Before a qeej (kheng) lesson, Tony Lor (left) and 2023 apprentice Ye Thao (right) pose for a picture. Photo: Serenity Chang.

Tony Lor

Qeej (Kheng): Hmong Traditional Windpipe Flute

Qeej (Kheng): Hmong Traditional Windpipe Flute
Tony Lor. Photo: Serenity Chang.



Tony Lor learned to play qeej (kheng) from Master Boua Chou Xiong in Merced, during the summer of 1995. Kheng gives Lor an understanding of the Hmong people’s history, along with hope that their traditions will continue for several generations to come. He aims to preserve the art form and its values by sharing it with students who are as passionate about it as he is.





Tony Lor’s students dance while he plays qeej (kheng) music in downtown Merced, 2013.


Apprenticeship Program

Ye Thao. Photo: Serenity Chang.

Qeej (Kheng)
with apprentice Ye Thao


Lor will teach Ye Thao all the qeej (kheng) songs required for Hmong funerals, such as the “Soul Guidance Song,” which is about four to ten hours in length. Thao will also learn the related dance moves and breathing techniques, as well as the pace of a song.





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