Artist Profiles: Tenzin Choegyal

Tenzin Choegyal

Tenzin was born in the remote Himalayas, as his parents were fleeing Tibet in the early 1970s. He grew up in the Tibetan refugee community in Dharamsala, northern India where the Dalai Lama actively encouraged his people to preserve their culture through language religion and arts.

As a child Tenzin would listen to his mother singing in the nomadic style and he attributes much of his passion for that genre to these early influences. Tenzin feels a particular connection to the music of the wandering people of his homeland. He worked at the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts in India over a period of five years in the mid 1990s, where he received training mainly from his brother Tsering Dorjee Bawa who is a Tibetan music and dance instructor and Gen Gonpo la.

Tenzin finished his high school from Tibetan Childern’s Village (Dharamsala India) school and BA in English and Indian history in Gov college for boys in Chandigarh.

Tenzin plays various instruments, including the Tibetan three or six stringed lute instrument called “dranyen” (Dra meaning “sound” and Nyen meaning “melodious”), which is the essential accompaniment for folk songs; the bamboo transverse flute called “lingbu” and the Tibetan drum “nga”. Tenzin sings in a traditional nomadic style combined with operatic and his own free-spirited style.

Since moving to Australia, Tenzin has made his mark on the world music circuit performing at such events as Woodford Folk Festival, Port Fairy Folk Festival, the National Folk Festival and Womadelaide.


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Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel is also co-founder of the Transglobal World Music Chart.

Angel has also produced and remastered world music studio albums and compilations for labels such as Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, and Music of the World.


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