After graduating from the University of New Hampshire with a degree in Anthropology, Jaya moved first to Western Oregon, where she perfected her musical skills, and then to the island of Hawaii. This is where she had the good fortune of meeting Srila Govinda Maharaj from West Bengal India, from whom she received ‘harinam’ initiation and her spiritual name “Jaya Lakshmi”, which means “victory to the goddess Lakshmi,” the Hindu goddess of prosperity. The Hawaiian Islands, being known for their rich spiritual energy, have opened the door to many faiths, including a strong Native American presence. Jaya Lakshmi made a profound connection to her own Native American ancestry through traditional ceremony and the singing of their powerful medicine songs on the Big Island and Maui, where she moved to in 1996 with her two daughters. She co-wrote two songs on William Ackerman’s CD, “Hearing Voices”, which was nominated for a Grammy in 2003. She also recently contributed vocals for Steve Gordon’s album Drum Prayer. These projects just like her own new “Ocean Of Mercy” reveal her beauty and versatility as a singer and songwriter as she continues to blossom as an artist.