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Harmony for Change: The 37th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert Unites Music, Culture, and Activism

Joan Baez & Maggie Rogers
Photographer: ©Ehud Lazin

On February 27, 2024, Carnegie Hall in New York City became the vibrant heart of cultural celebration with the 37th Annual Tibet House US Benefit Concert. This magical evening was a masterful blend of music, activism, and cultural appreciation, featuring an eclectic lineup of performers including the legendary Joan Baez, the dynamic Gogol Bordello, and an array of talented artists like Laurie Anderson, Maggie Rogers, and many others. Co-artistic directors Philip Glass and Laurie Anderson curated an event that transcended the ordinary, marking the Year of the Dragon with performances that resonated deeply with the audience.

Joan Baez, with her six-decade-long career, not only performed with her characteristic depth and passion but also stood as a beacon of activism, bringing her commitment to justice and peace to the forefront. Her performances, including a heartfelt rendition of "God is God" and a collaborative effort on "Don't Think Twice It's Alright" with Maggie Rogers, were more than just music—they were acts of solidarity and statements of belief.

Gogol Bordello brought a unique energy to the stage with their gypsy punk sound, delivering songs that were a call to unity and support, especially highlighting their activism for Ukraine. Their performances, including "My Companjera" and "Solidarity," turned the concert into a space of communal resilience, showcasing the power of music to inspire and mobilize.

The evening was further enriched by a diversity of performances from artists across genres, creating a tapestry of sound and spirit that celebrated Tibetan culture and the power of art as activism. Highlights included Laurie Anderson's otherworldly guided meditation, Maya Hawke's emotionally charged acoustic performance, and a poignant debut at Carnegie Hall by Jlin, who shared her journey to the stage with heartfelt gratitude.

The concert not only celebrated Tibetan culture but also emphasized the role of artists as champions of change, with Joan Baez and Gogol Bordello's involvement highlighting the event's mission for social change. It was an evening that reinforced the enduring power of music to connect, uplift, and mobilize communities around the world for the Tibetan cause and global peace.

As the performances of the night lingered in the memory of those present, the message was clear: the Tibet House US Benefit Concert stands as a resonant call to action, a celebration of cultural preservation, and a testament to the role of artists as catalysts for change. Through the universal language of music, the concert continues to be a vital force in supporting the Tibetan culture and advocating for justice across the globe.


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