Techung is a Tibetan folk and freedom singer,songwriter and performer living in the San Francisco Bay Area. He grew up in the exile Tibetan community of Dharamsala, India, following the occupation of Tibet by Chinese communist government, in 1949. Techung studied music and traditional performing arts at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala, India.
His voice and music has been featured on the soundtracks of the IMAX film"Everest";in music by George Harrison,feature film "Windhorse", the feature film “Dreaming Lhasa,” (2006) www.whitecranefilms.com), "Windhorse," (1998). His music is prominently featured on documentary films such as: "Blind Sight," The film, www.blindsightthemovie.com, "Fire Under the Snow",(2008) www.fireunderthesnow.com. His music has also been used in a DVD titled LIVING WISDOM WITH HIS HOLINESS THE DALAI LAMA by Don Farber and published by Sounds True www.soundstrue.com.
His album “Techung A Compilation of Tibetan Folk and Freedom Songs” won the 2006 Best Asian Album granted by one of America’s largest grass root music group Just Plain Folks http://www.jpfolks.com
Techung's latest film placement is in the Dalai Lama Renaisace, a feature length documentary with His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet and narrated by Harrison Ford.www.dalailamfilm.com
Techung plays Dumnyen (Tibetan lute), Piwang (Tibetan violin),bamboo flute & will tap dance during the performance. He is also an astonishing singer.
His electric band, the Lhasa Spirits, include electric bass, keyboard, various percussion and drum set.
Michel Tyabji, percussionist/manager was born in Mumbai, India. His father's job with UNICEF saw that the family moved to a different country every four to six years. Consequently, Michel lived in many different countries and is currently based in Los Angeles, California. Michel is a drummer/percussionist and produces music and other media. He and his wife, Rosa, founded and run Limitless Sky Records.
Bryan Velasco keyboard/percussions was born in Montebello, California, and was raised in La Mirada, California. He began playing piano at the age of five. Bryan works as producer/songwriter and keyboardist in many styles including jazz, salsa, rock, r&b and soul. Bryan's goal is to contribute to the mission of peace and freedom through his music.
Ralph Kito Rodriguez bass/guitar was born in East Harlem and raised within the five boroughs of New York City. He has been playing bass guitar since his early teens and is trained in classical, pop, latin, r&b/funk/soul and audio engineering. Kito performs with and promotes for local independent groups and resides with his family in Los Angeles, California.
1. TibetFest - 2006 - Techung, Nawang Khechog,Namgyal Phurbu and Drepung Gomang Monks...
2. Sempai Rewa: Hopes in the Heart (2005 Kunga Records)
3. Golden Flower - 2005 - Chemey Y. Dongsar, Techung With Toshi Kuga - Chemey Youdon Dhongsar and Techung are former artists of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in Dharamsala, India.
4. A Compilation of Tibetan Folk and Freedom Songs - 2004 - Techung - A Compilation of Tibetan Folk and Freedom Songs Tibetan Traditional and Contemporary Music. "Striking, evocative, haunting- simply beautiful" -CD Baby
5. Sky Treasure - 2001 - Techung and Kit Walker - At last, the collection of songs of freedom and love from this beloved Tibetan singer is available. Produced by Kit Walker and Techung at Freehouse, the album features original and traditional music in a dynamic journey from Tibet to America.
6. Changshay: Traditional Tibetan Drinking Songs, Vol. 1 (1999)
7. Yarlung Tibetan Songs of Love and Freedom - 2000 - Techung - Haunting and moving traditional and modern Tibetan songs from this award-winning artist. A stunning, striking blend of voices resounding from the past meeting contemporary trends, where traditional folk meets the 21st century.
Snow Lion of Peace
Kyipo Tang-Be Happy (Live in Taiwan)
Lhasang - Incense to the Gods
lok do-Let's Return (Live in Taiwan)
- She Wai Gang seng-Snow Lion of Peace
- Evanescent Sweetheart
- Tsomo-Princess of Ocean
- Lok Do-Let's Return
- Din Chen Gyagar-Benevolent India
- Gaden Phodang U-Phang Tho-High is the Glory of Tibet
- Sardok Jampae Tsedung-A Short lived Childhood love
- Bo Bang Kyo Lhu-Cry of the Tibetans
- Gyal Wai Trunkar Thoeyang-Birth-day Song
To Whom It May Concern,
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I had the pleasure of working with Techung, the young Tibetan singer at a recent conce... I had the pleasure of working with Techung, the young Tibetan singer at a recent concert at Carnegie Hall(February 3,2009). He is a highly gifted singer, bursting with talent and personality. I think he is an unusually attractive performer and clearly has the potential to appeal to an audience far beyond the ethnic Tibetan community who already know him quite well. A young man of such talent representing the culture, as it were, of this exiled and oppressed community, could very well have the effect of bringing greater attention to the problems faced by Tibetans living inside and outside of Tibet.
I wish him and those who support him the very best success.
To Whom It May Concern
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March 20, 2009 Having just seen Techung and the Lhasa Spirits at our Annual Benefit Concert at Ca...March 20, 2009
Having just seen Techung and the Lhasa Spirits at our Annual Benefit Concert at Carnegie Hall (directed by Philip Glass), I can say with confidence that Techung and his band, Lhasa Spirits, are amongst the best representatives of Tibetan musical culture and heritage we have worked with in our 20 years of advocacy of Tibetan Culture. Techung is certainly a repository of Tibetan musical heritage and his use of the electric band forms a bridge between pure Tibetan music and Western audiences.
Techung and the Lhasa Spirits is a world class act who have found a way to represent the unique beauty and freedom of Tibetan musical culture while providing the entertainment that current audiences crave. There is a certain genuine feeling that is conveyed by this ensemble that is disarming, even pleasantly shocking. This group would positively impact almost any kind of event, be it religious or secular.
Executive Director, Tibet House US
22 West 15th Street, New York, NY 10011 P. 212.807.0563 F. 212.807.0565
Tibet House Benefit / Feb. 3, 2009 / New York (Carnegie Hall)
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Cortney Harding, N.Y. It's been 10 years since Tibet was the hot issue in the rock community, but...Cortney Harding, N.Y.
It's been 10 years since Tibet was the hot issue in the rock community, but some stars still carry the torch. One of the biggest forums for this activism is the annual Tibet House benefit in New York, where an eclectic group of artists bands together to salute Tibetan culture.
This year's concert, held last night at Carnegie Hall, started off on an energetic note, with Antibalas raising the sedate crowd to its feet. After playing a song, they were joined by Beninese singer Angelique Kidjo, who wowed with an energetic cover of the Rolling Stones' "Gimme Shelter," before performing one of her own songs, "Emma." Antibalas then exited stage right, while bluesman Keb' Mo' joined Kidjo for one more tune.
Curator Philip Glass then took the stage to introduce his son Zack, who was performing with the Patti Smith Band. The younger Glass played two pleasant, mainstream folk-rock tunes, the furthest thing possible from his father's experimental compositions. He was followed by Vampire Weekend, who played with a string quartet and debuted a new song that sounded even more influenced by Paul Simon's "Graceland" than its previous work, as well as "M79" from its self-titled debut.
At this point, the tone of the show changed, with the elder Glass perforing an original piano composition with the string quartet. The piece was lovely, but felt out-of-place after so much upbeat rock. To add to the discombobulation, the National, who played two excellent new songs, followed Glass.
The pace was then changed again, with two songs by Tibetan guitarist Techung and his band the Lhasa Spirits. Perhaps the only criticism of the otherwise well-done evening was the order of the sets; it might have made more sense to group all the rock bands together.
Patti Smith, a fixture at many Tibet House benefits, took the stage with her daughter Jesse accompanying her on piano. Smith is a groundbreaking performer and musician, but she chose to take this opportunity to read two poems, both of which fell flat with the audience. Keb' Mo' then came out for two more songs, followed by Steve Earle, who played a solo track and a track with the Patti Smith Band.
Smith's band stayed onstage after Earle finished up, and launched into covers of songs by Richie Valens, Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, who were killed in a plane crash 50 years earlier. Smith then joined her band for two songs, including a cover of the Four Tops "I'll Be There."
The night ended with all the musicians coming onstage to sing "People Have the Power," complete with the requisite applause-grabbing Obama shout-outs. Aside from the sometimes off-kilter ordering of the acts, the whole affair was fantastic, diverse, and infused with meaning.
Acts collaborated for Tibet House benefit last night (February 3)
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Patti Smith, Vampire Weekend and The National were among the acts to perform at a benefit for Tibet ...Patti Smith, Vampire Weekend and The National were among the acts to perform at a benefit for Tibet House last night (February 3) in New York.
The bands took to the stage at legendary venue Carnegie Hall, with Vampire Weekend performing their tracks 'White Sky' and 'M79' on which they joined by members of Antibalas and a string quartet.
The National debuted two brand new songs entitled 'Karamazov' and 'Wake Up Your Saints' at the event, which comes 50 years after China invaded Tibet.
Steve Earle, Antibalas, Keb Mo, Angelique Kidjo, Techung and the Lhasa Spirits and Zack Glass also performed two-song sets, while Patti Smith was joined by her daughter on piano for two spoken word pieces, one of which was written as a birthday wish to the Dalai Lama.
Smith later returned to the stage with her band for a medley of Buddy Holly songs, as yesterday was the 50th anniversary of his death.
She then performed a cover of ' 'Reach Out (I'll Be There)' , and was joined onstage by all of the evening's acts for a rendition of 'People Have the Power'.
Tibet House US promotes and preserves Tibetan culture through its cultural centre in New York City and via its online global resource.
--By our New York staff.
Tibet House US Keeps The Spirit of Tibetan Culture Alive at Annual Concert
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February 4th, 2009- New York, NY—With an image of Tibet’s Potala Palace hung prominently on the Carn...February 4th, 2009- New York, NY—With an image of Tibet’s Potala Palace hung prominently on the Carnegie Hall stage, the 19th Annual Tibet House Benefit Concert was a beautiful night of music, culture and poetry featuring stand out performances by Patti Smith, Steve Earle, Antibalas, Angelique Kidjo, Keb’ Mo’, Vampire Weekend, The National, Techung and the Lhasa Spirits. Curating the night’s event was musical director, Philip Glass with help from a beaming President of the organization, Robert Thurman.
The Tibet House US is an organization that aims to preserve and promote the culture of Tibet, and last night’s concert was a testament of how music can bring a community together to promote and evoke change.
Antibalas kicked off the evening, bringing the house to their feet with a bombastic performance of Afro-beat rhythms and song. Joining them was legendary vocalist Angelique Kidjo for a stirring rendition of “Gimme Shelter.” Following two song set from Angelique that included a collaboration with Keb’ Mo’, Zack Glass showcased his vocal and songwriting talents on the historic stage. Up next were two of independent rocks finest- Vampire Weekend and The National. Brooklyn’s The National debuted 2 extraordinary new tracks entitled, “Karamazov” and “Wake Up Your Saints.” A night honoring Tibetan culture would not be complete without its native music. Techung gave a moving performance of song, “Loc Dro” (Let’s Go Back) where he referenced our recent Presidential inauguration, and said, “I too hope that Tibet can witness something like this one day.” No stranger to the Tibet House Benefit Concert on the Carnegie stage, Patti Smith made it a family affair when her daughter, Jesse Smith accompanied her on piano for two compositions written by Jesse, with spoken word performed by Patti. Modern blues-man Keb’ Mo’, was up next on his trademark acoustic guitar, followed by Grammy-Award winning Steve Earle singing for the first time “God Is God”, a song he wrote for Joan Baez. Steve interjected, “I have a pretty great job!” bringing the audience to laughter. Closing the show, was Patti Smith and her Band paying tribute to the anniversary of the death of one of rock n’ roll’s most tragic losses, Buddy Holly. The show closed, just as it began with the crowd coming to their feet for a joyous rendition of The Four Tops “Reach Out” with Patti encouraging audience participation. The audience stayed on their feet as the all-star lineup returned to the stage for the finale, joining Patti on her iconic track “People Have the Power.”
Tibet musician plays in Taiwan on world tour
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NTERVIEW: Tibet musician plays in Taiwan on world tour FAR FROM HOME: Though he was born outside ...NTERVIEW: Tibet musician plays in Taiwan on world tour
FAR FROM HOME: Though he was born outside Tibet, musician Techung has dedicated his life to raising awareness of Tibet’s culture and its political plight
By Loa Iok-sin
Wednesday, Dec 17, 2008, Page 3
Tibetan musician Techung plays the danmyan, a traditional Tibetan musical instrument, at his hotel in Taipei on Dec. 9.
PHOTO: LAI IOK-SIN, TAIPEI TIMES
Determined to use music to raise awareness of Tibet’s struggle to regain independence and to introduce his culture, Tibetan musician Techung has been touring the world and made his first pubic performance in Taiwan at the Tibet Freedom Concert in Taipei last Wednesday.
“I actually never wanted to learn music — I was put into a music school when I was little,” Techung said in an interview with the Taipei Times in Taipei last week.
Techung was born on the border between Tibet and India in 1961 when his parents escaped from China-controlled Tibet.
As Techung reached school age, his parents decided to send him to the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) in Dharamsala, India, the seat of the Tibetan government in-exile.
The institute was created in 1959 with the goal of preserving the traditional Tibetan performing arts.
Although Techung did not choose to study music, he said that music has had a profound impact on his life.
“Music is an easy way to connect to people and to spread your ideas,” Techung said. “Most of my musical works are combinations of traditional Tibetan melodies and lyrics about my feelings for Tibet, the Tibetan culture and my experiences of being in exile.”
One of the songs he performed at yesterday’s concert describes how people hang wind horse flags — or Tibetan prayer flags — atop a mountain to express gratitude for blessings from gods for their safety during a journey.
“It’s a very good representation of the Tibetan culture, because respecting nature is an important part of the Tibetan culture,” he said.
Traditional Tibetan lyrics are usually either about religious beliefs or about respecting the environment.
“We express our love for nature, our gratitude towards the gods for gifting us with the beautiful environment, reminders to protect the environment and warnings about punishment from the gods if you damage it,” Techung said, adding that along with the seemingly “harder” topics in Tibetan music, there are also many folk songs praising romantic love.
“For those of us born in exile and living in exile, I also wrote a lot of songs about my experiences in exile, and my feelings for Tibet,” he said.
Using mostly traditional Tibetan instruments, Techung has won the best modern and traditional music award at a Tibetan Music Awards ceremony in Dharamsala in 2003, and a best Asian folk album title in the US.
After being trained at the TIPA and touring with the institute for 17 years, Techung moved to the US when he was 30 to pursue studies in theater and has been living there ever since.
“After having performing in concerts in the west, I decided in recent years that it’s about time for me to come back to Asia,” he said.
Before coming to Taiwan, he also performed in Japan earlier this year.
Traveling with the Students for a Free Tibet executive director and deputy director to several universities around the country since his arrival last week, Techung has a very good impression of Taiwan.
“The people here are very friendly, and I was excited about the interest that university students in Taiwan have taken in the Tibet issue,” he said.
However, he also wanted to warn the Taiwanese about developing a relationship with China.
“In general, we believe that when we’re nice to others, they’ll be nice to us in return — but that’s not at all the case with the Chinese,” he said.
Sounds of Freedom
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A Tibet Freedom Concert was held at Da’an Park in Taipei on Human Rights Day. The concert was headli...A Tibet Freedom Concert was held at Da’an Park in Taipei on Human Rights Day. The concert was headlined by Tibetan folk musician Techung and also included videos and speeches about human rights and the situation in Tibet.
The first musical performance was by Taiwanese musician Chen Yung Tao (陳永淘).
He was followed by an awesome and inspiring set from Techung and his band. Techung plays traditional Tibetan folk music using a variety of traditional Tibetan instruments. His music also has a contemporary flavor added by the backing of his band. At the end of the concert everyone received a CD of Techung’s music, a wonderful and generous gift.
The concert was organized by Students for a Free Tibet (SFT), the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress and the Taiwan Association for Human Rights. More photos can be found in the Tibet Freedom Concert set at flickr.
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His soaring vocals are like waves lapping against the seashore, gently beckoning the listener to get...His soaring vocals are like waves lapping against the seashore, gently beckoning the listener to get lost in the music.
The man with the spellbinding voice is Tibetan singer-songwriter Tashi Dhondup Sharzur, better known as Techung.
The prominent musician, living in the San Francisco Bay area, has been hailed by many as being one of the most important keepers of Tibetan music traditions.
Techung, who recently performed at the Penang World Music Festival 2008, enthralled the crowd with his swinging tunes and energetic jigs.
Catching up with the man after his set, Techung displayed no airs despite being the winner of the Best Asian Album, "Techung" at the JPF Awards 2006 in Los Angeles. The award came from one of America’s largest grassroots music groups (www.jpfolks.com).
As he sipped his coffee, I found Techung incredibly humble for such an accomplished musician who is fluent in many instruments including the Flute, Piwang (Tibetan violin) and Damyen (Tibetan lute).
Born in Tibet, Techung migrated to India to escape the unrest in his homeland before settling in the US.
“I want my renditions of Tibetan music to be as pure as possible, but I grew up in India so there are certain influences here and there in my music. His band is “kind of new”, he adds. Band members are Ralph “Kito” Rodriguez on bass, Michel Tyabji on drums and percussion and Brian Valisco on keyboards. “We only got together two months ago in Los Angeles, and now we are here,” he says with a smile.
“I’m thankful that I have highly skilled musicians to work with and, on top of that, we are all good friends. The band displayed lots of maturity and control during their performance, constantly working as a team to give Techung a solid backing, not once wanting to step into the limelight.
The band was formed when Techung met Tyabji on the set for the film "Dalai Lama Renaissance", which stars the Dalai Lama himself and Harrison Ford. “Techung is one of the most featured musicians in the film”, Tyabji recalls, “and we liked each others music. So we started to work on musical collaborations”.
Much of Techung's music deals with what he holds dear to his heart, including issues pertaining to the environment, the condition of Mother Earth and the fight for freedom for his Tibetan countrymen.
“I am always thinking of the situation in Tibet, therefore I find myself writing songs dedicated to my brothers, urging them to work for freedom as it will not be handed to them on a plate”, Techung says. “Even the Dalai Lama has stated that now is a time of survival and that if Tibetan culture is not preserved now, it will soon be lost forever.”
Techung has taken it upon himself to work towards reviving traditional Tibetan art forms. “One of my missions is to revitalize traditional Tibetan music in my homeland because we are swamped with Indian and Western musical influences. “Our music needs to be saved but it is also meant to be enjoyed by many. It is encouraging that our music has received some support in my homeland.”
Techung has written a song entitled Nyingtop, meaning courage, which he performed in Penang. “I wrote the song when I saw my people in exile. I saw them so lost, so this song is an encouragement for them.”
Of the band’s future, Techung says there is more touring in Asia and in the US this year.
By Jonathan Chen
His eyes are as hauntingly serene as his voice
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http://beta.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=64106 World Music Under the Stars By Doreen G. Yu ...http://beta.philstar.com/Article.aspx?articleid=64106
World Music Under the Stars
By Doreen G. Yu
May 25, 2008 12:00 AM
His eyes are as hauntingly serene as his voice, singing of a homeland he has never seen. His call for courage – Nying Thop – cuts through the balmy night air and floats off, carrying the message to his countrymen scattered all over the world: “Never lose courage.”
Techung, a prominent Tibetan singer-songwriter, was one of the most anticipated acts in the recently concluded 2nd Penang World Music Festival, which featured 10 other international groups as well as four Malaysian groups.
With Tibet very much in the news of late, curiosity naturally surrounded the artist, but his performance more than justified the attention. With a three-member band (all non-Tibetan) that he got together only about a month ago, Techung (the childhood nickname he uses as a solo artist; his real name is Tashi Dhondup Sharzur) sang from his extensive repertoire of folk and freedom songs, traditional and self-composed pieces.
He plays the dranyen (Tibetan lute), piwang (Tibetan violin), bamboo flute and erhu (Chinese two-stringed lute), but Techung’s most impressive instrument is his voice – a clear, smooth, powerful tenor that embodies all the emotions and intentions of his songs, although chances are the audience of almost 5,000 that balmy Sunday night probably did not understand a single word of what he sang.
Techung was born on the Tibet-India border, as his parents were fleeing into exile following the Chinese invasion in 1950. He grew up in the Tibetan exile community in Dharamsala, India and migrated in the late 1980s to the U.S.; he now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“Tibet is a place in my mind,” he tells us after his performance at the festival, held in the lush Botanical Garden of Penang. And although he has never set foot in his homeland, his music is ipmfused with its traditions, and his dual goals as an artist are to “revive Tibetan music in the Tibetan community and to expose the rich performing cultural tradition of (his) homeland to the world community.”
Because of limited educational opportunities available at the exile community, Techung was enrolled at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA) although his family had no artistic background. He remained at TIPA for 19 years, learning all aspects of Tibetan performing arts from venerated Tibetan elders.
Techung is today regarded as one of the key keepers of Tibetan music traditions, but he is also highly thought of as a composer who draws on his own heritage and complements it with other world music traditions. His voice and music have been featured in the films “Everest” (on IMAX), “Windhorse” and “Dreaming Lhasa,” as well as various documentaries. He has performed extensively before the Dalai Lama, and in recent years has opened for the religious leader’s public speeches in Costa Rica, Japan and the U.S.
Techung has four solo recordings, and has also recorded four traditional music cds with Chaksampa, the Tibetan dance and opera company he co-founded in San Francisco in 1989. A compilation CD, “Techung: A compilation of Tibetan Folk and Freedom Songs,” was available at the festival site and was easily a bestseller.
Techung is available for three types of performances:
1. Techung and percussionist.
2. Techung andthe Lhasa Spirits.
3. Techung leading the Chaksampa orchestra.
The set list depends on which type of performance fits your needs. There are three basic themes upon which the songs are based: Prayerful, Folk and Freedom songs.
PDF RiderTechung Rider and Stage Plot
There are no upcoming dates at this time.