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"I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. It is the foundation for world peace."

Stars rock out for Tibet at Carnegie Hall

March 2, 2010

The Associated Press (AP)
February 27, 2010

NEW YORK -- Patti Smith, Iggy Pop, Regina Spektor
and many others contributed to a potent sonic
cocktail that rocked Carnegie Hall at the 20th
Annual Benefit Concert for Tibet House US, a
non-profit organization charged with preserving Tibetan culture.

An avid fan of Tibetan art since his teen years,
Pop said the world cannot afford to lose it.

"(Tibetans have) been getting kind of a bum deal
for like 50, 60 years now ... sort of losing
their spot on Earth," Pop said after Friday's concert.

Tibet is ruled by China, which insists Tibet has
been part of its territory for four centuries and
has governed the Himalayan region with an iron
first since communist troops took control there
in 1951. But many Tibetans say they were
effectively independent for most of their history
and say Chinese rule and economic exploitation
are eroding their traditional Buddhist culture.

Tibetans have been fighting for greater autonomy
for years led by the Dalai Lama, the exiled
Tibetan spiritual leader and Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

Spektor, who was born in the former Soviet Union
and later immigrated to the Bronx, said her
familiarity with hardship makes her sensitive to the Tibetan people.

"I'm all about protecting people's heritage," she
said. "Any place that is kind of in danger of
losing their culture or being oppressed and not
being able to practice their religion just feels to me very close.

Traditional chants by monks from the Drepung
Gomang Monastery opened the concert. A highlight
was a performance by 15-year-old Tenzin Kunsel, a
Tibetan refugee who moved to the United States in
2003. She performed a Tibetan aria, backed by the Patti Smith Band.

"It feels like I'm fitting right in," Kunsel
said. "It's such an honor that I got a chance to
perform with such amazing people."

Gogol Bordello, Pierce Turner and Jesse Smith --
daughter of Patti_ were also among the acts on
the Carnegie stage. The lineup was curated by the
event's artistic director, noted composer Philip Glass. He also performed.

The Patti Smith Band helped close out the night
with the punk classic "Gloria." At the end of her
set, she introduced a soon-to-be-shirtless Pop,
who dived right into his 1970s hit, "Passenger."

The concert closed with a group performance of
Smith's "People Have the Power," -- an apropos
tune for a benefit -- and the audience rose to
their feet in an explosion of applause.

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