Dharma Bums and Friends
Saturday, September 6th
7:00 pm

Ticket Prices: Adults $20, Students $10

On Saturday, September 6th, at 7:00 pm, the Tibetan Studies Society and Lion's Roar Productions will present "Dharma Bums and Friends", a benefit concert at the Buskirk-Chumley theater to raise money for the Tibetan Cultural Center's new Chamtse Ling temple, which will be dedicated the following day by His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

This concert will feature the Dharma Bums, with Garth Hudson on keyboards. This band has performed their original songs, many of them about Tibet, all over the world, including Lhasa Tibet in 1986. The program will also feature Tibetan sacred music and chants by the Drepung Gomang Monks, who are beginning their 2003 US Tour in Bloomington, an appearance by Dadon, the most famous popular singer in Tibet and star of the film "Lung-ta", and as-yet unconfirmed surprise guests. Prof. Robert A.F. Thurman will MC the program. For updates visit www.tibetanstudies.com.




The Dharma Bums were founded by songwriter Phil Void in the early 1970s in India and Nepal, and since then the group has performed and recorded all over the world. Their special commitment has always been to the cause of a Free Tibet, and many of their songs reflect this sentiment.

The the band has travelled and performed widely, including numerous trips to India, and have even appeared in Lhasa Tibet in 1986. In the spring of 2000, the band visited Dharamsala, India, and played their music for His Holiness the Dalai Lama at a private audience. His Holiness subsequently wrote a letter of support for their work. He writes, "Many of the original followers of the Buddha....gave up the household life and its entangling attachments..... Their aim was liberation ...This is the aspiration that Phil Void and his friends are alluding to in calling their musical group the Dharma Bums. ....What's more, they have sought at every opportunity to draw attention to the cause of Tibet and to sing up for the freedom of the Tibetan people, for which I thank them." www.dharmabums.org

No one successfully combines the richness of the Tibetan language with modern music better than Tibet's own MoonGoddess Dadon Dawadolma. Once a major star recording artist and accomplished vocalist in China, Dadon left behind her home and fame and emigrated to America. As an exile performer, Dadon, with the blessing of His Holiness The Dalai Lama, combines the mastery of her voice with popular music to raise awareness of Tibet and its people.

Dadon Dawadolma embodies the Tibetan spirit in her music as she pursues her own personal journey. Her rising popularity confirms the power of her music to convey freedom's message at concerts around the world, including at New York City's Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. She has shared concert stages with such legendary artists as Philip Glass, Richie Havens, Patti Smith, U2, Dave Matthews, the Beastie Boys, Sheryl Crow, Laurie Anderson, Natalie Merchant, and Taj Mahal, among many others, and is the star of the film "Lung-ta".

For more on Dadon, visit www.rangzen.org/archive/97/march/dadon.htm

Robert A. F. Thurman is a scholar, professor at Columbia University, author of numerous books, former Tibetan Buddhist monk, Director of Tibet House in New York City, a close personal friend of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, and father of five children including the Hollywood actress, Uma. He has lectured all over the world; his charisma and enthusiasm draw packed audiences." http://literati.net/Thurman/


Drepung Monastery was founded in 1416 near Lhasa, Tibet. Gomang College is the oldest of its 4 colleges, and had over 5000 monks in 1959, before the invasion by Communist China. Only about 100 Gomang monks managed to escape with His Holiness the Dalai Lama when he fled occupied Tibet in 1959. They eventually settled in Mundgod, south India, where they started to rebuild Drepung Gomang Monastic College in its present location. Today more than 1500 monks live on its few acres, which are part of a larger Tibetan settlement of 16,000 people.

The income of the monastery comes from a variety of sources: the monks perform pujas or special prayer ceremonies for those who request spiritual assistance. Usually, they receive a donation for their efforts. The monks farm some of their acres growing rice and corn and they have a dairy barn. The monastery also operates the café and the guest hostel in the Tibetan settlement and runs a small carpet factory in Nepal and Dehli.

Over the past 10 years the number of monks escaping from Tibet to study at Drepung Gomang Monastery in south India has more than quadrupled. >From the original 62 monks the college has grown to 1500. Every year an average of 150 new monks arrive. They experience great difficulties adjusting to the very hot climate and diseases unknown in Tibet. Malnutrition, tuberculosis and dysentery take their toll. Recently, the monastery has established a Community Dispensary staffed by monk volunteers that serves both the monastery and also the greater Tibetan Settlement. The dispensary provides free check-ups and charges a nominal fee for medicine.

Over the past few years, the monastery had established a touring group of monks, who perform traditional Tibetan sacred chants and dances, bringing their unique cultural traditions to people around the world. The purpose of this tour is to share the compassion and wisdom of Tibetan buddhism, and to generate funds to insure the survival of this culture-in-exile. These funds are directly utilized by the monks of the Drepung Gomang Monastery, and are used to house, feed and educate everyone wishing to study at this monastic center of higher learning including orphans and refugees fleeing Chinese occupied Tibet. www.gomang.org

The Tibetan Studies Society was founded in 1972 by Philip Hemley and four other students at Columbia University. With faculty advisor Prof. Alex Wayman, they developed one of the first comprehensive Tibetan studies programs in America. This unique program transcended the boundaries of academia, providing the students with direct contact with the living masters of Tibet, while at the same time maintaining a solid foundation in academic discipline.

Of greatest importance for the advancement of the Dharma in the West was the Society’s unique non-sectarian approach to the study of Tibetan Buddhism— inviting the great lamas of all four Tibetan Buddhist orders to teach at Columbia. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama stated in his letter of support for the Society, “I am particularly impressed by it’s non-sectarian policy. A society such as this seems all the more important when there is so much misunderstanding about the different schools of Tibetan Buddhism in the West today.”

The Society’s statement of purpose firmly established it as the first Tibet support group in the West—“to further the study of Tibetan religion and culture, and to promote the cause of a Free Tibet.” www.tibetanstudies.com

The Tibetan Cultural Center was foundeed in 1979 by the Dalai Lama's brother, Prof. Thubten J. Norbu, Located on a 108-acre site in Bloomington, Indiana, The Tibetan Cultural Center grew out of an active university and community involvement withTibetan culture. It was established not only to acquaint people with the history and culture of Tibet, but also to support Tibetans everywhere.

The Center has recently completed construction on Chamtse Ling Temple, and on September 7th, His Holiness the Dalai Lama will dedicate the facility. A large and elaborate celebration has been planned, and numerous world-famous guests will be in attendance, including Mohammed Ali and Richard Gere.

Over the years, the Center has worked to accomplish its mission of supporting Tibetans in Tibet and in-exile, preserving and transmitting Tibetan culture, religion, and language, and facilitating and supporting interfaith cooperation and dialogue among all people. www.tibetancc.org


For photos and further band or organization info
TSS/Band office in NYC
Virginia Henes: (212) 995-8578

To schedule interviews, meetings etc
Local Organizer
Dan Walker at danlane108@yahoo.com