Woodstock, a town well known for incubating incredible talent, has a new guitarist to boast—20 year old Chogyi Lama—the most exciting young musician to come out of New York in quite some time.
A versatile, multi-instrument artist, Chogyi is a Shapesifter, moving intuitively across genres and styles in connection with whatever he is playing. Sitting in with some of the industry’s most inspiring artists, he has come to be known as a remarkable guitar player with elegance, power and humility far beyond his years. His recent shows have called out his diverse, multigenerational audience who expected to hear some Hendrix, maybe some Zappa, and met a singer, songwriter and performer who continues to surprise and inspire them.
2017-2018 was spent performing with Simi Stone, 420 Funk Mob and others, including RYOT and Growlers Fests with the Bad Brains. Be on the lookout, for more from the Bad Brains fam and Chogyi’s been producing upcoming talent, nurturing collaborations and working on original music.
In the midst all of that, he found the time to independently release “Karma”— written, played, recorded and produced in his home studio (powered by a crashing dinosaur of an Imac). The choice to single-highhandedly create this work was one that afforded him full freedom of expression. It’s out on all platforms
Notably professional when sharing the stage, the list includes, but does not end with, Jon Anderson, Scott Petito, Jerry Marotta, Dan Littleton, John Sebastian, Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween), Brendan Small, Marcus Machado, Michael Clip Payne & 420 Funk Mob, Mike Keneally, Black Rock Coalition Orchestra, Corey Glover, Ike Willis, Sara Lee, Graham Nash, Scott Ian, and Gibby Haynes.
Some things you may not have known….
- At seventeen months old, Chogyi began working with Jazz musician Jayna Nelson’. Originally reluctant to take on someone so young, she was pleasantly surprised to find him to be her most attentive and focused student––of any age. Her work focused not on instrumentation or theory, but rather, connecting neurological pathways with relationship to sound and vibration. They worked together, weekly, until sometime around age six.
- It was Woodstock area musician, Joey Eppard’s percussive style that inspired Chogyi to pick up the guitar at three years old… Beginning with a video of five or so of Joey’s songs followed by one guitar lesson, the two developed a close bond which continues to this day.
- With a bit of teenage reluctance, Chogyi joined Paul Green’s Rock Academy as a drummer in 2014. Within a week, Paul convinced him to pick the guitar back up, which he hadn’t touched in about seven years. Taking on three times the workload of the other students––switching off between the guitar and drums––Chogyi rose quickly to become one of the academy’s VIP players.
- As the grandson of the Legendary troubadour, Richie Havens, Chogyi is being called to celebrate this momentous fifty year landmark, leading audiences to the next generation of talent and artistry. Moving toward the summer marked by the Golden Anniversary of the Woodstock Festival, it’s no longer reasonable to keep his lineage under wraps.
- Sadly, Richie Havens, passed away one month before Chogyi’s first performance with the academy—missing the evolution of his grandson’s musical journey. It has not always been easy embarking on his own career as the grandson of a legend, but Chog carries the responsibility with grace. While it is an honor to come from such a lineage, he has never lead with his heritage.
An agile and versatilely adept musician, It is Chogyi’s wish that his music speaks for itself, as well as honor his grandfather’s legendary contributions to the history of music across the globe.
Jimi Hendrix, Eddie Hazel, Wes Montgomery, Eric Gales, Mateus Asato, Joey Eppard and 3, Curtis Mayfield, Isaiah Sharkey, Miles Davis, D’Angelo, Andy Timmons, Dr Know, Plini, Mario Camarena/Erick Hansel – Chon, John Scoffield, Eric Johnson, Derek Trucks, Jimmy Herring and Alan Holdsworth