This weekend we had a visit from bassist and long time friend of Rakalam, Thomas Schmidt. He came down from his home in Woodstock NY to record with us, so we invited Kritavi Jim Warshauer and Thomas Om-Mudra Arabia over to fill out the horn section.

Tom Schmidt is director and founder of Karme Thegsum Choyang Music. He began his music education in 1957 at age eight and continues today with the study, practice and teaching of Tibetan sacred insruments to western students. He was a student of the bass violin under Charlie Haden from 1970-72 and Alvin Brehm of the New York Philharmonic in the fall of 1972. In January 1973 he moved to Woodstock, New York where he joined the Gene Dinwiddie Jazz Quartet, became studio bassist and assitant to Karl Berger, founder of the Creative Music Studio and studied another year with Miles Davis bassist, Dave Holland.

Notable musicians Tom has worked and/or recorded with include Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Bob Moses, Sam Rivers, Cyro Babtista, Juma Santos, Garrett List, Ingrid Sertso, Steve Gorn, Kalaparusha, Lee Konitz, Jathiya Abdul Samad, Abdul Munir Fatah, Claude Ranger, Dave Liebman, Eric Kloss, Ed Blackwell, Steve Haas, Barry Altschul, Ray Appleton, Philip Wilson, Dan Brubeck, Carlos Ward, Peter Apfelbaum, Jeanne Lee, Perry Robinson, Betty MacDonald, Franklin Kiermyer, Don Byron, David Sancious, John Lindberg, Frederic Rzewski, Jeff Buckley, Buckethead, Marilyn Crispell, Tani Tabbal and Jerry Granelli.
Tom (left) with Larry Chernicoff at the Colonial Theatre, Pittsfield, Mass. During the summers of 1975 and 1976 the Creative Music Studio held workshops and concerts at Naropa University in Boulder Colorado where a connection with Tibetan Buddhism was established. Today he regularly works with Karl Berger, Ingrid Sertso, Larry Chernicoff's Jazz & Jest, Taino Clave Mundial and Tibetan musicians Dhondup Namgyal Khorko and Penpa Tsering of the Tibetan Institute of Performing Arts (TIPA). Karme Thegsum Choyang Music performed the opening ceremonies of Woodstock '94 playing traditional Tibetan liturgical music for an audience of more than 300,000 people. In 1997, Schmidt acted as liaison between the Karma Triyana Dharmachakra Monastery and Martin Scorsese's film Kundun, about the life of the XIV Dalai Lama, when scenes were shot in the main shrine room of the monastery.


Clients : Tom Schmidt