Naamleela Free Jones
Naamleela Free Jones is a composer, singer, pianist, and music producer. Her rare spiritual upbringing on an ashram in Fiji, combined with the multi-faceted breadth of her training in both Eastern and Western classical traditions, brings an embracing range of expression and contemplative depth to Naamleela’s music.
Born in 1980, Naamleela is the youngest daughter of Adi Da Samraj–a spiritual teacher and artist, whose writings have influenced modern day thinkers from Alan Watts to Ken Wilber. She was raised on a small Fijian island of approximately two hundred inhabitants, and intensively schooled from an early age in both spiritual practice and sacred art. Along with academic studies, she spent hours a week practicing meditation, yoga, and chant, and hours a day practicing classical piano.
Developing her musical style in this remote environment, she was influenced by the sounds of the ocean, the crickets, and the rain, as much as by the wide variety of teachers who passed through the island from the United States, England, Canada, and India. By the age of 9, she had composed her first 4-part choral arrangements, and at 10, she was making field recordings of the natural sounds of the island, splicing together multi-layered soundtracks on 8-track tape. By 15, she had mastered and performed many of the great works of classical piano, from Chopin and Rachmaninoff to the entire Goldberg Variations of J.S. Bach.
In her later teens, injury from hours of rigorous piano practice forced her to break out of her classical training and focus on composition and production. She went on to study East Indian classical music with Maestro Ali Akbar Khan, and received certification in music production from the Berklee College of Music. Collaborating with world-renowned artists and friends, Naamleela has self-produced nine albums to date, including original compositions, classical piano, jazz fusion, and traditional chant.
Since 2007, Naamleela has become increasingly involved with multimedia productions, combining art, music, dance, and theater. She first collaborated with Adi Da Samraj in creating original scores for his image-art, exploring the translation of visual art and philosophical ideas into music. Since then she has played in and directed improvisational musical ensembles, combined with screenings of image-art in California, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago, and the Netherlands.
In 2010 and 2012, Naamleela was invited to perform her original compositions at the Bargello Museum in Florence, Italy. In 2013 she performed at Teatro della Pergola in Florence, as part of the multimedia spectacle "Not-Two Is Peace" with the Florence Dance Company. In 2015 she performed in "Divina.com", a multimedia production based on Dante's Divine Comedy that commenced the Florence Dance Festival at the Bargello Museum for 2015.
Naamleela holds a Bachelor of Arts in Religious Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, Phi Beta Kappa. She currently divides her time between the Fiji Islands and Northern California.