Maui Arts & Entertainment

Grammy-Nominated Tibetan Flutist to Perform on Maui

July 9, 2018, 5:44 AM HST
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On Sat., July 21, 2018 at Makawao Union Church, the Grammy-nominated Tibetan flute player Nawang Khechog will present Sounds of Tibet and Universal Love and Compassion. He will be accompanied by Maui musician Sal Godinez on piano.

The evening is dedicated to Maui’s late Tibetan Venerable Lama Dhondup Gyaltsen, who passed away on Friday May 25, 2018 after a lifetime of monastic life and service to community.

As Mandala Master at Namgyal Monastery, Lama Dhondup was among a small  group of Tibetan monks chosen by the Dalai Lama to come to the United States in 1988 to construct the first sacred Kalachakra Sand Mandala in New York City at the American Museum of Natural History. 50,000 visitors were captivated by the stunning visual and spiritual significance of this intricate work of art that had never before been seen outside of Tibetan monasteries. 

He moved to Maui in 1999  and spent many years teaching meditation and the art and spiritual significance of the Tibetan Buddhist Sand Mandala. At the request of the Dalai Lama he continued to travel around the world creating sand mandalas as ambassador of peace, love and compassion.

Lama Dhondup is best known on Maui for organizing the Tashi Pendey Foundation to raise funds to support thousands of indigent Tibetan refugees who have fled across the mountain passes into India for sanctuary, and to support the founding of the American branch of Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca, New York.  His close relationship with the Dalai Lama inspired His Holiness to come to Maui to give public talks and teachings in 2007, with an unprecedented turnout.


Lama’s friends, shopkeepers, neighbors and students alike knew him as humble, tireless in his pursuits, and generous in spirit. His kindness brought a smile to all who crossed his path when they saw his maroon robes; his wisdom enriched the lives of many.  


Nawang Khechog, a very close friend of Lama Dhondup for many years, is a remarkable musician whose music is beyond description.  It is meditative and otherworldly.  Maui is blessed to have this remarkable musician come to honor Lama Dhondup. 

Of his music, renowned folk musician Joan Baez said, “Up above the thunderclouds beyond the wildflowers, up where the air is thin, Nawang sat silently in a cave for seven years, occasionally playing his flute at sunset. Before the notes evaporated and were transformed into an evening mist, they were heard by the mountain goats, which stopped chewing and turned their heads to listen because the god-like melodies filled them with wonderment and made them want to dance.”

Tickets to the intimate concert are $25. They can be purchased online and advance purchase is recommended. Limited tickets will be available at the door.



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