BIO

Chogyi Lama, guitarist/singer/writer/producer engineer from Woodstock, New York, is a shapeshifter—moving intuitively across genres and styles, embodying 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. While his original songs and Neo-Soul vocals are reminiscent of a young Maxwell or D’Angelo, his guitar playing is fierce yet fluid and his live shows bring out the Funk. Headlining as Chogyi Lama, he also regularly performs in support of 420 Funk Mob, and was recently spotted at the exclusive private venue, Soho House with Mr. Reed. His work with Darryl Jenifer & Gary Miller (Doctor Know) has brought him to both RIOT and Growlers Fest stages— performing with Bad Brains and into the studio with artists Lenny White, John Medeski, and Denzel Curry among others (be on the lookout, for more of that). He is generous with the stage—making space for an intergenerational cast of local musicians at every point along their career To join his sets. Chogyi’s shows call out diverse, multi-generational audiences who he continues to surprise and inspire. 
Chogyi has been busy producing upcoming talent, nurturing collaborations and working on original music.

Notably professional when sharing the stage, the list includes, but does not end with, Jon Anderson, Scott Petito, Jerry Marotta, Dan LittletonJohn Sebastian,  Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween), Brendan SmallMarcus Machado, Mike KeneallyBlack Rock Coalition Orchestra, Corey Glover, Ike Willis, Sara Lee, Graham Nash, Scott Ian, and Gibby Haynes.

Influences:

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

Some things you may not have known….

  • At seventeen months old, Chogyi began working with Jazz musician Jayna Nelson’. Originally hesitant 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 more than twice the workload of the most students––switching off between the guitar and drums––he rose quickly to become one of the Academy’s MVP players.
  • As the grandson of Richie Havens, Chogyi is honored to celebrate the momentous fifty year landmark of the Original Woodstock Festival. While it is an honor to come from such a lineage, he chooses not to lead with his heritage.  It is not easy for any artist to come up in the footsteps of a legend. An agile and versatility adept musician, it is Chogyi’s wish that his music speaks for itself, while honoring his grandfather’s legendary contributions to the history of music across the globe. “We recognize it is not always easy to embark on a musical career following in such footsteps,” noted Darlene Fedun, Bethel Woods Chief Executive Officer. “However, Chogyi is gracefully leading audiences to the next generation of talent and artistry. Bethel Woods is honored to have had him kick off this commemorative season and look forward to supporting Chogyi throughout his career.”