A crowd of close to 800 students, friends and family from around the world came together at Pier 60 in the heart of New York City to celebrate the embodiment of all that is divine and honor the 65th birthday of Her Holiness Sai Maa.
Event organizers Doug Hanover and Hank Unger captured the opportunity to inspire; hosting a spectacular event designed to shine a light on the power of our divine feminine and masculine qualities.
Early in the evening, after a day of clouds and drizzle, the gray evaporated and the sun broke through, beckoning the crowd to the water and foreshadowing a vibrant night ahead. Delicious vegetarian fare and mocktails preceded Maa’s arrival by boat to an exuberant welcome by a diverse and elegant sea of faces, all while being serenaded by the Dixieland jazz quartet, The EarRegulars.
Taking time to walk the venue, Sai Maa greeted old friends and new, blessed children, and shared the love and light that Maa emanates so brilliantly.
When it was time to enjoy the evening’s entertainment… what a powerful experience.
Tony, Emmy and Grammy Award winning actress, Cynthia Erivo, was the opening performance, singing a beautiful set of songs and closing with a passionate and moving rendition of John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
The next performer to take the stage was the incomparable Chris Botti, acclaimed Grammy award winning trumpeter and composer, accompanied by his jazz band: drummer Lee Pearson, guitarist Leonardo Amuedo, bassist Reggie Hamilton, and pianist Elgar Djangirov.
Chris was joined on stage by long-time collaborator Lucia Micarelli, a violinist and actress best known for her collaborations with Botti, Josh Groban and Jethro Tull, as well as her role as Annie Talarico in HBO’s Treme.
The crowd of attendees basked in a range of musical expressions from classical to improvisational jazz to rock.
Maa was surprised on stage with a birthday cake—her face luminous in the glow of candles. Tossing handfuls of treats into the audience with childlike glee, Maa’s joy was infectious. The entertainment continued with a rousing rendition of the traditional French Birthday Song and a song composed and performed by Maa’s Japanese students, as everyone enjoyed cake.
The night came to a close with free-spirited dancing to the beats of DJ Sol Rising and relaxing in the New York summer air viewing the bright skyline across the river.
A divine birthday evening indeed. The beginning of a weekend to remember.
“I wish you a divine birthday with the power of light vibrating within you. Love with no conditions. This is my birthday wish for you!” H.H. Sai Maa