The four members of the Khogzhumchu ensemble: Kan-Khuler Saaya, Evgeny Saryglar, Andrey Mongush and Aykhan Oorzhak.


Program Bio
Open World Cultural Leaders Program, October 2009
Hosted by the National Council for the Traditional Arts

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Khogzhumchu is a musical ensemble from the Republic of Tuva in Russia, consisting of four masters of the region’s ancient tradition of throat-singing. The group is led by Andrey Mongush, who founded Khogzhumchu in 2007, and also includes Aykhan Oorzhak, Evgeny Saryglar and Kan-Khuler Saaya. Over the past two years, the ensemble has given a number of performances in Russia and abroad, including an appearance before the Dalai Lama at the first annual “Festival of Buddhist Culture of Russia and Mongolia” in India (2007), and the annual “Ustu-Huure” world music festival in Chadan, Tuva (2008). In 2009 Khogzhumchu performed
at the “Ocean of Compassion” ethnic and rock music festival in the Republic of Kalmykia, the “Ocean of Compassion” charity concert in Moscow, and the “Mongl Xöömei” international symposium in Mongolia. This will be the ensemble’s first appearance in the U.S.

Ensemble Members

Andrey Mongush is a musician, composer and throat-singer born in 1976 in Erzin, Tuva. He plays the doshpuluur, igil, byzaanchy, xomus, guitar, accordion and piano, and is a master in all styles of throat singing. Mongush has received numerous distinctions, awards and diplomas both in Tuva and at international festivals and competitions. In 2007 he was named the People’s Xöömeiji of Tuva, the highest honor for a throat singer. A lead solo vocalist in the Tuvan National Orchestra since 2003, he is well-known for his songs about Tyvan indentity and heritage. Mongush has performed around the world both as a solo performer and as part of the world-famous throat singing ensembles “Chirgilchin” and “Hun-Hurtu”. He also often travels to remote regions to research and revive forgotten folk songs and melodies.

Aykhan Oorzhak is a throat singer who also plays the igil and traditional percussion instruments. Born in a working-class family in Tuva in 1987, he began studying with Andrey Mongush while still a school student, and quickly went on to win multiple awards. In addition to performing with Khogzhumchu, he is a member of the National Tuvan Orchestra.

Evgeny Saryglar, born in Tuva in 1980, has been studying throat singing and performing since the age of 12. Since 1995, he has received numerous awards for his vocal and instrumental skills, including the grand-prix at the 2003 “Melodies of the Orient” international festival in Samarkand, sponsored by UNESCO. He began his professional music career with the folk ensemble “Tuva” at the Tuvan Philharmonic, and in 2007 was invited to join the Tuvan National Orchestra, of which he continues to be a member.

Kan-Khuler Saaya was born in a family of chabans (shepherds) in Tuva in 1987. He is an instrument-maker, a musician who plays the igil, byzaanchy, and chadagan, as well as a throat singer proficient in all styles. He sings and plays byzaanchy for Khogzhumchu, and also performs with the National Tuvan Orchestra.