Wednesday, September 16, 2015, 8:00 pm (doors open at 7:00 pm)

Tuvan throat singing ensemble

$22 adv / $24 door

Purchase tickets online
September 16 8:00 pm

Alash is a trio of master Tuvan throat singers who play traditional Tuvan instruments. The Washington Post has described their music as "utterly stunning." Their other worldly sound has a depth and heft that’ll knock you for a loop!


A little context: Tuva, which sits at the southern edge of Siberia, just north of Mongolia, has been part of Chinese and Mongolian empires and is now a member of the Russian federation. The ancient art of throat singing, or xöömei, developed among the nomadic herdsmen of this region. What is throat singing exactly? "Imagine a human bagpipe,” says Newsweek Magazine, “a person who could sing a sustained low note while humming an eerie, whistle-like melody. For good measure, toss in a thrumming rhythm similar to that of a jaw harp, but produced vocally – by the same person, at the same time."


The trio – Bady-Dorzhu Ondar, Ayan Shirizhik, and Ayan-ool Sam – combines a deep commitment to traditional Tuvan music and culture with an abiding interest in western music. They’ve collaborated with the innovative jazz ensemble Sun Ra Arkestra, the classical Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Student Producers Program, the beatboxer Shodekeh, and the bluegrass/fusion/jazz band Béla Fleck and the Flecktones, whose Grammy-winning holiday album Jingle All the Way features Alash as guest artists.


All three members of Alash learned traditional Tuvan music from their families and from local masters. In 1999, as students at Kyzyl Arts College, they formed a group called Changy-Xaya, practicing in a damp college basement on Kochetovo Street, listening to new trends from America, and growing as musicians and performers. Under the guidance of Kongar-ool Ondar, best known to western audiences for his role in the film Genghis Blues, they introduced guitar and bayan (Russian accordion) into their arrangements, alongside their traditional Tuvan instruments. They experimented with new harmonies and song structures. The effect is an intriguing mixture of old and new, dynamic and experimental, yet true to their Tuvan musical heritage.

visit the Alash website

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