Lama Tashi

Venerable Ngawang Tashi Bapu, is former principal chant master of the Dalai Lama’s Drepung Loseling Monastery in India—one of the largest Tibetan Buddhist monasteries in the world with over 3,000 monks. Yes this is the same

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Lama Tashi
Ngawang Tashi Bapu was born on 22nd Feb 1968, in the village of Thembang, state of Arunachal Pradesh, North East India. He was born into a large farming family of three brothers and four sisters. Lama Tashi entered Drepung Loseling Monastery in June 1983. 

An excellent student, Lama Tashi began to formally study in 1983, a the age of 15. He later perfected the Tibetan “Deep Voice”, a multi-phonic singing technique utilized in sacred prayer. Sixteen years later, his extraordinary abilities lead to his enthronement as Umzey, or Principal Chant Master, of Drepung Loseling Monastery.

The compassion, wisdom and vocal abilities of Lama Tashi so impressed his teachers and spiritual leaders of the monastery that in 1991 he was chosen as one of the monks to travel the world on the Sacred Music and Dance tour of 1991-1992. For 11 months, he traveled throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada performing on the tour.

In December, 1999, Lama Tashi was formally appointed Umzey, or Principal Chant Master, of Drepung Loseling Monastery. The following summer he again visited the United States. He was Head Chant Master of the Monlam Chenmo (Great Prayer Festival), which was presided over by H.H., the Dalai Lama on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, before an audience of over 50,000 people. In January of 2002, Lama Tashi led the prayer as Choyang Umzey at the traditional Great Prayer Festival at Bodhgaya, India where over 250,000 people attended.

Lama Tashi is among the great multi-phonic chanters currently active and has performed with many well known musicians. He appeared twice at New York City’s Carnegie Hall, in 1997 and 1998, performing with many notables, including: Philip Glass, Natalie Merchant, Michael Stipe of R.E.M., Patti Smith, Ben Harper, Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins, and Sheryl Crow. In 1998, he performed with Philip Glass at the premier showing of the award winning film “Kundun” at Lincoln Center in New York City. In 2002, he performed with Kitaro at Denver’s City Light’s Pavilion.

Throughout Lama Tashi’s world travels, he has taught extensively and performed and recorded both independently (“THE LOST CHORD”, “CHANT MASTERS” and “MEDICINE BUDDHA”), and with monks of the Drepung Loseling Monastery (“SACRED TIBETAN CHANTS”, “SOUNDS OF THE VOID”,“SACRED MUSIC/ SACRED DANCE” and “COMPASSION”)

In addition to his tasks as Principal Chant Master of the Drepung Loseling Monastery, he is also the Head of the Department of Multi-phonic Chant of the monastery, assisting the monastery in using modern Western recording techniques to preserve and archive sacred Tibetan Chants in digital format for generations to come.



photo and biography courtesy www.chantmaster.org
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