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Jesse Paris Smith and Friends

To Nepal with Love

Wednesday, May 13, 2015
6:00 PM–9:00 PM

A special concert as part of the Honoring Nepal series.

Join us as we hear stories of the Himalayas, told through the medium of poetry and song hosted by Jesse Paris Smith. Hear from Sonam Tsomo, Muna Gurung, Tenzin Dickie, poets and writers from Tibet and Nepal, and stories and acoustic songs from Nepalese musicians Shyam Nepali, Raju Lama and Sonam Rinzin.

Also, meet with representatives from the following relief organizations working in Nepal to learn how you can help:


Adhikaar, meaning rights, is a women-led non-profit organizing Nepali-speaking communities to raise our voices and take collective action against injustice through organizing, community education, grassroots advocacy and leadership development. Immediately after the earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, 2015, Adhikaar started a fundraising campaign to support the relief efforts in Nepal. We have used the funds collected online and offline to support volunteer collectives and doctors to provide the much-needed basic necessities, including food, tents and medical supplies. Please donate generously at:


To help the people of Nepal, AmeriCares is delivering urgently needed medicines and relief supplies, mobilizing medical teams to care for survivors, and working to reestablish health services in the hardest hit areas. AmeriCares emergency response team was on the ground in Nepal within 48 hours of the earthquake with critical medicine and supplies for survivors. Our response team is still in the country. AmeriCares has made four air shipments to Nepal so far and have three more planned to go by May 30. These shipments include medicine and supplies that meet the needs defined by Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population and the World Health Organization, such as antibiotics, wound care supplies and medical tents. AmeriCares has more than 30 years of experience responding to disasters and humanitarian crises worldwide and stays to establish long-term recovery projects and bring disaster preparedness programs to vulnerable communities.

For more recommended ways to support, please visit our Nepal Earthquake Relief page.

Sonam Tsomo was born and raised in Bir, Himachal Pradesh, India. She attended Sarah College in Dharamsala before moving to the United States under a scholarship at Miami University, Ohio. Sonam has a degree in creative writing and a minor in communications. In her free time, she likes to people watch in New York City.

Muna Gurung directs a high school writing center in NYC, where she spends her time bribing young people -with sugary treats- to build a love and culture of writing. Her fiction and translated works have appeared in Words Without Borders, HimalSouthasian and Lalit. She received her MFA from Columbia University, where she was a teaching fellow. She lives in Queens, New York.

Tenzin Dickie is a poet, essayist and literary translator. Her work has been published in Indian Literature, Tibetan Review, The Yellow Nib: Modern English Poetry by Indians, Seminar Magazine, Apogee Journal, Huffington Post and Cultural Anthropology among other places.

Shyam Nepali is considered one of Nepal’s most extraordinary sarangi players. His background includes 20 years of being a sarangi musician and receiving traditional instruction via one generation to the other. Shyam’s extraordinary creative gifts continue to be shared with communities, educational,cultural and arts settings throughout America and the world. He has done project work in Asia, and Europe including: France, Germany, Italy,Switzerland, and Norway. He joins Dance Theater of Nepal with programs at The Children’s Museum, Nantucket Museum,”Inside-Out” concert and The Rubin Musuem of Art. His great interest is in sharing friendship and peaceful understanding among world cultures.

Raju Lama was born in Baruwa VDC, Sindhupalchowk, Nepal to Sukhbir and Yanqchun Lama. His family moved to Kathmandu when he was five years old. Raju attended Siddhartha Vanasthali School of Kathmandu and completed SLC from the same school. He came to the US in the early 2000’s but visits Nepal frequently. Raju is a singer/songwriter and is the lead singer of the musical band Mongolian Heart. His work involves songs in Nepali and Tamang language. Besides pop songs, he has also sung patriotic national songs in the Nepali language.

Sonam Rinzin is a classically trained painter in the Tibetan Thangka style. He studied painting for over 12 years in Kathmandu, Nepal, and in his own region of Mustang, which is a culturally Tibetan part of Nepal. Sonam has received numerous mural and painting commissions in Nepal and New York City. His painting Four-Arm Cherzig is the largest Thangka painting in Mustang, measuring 10 by 5.5 feet. The painting is widely admired for its narrative complexity, beauty of execution, and detailed drawing. Sonam is also an accomplished musician. He lives and works in Brooklyn.

Jesse Paris Smith is a composer, pianist, and multi-instrumentalist. Fascinated by patterns and elements found in nature and their relationship to sound, she has a meticulous approach to voicing and arrangement, and has become proficient on an obscure collection of natural instruments. She performs in many configurations, including Tree Laboratory, which is her music production company with Eric Hoegemeyer, specializing in sound and music for film. She is on the Associate Board at Tibet House US, where she curates a weekly event called Mindful Music and Sound Series, and she co-curates and hosts the Rubin Museum’s Talkingstick, a monthly true storytelling and music event. In September 2014, with cellist, Rebecca Foon, she also launched Pathway to Paris, a year long event series and online portal, focused on innovative solutions for climate change.