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Conversations with Full Moon Tiger

Today we’d like to introduce you to Full Moon Tiger. Them and their team share their story with us below:

Full Moon Tiger began with lead singer & songwriter, Kristina Bennett, deciding to create a healing, mantra album. Prior to covid/lockdown, she had previously performed regularly at Riffs Yoga Studio in Ocean Beach as a sound practitioner; playing crystal bowls, harp, strum stick, chimes, shruti box, gong, guitar, ukulele, and sharing her voice. She realized she was creating something magical when people began filling up the classes on a regular basis. The music flowed easily & people loved it. 

When lockdown began, Kristina began to share her inspirations with her dear friend & colleague, Verdell Smith (aka Soul Ablaze). The two began to collaborate. Bennett & Smith are both full-time independent music teachers, running their own small businesses out of Rock & Roll San Diego. They became friends through their mutual studio space & passion for creating higher conscious, healing music. 

Once the music started to manifest, Smith (playing upright bass, sitar, tanpura, & sharing his beautiful voice), invited two of his fellow musicians & friends, Gina Tang & Q Ortiz to sit in one evening for a jam. Tang (aka Ethereal Rising), plays Tongue Drum, and Percussion, & has a beautiful contralto voice. Ortiz plays Cajon/Percussion & also has a rich beautiful voice. The four had a synergy that was undeniable & regular rehearsals began weekly. 

A few months in, Kelly Samuels joined the group & brought that extra special spice of harp, flute, handspan & luscious vocals. The five musicians knew instantly that they had amazing collective energy. As Gina says, “We are bringing music medicine to the people during a time when the world needs it more than ever.” 

Individually these musicians are magical in their own divine right. Together they are transcendental. They can perform on festival stages, in intimate yoga settings, in artist collective events, in world music & jazz fusion venues, and anywhere people want to soak in mystical, soulful, healing sounds. 

When you’re looking for a private event or a large stage act, Full Moon Tiger will bring the higher conscious, groovy vibes! 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Yes, the Tigers are newly formed & so far, the journey has been mystical & synergetic! The trickiest twist along the way yet has been trying to book more regular shows at venues that are not bars. But with a little bit of pounding the pavement, networking, & sharing our music, the gigs are beginning to manifest. It’s an exciting time! 

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Kristina Bennett is a professional music teacher, & sound practitioner, specializing in voice, as well as songwriting, beginner guitar, music theory, performance & other music modalities. She runs her own thriving music business out of Rock & Roll San Diego & has been teaching for 14 years. She recently hit #1 on the New Age iTunes Charts with her album Mother Tree in March 2022. 

Verdell Smith (aka Soul Ablaze) is also a professional music teacher & performer. Specializing in guitar, bass, drums, piano, cello, trumpet, sax, voice, music theory, performance & many other music topics. He runs his own thriving music business out of Rock & Roll San Diego. He performs regularly around San Diego & is a highly regarded musician, teacher & performer in the county. 

Gina Tang (aka Ethereal Rising), is a sound practitioner, shepherd, environmentalist, poet, writer, mother of 3, & on the brink of creating her own nature, art, music, and higher conscious education program for children. 

Q Ortiz, is a professional music teacher, specializing in percussion, guitar, & voice. He is also a massage therapist, & entrepreneur. He & his partner Andrea Catalina Monroy, sell beautifully handcrafted Indigenous jewelry, from Columbia. All proceeds go to Callum Thomas Farm Sanctuary, where animals are being rescued and cared for lovingly, & daily. The two have a deep passion for helping the environment, caring for the animals & plants, & helping people create healthy lifestyles. 

Kelly Samuels is a professional musician, hairdresser, music label owner (See Through Records), yoga instructor, sound meditation facilitator, reiki master, reflexologist, coach, and intuitive healer. She has been in numerous local San Diego bands throughout her career and is dedicated to bringing joy to the world in all ways. 

Together all 5 of us are profoundly dedicated to helping the earth ~ people, animals, plants, and all living creatures. Together we believe that our music is needed for the planet & all her creatures. We are unique in that we blend our background in rock & roll & pop, with mantras, world music & sound healing. We have created a mystical soulful sound that transcends our audiences. 

In February we collectively created a mini-festival at Queen Bee’s in North Park, for Kristina’s album release of Mother Tree. We decided to ask 4-8 holistic vendors to sell their works, as well as to have a reiki practitioner, live artist, 2 massage therapists, a tarot card reader, healthy drinks: water from Liquid Eden, organic teas, homemade cacao, and we were sponsored by Babe Kombucha. The event opened with a meditation, then yoga & sound healing, and then Full Moon Tiger. The intention was to bring the community together – all different types of people to enjoy a holistic, healing musical event. No one else does this like us in San Diego. We are unique in bringing mindfulness, self-love, healing, art, community & music together in our shows. 

We are loving our craft & our ability to share our healing gifts with San Diego and the greater world community. We are deeply grateful & honored to do what we do. 

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
*Ashley-Thomas Ferrand’s books: Healing Mantras & Shakti Mantras 

*Free Your Voice by Silvia Nakkach 

*Silvia Nakkach – Kristina’s teacher & mentor (teaches at Soul of Yoga periodically) 

*Christine Stevens – she was Kristina’s teacher for facilitating sound healings & Kelly’s flute teacher (teaches at Soul of Yoga periodically) 

*Yoga & meditation is a way of life for all of us and we are all constantly sharing new healing modalities with one another 

*We’re also always listening to new music & sharing it with one another for inspiration & education 

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