Stars Preserving Tibetan Culture

Iggy Pop, Regina Spektor, Patti Smith, Gogol Bordello and other artists performed Feb. 26 at Carnegie Hall in New York for the 20th annual benefit concert for Tibet House, a nonprofit organization that works to preserve Tibetan culture.

The concert opened with traditional chants from the Drepung Gomang Monastery and included a performance by 15-year-old Tenzin Kunsel, a refugee who moved to the US in 2003.

She sang a Tibetan aria backed by the Patti Smith Group. Philip Glass, who also performed, curated the event. The show closed with a group performance of Smith’s signature song “People Have the Power.”

Tibet is of course ruled by China. Many Tibetans, including their spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, are fighting for greater autonomy. The Chinese government has branded them separatists.

“It’s easy to understand the desires of the artist to take part in this kind of activity,” a comment on China Music Radar titled “Bye Bye Iggy” said. “It’s just sad that we probably won’t be seeing them any time soon here in China.”