Boston Jan 12 & NYC Jan 13, 2018:
On January 12th & 13th, four leading exponents of world devotional music will unite in song to help rebuild an earthquake-ravaged sacred site in Kathmandu. Grammy-nominated kirtan artist Krishna Das will join forces with Ani Choying Drolma (hailed by CNN as “Nepal’s rock star nun”), Nepalese bansuri flute virtuoso Manose, and chant master Lama Tenzin Sangpo for this year’s SOUNDS OF LIBERATION concerts in Boston and New York.
The two inspirational evenings will mark the first time these acclaimed artists will appear together. All four share powerful karmic links with the event’s beneficiary, Ka-Nying Shedrub Ling monastery in Nepal (aka the “White Monastery”), home of Tibetan Buddhist spiritual master Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche and a community of monks, nuns and laypeople.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for all of us to raise funds for an institution that’s helping many people,” Krishna Das commented. “It’s also an opportunity to make a statement about how all the different spiritual paths are related and blend into each other.”
The devastating Nepal earthquake of 2015 claimed the lives of some 9,000 people, laying waste to the entire region. Among the damaged sacred sites was the White Monastery, founded in the 1970s by Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche’s father, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche.
A longtime student of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche, Krishna Das organized the first SOUNDS OF LIBERATION concert in 2015, together with Lama Tenzin Sangpo, chant master of the White Monastery. A large and jubilant audience joined Krishna Das and Lama Tenzin for a concert in New York City, chanting kirtans and mantras of exquisite beauty. New buildings are under construction, but far from complete. Many monks, nuns and other community members still lack safe living quarters and facilities.
So in 2016, Lama Tenzin and friends organized a second benefit in NYC, this time hosted by Richard Gere. By now, the concerts have become highly-anticipated annual events.
“I had a wonderful experience doing the concerts in NYC with Krishna Das for the last two years,” Lama Tenzin said, “and I am very excited that such great musicians as Ani Choying and Manose will be joining us this year. “
Krishna Das has wanted to perform with Ani Choying for many years, and this year’s SOUNDS OF LIBERATION concerts will bring about the realization of this long-held wish. A Buddhist nun with 16 albums to her credit, Ani Choying has deep ties to the area around the White Monastery. The monastery’s founder, Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche, was her root teacher when she first became a nun, and now she is a student of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche. She describes Lama Tenzin as “a Dharma brother I’ve known since my first day of monastic life.”
Manose, the bansuri flute master noted for his work with Deva Premal & Miten, Jai Uttal, Snatam Kaur and many other kirtan artists, also has deep roots in the region ravaged by the Nepal earthquake of 2015.
“Growing up in Kathmandu, I went to school next to the monastery and it was a big part of my upbringing,” he said. “I’ve known Ani Choying, who also grew up in the neighborhood, for more than three decades; and we’ve collaborated on projects together. I first met Krishna Das through the kirtan circuit and have loved sharing the kirtan spirit with him over the years.”
Acclaimed composer (“Born into Brothels”) John McDowell will play keyboards and serve as musical director.
The SOUNDS OF LIBERATION concerts will be a gathering of great souls in service of a great cause. So please come and lift your voice with some of the world’s foremost mantra singers on this mission of compassion.
“Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche is a great bodhisattva and an extraordinary teacher,” said Krishna Das. “He’s really helping people. But now he needs our help. Won’t you come and join us?”
World-renowned artists Krishna Das, Ani Choying Drolma, Manose Newaand Lama Tenzin Sangpo, together with musicians Noah Hoffeld on cello,Mark Egan on bass, Arjun Bruggeman on tabla, Nina Rao Chant on kartal, and music director John McDowell came together for an incredible evening of Kirtan and Tibetan Buddhist chant music. All net proceeds benefitting the reconstruction and support of monasteries and nunneries in Nepal.