The venerable Kelak Lama is one of the primary forces in Tibetan ritual music. He was born in 1937 to a nomadic family in Eastern Tibet. He entered a monastery and began the study of music at age ten; during the Chinese takeover of the '50s, he moved to Nepal, as many others moved to the other side of the Himalayas. He has served as musical director at the Karmaraj Mahavihara Monastery near Kathmandu. He has also come to the United States to act as a visiting artist for the University of Washington's ethnomusicology program a couple of times (in conjunction with Turkish ud master Munir Beken and Nigerian juju master I.K. Dairo). He has since returned to Nepal.