Smith Gives Teen Refugee A Break At Tibetan Benefit
Punk legend Patti Smith made a Tibetan refugee's dreams of stardom come true on Friday (26Feb10) when she invited the teenager to perform with her band at a benefit concert in New York.
The rocker headlined the 2010 Tibet House show with Iggy Pop and Regina Spektor to raise awareness about the country's ongoing struggle for independence from China.
But it was a performance of a traditional Tibetan song by 15-year-old Tenzin Kunsel, who moved to the U.S. in 2003, which proved to be one of the night's highlights.
Kunsel, who was backed by the Patti Smith Band for the brief set, tells the Associated Press, "It feels like I'm fitting right in. It's such an honour that I got a chance to perform with such amazing people."
The annual benefit at Manhattan's Carnegie Hall also featured Gogol Bordello and Smith's daughter Jesse Smith, as well as composer Philip Glass, who served as the event's artistic director.
The show concluded with a multi-act performance of Smith's People Have the Power, bringing the crowd to its feet.