2006: The Hopkins Center at Dartmouth College, NH and The Center for the Arts at Wesleyan University, CT
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Alash is named after the river that runs through the area of Tuva native to the musicians. This group of folk musicians from the Siberian region of Tuva is known for their unique combination of traditional multitonal throat singing and contemporary song structures, and their masterful playing on both traditional and western instruments. Alash was created in 1999 under the leadership of Kongar-Ool Ondar, a master throat singer and folk musician who is widely known both in Russia and abroad as one of the most prominent Tuvan musicians of today. All four musicians in the group are graduates of Kyzyl’s Art Institute. In 2003, the group won first prize at the International Symposium “Khoomei,” the world’s utmost competition in throat singing. The group has won a number of other awards at international folk music festivals and was awarded the title of “Best Folk Music Group” in 2000 and 2003. The group continues to participate in many folk music festivals. Its past international tours include performances in Norway and in Switzerland.
Career UpdateFollowing their trip to the US on the Open World Cultural Leaders Program with CEC ArtsLink, Alash has risen significantly in the international eye, making numerous prestigious appearances to rave reviews.
Alash Ensemble MembersBady-Dorzhu Ondar was born in 1984 in the small village of Yeme. When he was 4 years old, Kongar-Ool Ondar heard him sing and was so impressed by his voice and talent that he became his teacher. Bady-Dorzhu has toured in the U.S., Canada, Italy, France and Norway. He plays all of the traditional Tuvan instruments and sings all styles of throat singing, but he is particularly know for his kargyraa.
Kongar-Ool Ondar (Artistic Director) was born in 1962 and began throat singing as a child. In 1985, after serving in the Soviet Navy and receiving a degree from the Kyzyl Pedagogical Institute, he formed the Tuva Ensemble, which toured in Tuva and neighboring Soviet republics. In the early 1990s, he won the UNESCO-sponsored International Festival of Throat Singing. By 1992 he had toured throughout Europe and was awarded the title of People’s Throat Singer of Tuva. He has performed with countless musicians in countries all over the world. In 1994 he recorded the album Genghis Blues with San Francisco artist Paul Pena. This album was followed by the Oscar-nominated documentary Genghis Blues, in which Kongar-Ool is prominently featured. Kongar-Ool is a former member of Tuvan parliament, an honored Artist of the Russian Federation, and the people’s “Khoomeizhi” of the Republic of Tuva.
Ayan-Ool Sam was born in 1983 and is originally from the Erzin Kozhuun region of Tuva. He began studying with Kongar-Ool Ondar at Kyzyl’s Republic School for the Arts in the fourth grade. After graduating from the Kyzyl Art Institute, he continued his studies at the Moscow State Pedagogical University and at the Kyzyl Department of the East Siberia State Academy of Culture and Arts. He plays all of the traditional Tuvan instruments and sings all styles of throat singing, but he specializes in the ezengileer style and the instrument doshpuluur.
May-Ool Sedip> was born in 1982 in Ak-Dovurak. He comes from a family of famous throat singers and learned family throat singing secrets, ancient songs, and rare melodies from his grandfather. His voice is considered unusual, even in Tuva; it has been said that it’s depth and warmth touches the hearts of the public. He sings all styles of throat singing and plays all of the traditional Tuvan instruments.
Ayan Shirizhik was born in 1982 in Bay-Haak. He began singing in his early childhood. When his family moved from the village to Tuva’s capital of Kyzyl, he began studying with Andrey Mongush, the singer from the group “Chirgilchin.” Ayan frequently performs with his teacher and has toured in Latvia. He sings all styles of throat singing and plays all of the traditional Tuvan instruments, but he has a particularly strong khoomei style and is a talented drummer.