent Music Awards (twice), the International Acoustic Music Awards, and the Los Angeles Music Awards. Their music has been licensed for hundreds of independent film and video projects and was featured on NBC’s America’s Got TalentRecognized not only for their musicianship and high production quality, their recordings have been described as sacred, relaxing and heart opening and their work has been used in numerous healing recordings, films and videos, including a special CD compilation of their pieces created by the pharmaceutical company Genentech that was distributed to over 50,000 patients to aid in their recovery. 

 

Peaceful and Healing...

“Mystic Journey…lifts the listener to a place where beauty, ecstasy and tranquility reside” (Whole Life Times) both in recordings and live performances, as demonstrated in venues where they have performed such as the Dalai Lama’s International World Festival of Sacred Music, where they were featured artists each year of the festival.

Husband and wife team Teng and Levy wrote all of the pieces on their new album Kingdom of Mountains whose 10 tracks feature numerous rare and beautiful instruments from around the world.  Their three earlier albums were all critically acclaimed and appeared on numerous radio/media TOP 10 lists. They were released under Suzanne Teng (Mystic Journey and Enchanted Wind) as well as Suzanne Teng & Mystic Journey (Miles Beyond), but over the years, as they performed around the country and internationally, the quartet developed a magical synergy that is embraced in this exciting new release, and co-bandleaders Teng and Levy decided they wanted to move forward as simply Mystic Journey.

 

About Us...

 

GILBERT LEVY

Born and raised in New Orleans, Gilbert began playing drums at an early age andby his late teens was performing professionally in R&B bands in clubs on Bourbon Street and with jazz greats such as Wynton and Branford Marsalis.  Levy moved to Los Angeles in his late 20’s and played pop music in numerous bands and on several major label recording projects.

 

His years of experience in pop/rock/jazz/R&B as well as world music give Gilbert the ability to create rhythms that are musical and music that is rhythmic. He is known for his expressive and exuberant performances both onstage and in recordings. He credits his years of North Indian classical music studies for creating his unique style. He also plays African and Middle Eastern hand percussion as well as a very unique personalized drum set and the evocative Swiss metal hand drum called the “hang” which is featured on much of their music.

 

Years ago, after a hand injury led him to take a break from hand drums, he started to explore stringed instruments and their new album features beautiful performances on the African bass harp (ngoni) on the track “Midnight in Bamako” and the bass dulcimer and Turkish saz on numerous tracks. He also uses his extraordinary technical expertise to engineer and mix their recordings.  Teng and Levy have created music for yoga and acupuncture DVDs and several films including  the documentaries “Raw for 30” and “Beirut Rising.”

 

SUZANNE TENG

The Los Angeles Times has described Suzanne Teng as a “brilliant flutist” who “plays music for the soul.”  Originally from Berkeley, California, she received her Master’s degree in music from Boston University’s School for the Arts and, after traveling across the globe, decided to further her passion for world music, pursuing her Ph.D. in ethnomusicology at UCLA where her focus was on music and healing. 

 

 Suzanne plays an extensive array of flutes from around the world, including the Chinese dizi, bawu and hulusi, Turkish ney and zurna, Indonesian suling, panpipes, penny whistles, Native American flutes, ocarinas, the West African fulani, Egyptian reed mijwiz and Bulgarian dvoyanka.  As a western trained flutist, she is able to translate her skills to the hundreds of ethnic wind instruments in her collection, but she considers the alto flute to be her primary voice.   She is an endorsed artist for YAMAHA representing the low flutes on which she is recognized for her beautiful tone and expressive playing. Listening to Suzanne’s emotional flute lines , you can feel your heart opening, as one of her passions is to create music that is healing and transportive.  Music Connection Magazine wrote that in “Teng’s delightful flute performances…joy emanates from her soul when she plays..”  

 

 Recognized in the recording industry for her skillful and creative playing, she can be heard on hundreds of recordings on Polygram, Warner Brothers, Windham Hill, BMG, Shanachi, Sounds True, Scottie Brothers and numerous independent labels, commercial soundtracks for Kleenex, Pepsi, Dodge, Johnnie Walker video game soundtracks for “Myst” and “Prince of Persia,” film and television soundtracks for Emmy-winning “Tumble Leaf “(PBS), “Miss Spider,” “Babar and the Adventures of Badou,”  “Boston Legal” and “Murder, She Wrote,” the film 300, and numerous films and commercials for India, Germany, Korea and Mexico.  She has appeared on national television, including live performances on several of CBS’s Survivor finale shows, which were seen by over 70 million viewers.

 

 Suzanne is also a renowned flute and world music educator who presents workshops and clinics around the world and has co-facilitated retreats in Hawaii, Bali, and Guatemala. She has been teaching since she was 14 years old and has taught at major universities, conservatories and colleges around the country, at music festivals, camps, schools and major music conventions as well as privately.  Respected in the field, she was invited to serve on the National Endowment for the Arts Music Education panel for three years.

Suzanne and Gilbert live in Santa Fe where they raise their teenage son Miles, a dog, two cats and five chickens and record in their home studio, Dragonfly Studios.  They still spend a good amount of time in Los Angeles where they lived for over 20 years and where the other half of Mystic Journey still resides. 

 

Fellow bandmates Dann and Jon are seasoned Los Angeles musicians who have performed and recorded extensively.

 

DANN M. TORRES is a multi-instrumentalist with an affection for acoustic experimentation and electronic manipulation. Well versed in a variety of musical styles and idioms, from world fusion to post-rock, experimental and ambient jazz, his divergent approach to sound design seeks to deconstruct genres and bring elements of them together into something that is new, compelling and unique. Dann has worked with Solace, Naked Rhythm, Shaman's Dream, Azam Ali and a variety of other diverse musicians both in the studio and in improvised performance.  In Mystic Journey, Dann plays the oud, acoustic guitar and electric sitar. His personal works can be found at soundsArchaic.com.

 

JON OSSMAN grew up in New Paltz, NY, lived in New York City for many years and then moved to Los Angeles.  He calls himself “a lucky rebel who has seen most of this planet from a stage behind a bass.” Jon has recorded and toured with many of the greats such as Marc Cohn, Blood Sweat and Tears, Paula Cole and Chris Botti and also writes music for films, infomercials and videos. He plays a number of types of basses and also plays sitar and the hauntingly beautiful Indian fiddle called dilruba with skill and delicacy,  adorning the opening track to Kingdom of Mountains titled “Subhadra” with a yearning that transports the listener to an ancient and holy time.

 

Mystic Journey invites their listeners to join them on a mystical, musical journey…