Comes A Time: Denise Kaufman

This week, Comes a Time welcomes Denise Kaufman, musician, yogi, activist, founding member of the all-girl SF band Ace of Cups, Merry Prankster, and so much more. Having joined her first Civil Rights picket line at 14 years old, Denise found herself as a young activist in the 1960’s San Francisco in the heart of the same world where the Grateful Dead came to be. Denise shares with Mike and Oteil the incredible tale of meeting Ken Kesey, “getting on the bus,” and getting her Prankster nickname “Mary Microgram.” She also explains what led to her going to music school at 33, her time teaching yoga to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and other celebrities, and opening a private school in Hawaii now in its 44th year of operation. Denise has lived many lives in one with one adventure following the next.

Growing up in San Francisco during the 1960s placed Denise Kaufman at the center of a cultural revolution. Her commitment to social justice and exploratory approach to life led her to adventures in counterculture: from being arrested at UC Berkeley’s Sproul Hall protests during the Free Speech Movement, to “getting on the bus” (as “Mary Microgram”) with Ken Kesey, the Merry Pranksters and the Grateful Dead; to forming the legendary Ace of Cups—an all-girl band that opened for Jimi Hendrix, The Band, and Janis Joplin; to being one of the seven founding mothers of Island School on Kauai; to studying with Robert Nadeau Shihan, Yogi Bhajan, Bikram Choudhury, Pattabhi Jois, and Paul Grilley and to teaching yoga to Madonna, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Quincy Jones, and Jane Fonda. Denise lives between Venice Beach and Kauai – playing music, teaching yoga, surfing and continuing to learn, channel inspiration and connect all those around her.

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Comes A Time is brought to you by Osiris Media. Hosted and Produced by Oteil Burbridge and Mike Finoia. Executive Producers are Christina Collins and RJ Bee. Production, Editing and Mixing by Eric Limarenko and Matt Dwyer. Theme music by Oteil Burbridge. To discover more podcasts that connect you more deeply to the music you love, check out