History Lesson with Bodhicitta (Bow-Dee-Cheeta)

Interview with Alex Vina on Bodhicitta
by DeWook
June 2021

Bodhicitta performing at a private event in Antioch, Illinois - photo by DeWook

Bodhicitta performing at a private event in Antioch, Illinois
photo by DeWook

Nothing says pool party more then crazy Midwest weather. From the cooling rain to the scorching sun, sunscreen, barbecue, and great music. I’ve been working with Bodhicitta since they began playing events. Over time I’ve been blessed to become their official photographer. From playing small events, to huge festivals. Bodhicitta has developed and evolved in the past few years.

I had the opportunity to sit down with Bass Guitarist of Bodhicitta, Alex Vina.

DW: Hey Alex, Thanks for meeting with me today.  Let’s start with your [band] name. Tell us how Bodhicitta got it’s name.

AV: Well our music kind of brings a vibe out that we all feel is peaceful. And we like to transfer that to our fans. The name actually means moment of enlightenment in Buddhist or Sanskrit. It’s a very old word. We strive to bring that to our music. So it’s pronounced Bow-Dee-Cheeta. It’s a tough but fun one I know! And we really believe that mentality; and bring it to our music.

DW: The site says your band originated in 2017. How did you all meet?

AV: It starts back in McHenry Il. at Mackey’s Hideout. Kyle and I met at a jam session. We immediately knew we wanted to play together. I then joined them with a side project, which didn’t last long. But Kyle and I had really great energy right away. So we met with another drummer, Ken Slama.  And we played with him for a couple of years. Where we also picked up Ryan Budyak, our guitar player. Then it took a while to find a new drummer, Emmanuel Fowlkes. We actually met on WGN live for the first time. And we had instant energy there. So when he was brought in, it was a perfect fit.

DW: Your band bio says you shared the stage with some heavy acts. What was your best band experience?

AV: That’s tough, as we try to enjoy every one of our shows. We keep having better shows and creating better memories. We just keep looking forward to the next one.

DW: On June 18th at Kenosha Fusion you have a special show coming out. Tell us about it.

AV: Yes we have a big phish tribute show we’ve been working hard on. A lot of sweet compositional tunes from the band from Vermont, Phish. Some of our biggest influences. We’re hoping everyone can make it out there. It’s a $15.00 cover and starts at 8pm till about 1 or 2am. And we have a lot of cool stuff, so I think everyone will like it.

DW: Aside from Phish, as a band, who are your biggest influences?

AV: Kind of goes all over the place.  A lot of Blues and Classic rock stuff. Also a lot of jazz fusion like Chick Corea, Return to Forever, Weather Report, obviously the Grateful Dead and all the other inspirational giants. We try to mesh it all together. We also play Soul, R&B, and Gospel too. So it makes for some fun music.

DW: How can people find you?

AV: We are all over Facebook and Instagram. So on Instagram. www.com/bodhicittaband,
Or Facebook at www.facebook.com/bodhicittaband.com and our website at www.bodhicittaband.com
Our fans can find our music on Jambase as well.

DW: Anything you want to say to your fans?

AV: We love you guys. We truly appreciate all the support we’ve been getting. We hope to see you at the shows. Party On!

The band then took the stage in Antioch, Illinois to treat the fans to a poolside set of music. Which included a special Birthday celebration for Bodhicitta’s keyboardist, Kyle Magnusson. Regardless of the weather, rain or shine, the Midwest continues to serve up the best in music.

Next time I’ll bring my swimsuit.

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