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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”)
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.