Tibetan Odyssey


A special afternoon of Tibetan music and film will be taking place at MOA on Thursday, February 2 at 3:30 pm.  Musician Jamyang Yeshi was born a nomad into a musical family in the Amdo region of Tibet and escaped across the Himalayas in 1998.  After living in Dharamsala, India, for seven years and performing widely with the Aku Pema group, he was invited to Canada to perform and settled here as a refugee.

Jamyang has performed widely, at festivals such as the Vancouver Folk Music Festival and the Vancouver Island Musicfest, and on tours to Moscow, Europe, Canada and the United States, He recently opened for k.d. lang during the Dalai Lama’s visit to Calgary, Alberta.  In 2009 Jamyang completed a film which documents the recording of a CD of his family’s music.  Shining Spirit: The Musical Journey of Jamyang Yeshi (2009) tells the story of bringing together Jamyang and his family through the use of multi-tracking recording technology.  With the help of his friends, Director/Producer Karen McDiarmid, recording technician Mark Unrau,  and the irrepressible Gompo Kyab of Tibet, Jamyang joins voices once again with the family he has not seen in twelve years.

Shining Spirit is a testament to the power of music, the resilience of the Tibetan culture, and the enduring bond of a family separated by politics and geography.  This award-winning film screened as part of the Banff Mountain Film Festival’s world tour, was third prize winner at the Kathmandu Mountain Film Festival in 2010, and has recently screened at Telluride Mountainfilm and the Monaco Charity Film Festival as well as at numerous other festivals around the globe. It was also part of the prestigious National Geographic “All Roads” Film Festival in Washington, D.C.

Karen will introduce Shining Spirit, setting it in the context of the current situation in Tibet. Following the film, Jamyang will perform live, singing and playing traditional Tibetan instruments, such as the dranyin and the kara.  After the film and performance, both Jamyang and Karen will be on hand to answer questions.


Jamyang Yeshi travelled across the Himalaya from Amdo, Tibet, to Dharamsala, India in 1998, and travelled widely in India as part of the popular Aku Pema Performing Arts group. In 2004, Jamyang did a special performance for Richard Gere in Moscow at a Tibetan Buddhist cultural festival and in 2005, he was invited to give an opening night performance at the “Cultures at Risk” Summit at the Banff Centre in Canada. He settled in Canada, producing “The Karma of Snowland” CD with Gompo Dhundup.  Jamyang has performed for H.H. the Dalai Lama and Prince Charles, and with Nawang Khechog in Toronto.  His latest CD is “Shining Spirit” and the award-winning film, “Shining Spirit: The Musical Journey of Jamyang Yeshi,” (2009) has screened at film festivals around the world, including the National Geographic’s “All Roads” Film Festival and the Banff Mountain Film Festival & World Tour; as well, Jamyang’s music is featured in several documentary films. In 2009, Jamyang toured in Hungary, and performed at the Vancouver Folk Music Festival, as well as opening for k.d. lang at a special concert during the Dalai Lama’s visit to Alberta.  He toured in the western U.S. in 2010, and was a special

guest at Telluride Mountainfilm. Currently Jamyang is working on a fusion CD, as well as performing throughout North America.  He makes his home on Vancouver Island.


Photos by Karen McDiarmid