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CANCELLED Alash – River City Arts Center, Morrisville

31 March 2020  6:30 pm  River Arts Council. Morrisville

Presented by Young Tradition Vermont at River Arts Council, Morrisville.  $20 admission, Reservations and Info at joseph@riverartsvt.org.  Regional meal catered by Kate Halladay of Sustainable Kitchen, $13 at the door at 5:30pm.

Alash  The musicians of Alash are Bady-Dorzhu OndarAyan-ool Sam, and Ayan Shirizhik. All were trained in traditional Tuvan music since childhood, first learning from their families and later becoming students of master throat singers.  They are masters of traditional Tuvan instruments as well as throat singing and are deeply committed to traditional Tuvan music and culture.  The world-renowned group has a unique style that is fresh and new yet true to their roots.

Originally called Changy-Xaya, the group was formed at Kyzyl Arts College in 1999 and quickly became the resident traditional ensemble. At the same time, the young musicians were learning harmony, theory, staff notation and western classical music. They incorporated non-traditional elements and instruments that mesh well with the sound and feel of traditional Tuvan music. They use old instruments such as the murgu, limpi, and shoor (wind instruments) that are not frequently played in Tuva today, as well as distinctly western instruments such as the guitar and accordion.  The outgrowth of this musical exploration is the ensemble Alash, which is named for the Alash River that flows through the musicians’ home region of Tuva. Kongar-ool Ondar was the first artistic director, and he played a key role in the development of the ensemble.

In 2004, Alash won first prize at the International Xöömei (throat singing) Symposium competition. In 2005, ensemble member Bady-Dorzhu Ondar was named the best male singer at the Üstüü-Xüree festival, and in 2006 he was named People’s Xöömeizhi (throat singer) of the Republic of Tuva, the youngest person ever to receive this prestigious award. At the 2008 International Xöömei Symposium, Bady-Dorzhu Ondar won the grand prize, while Ayan-ool Sam and Ayan Shirizhik won first and second prizes for individual throat singing. In 2009, Ayan Shirizhik was awarded the title “Distinguished Artist of Tuva.”

Alash has toured the United States every year since 2006, playing at a variety of venues and receiving much press attention for their unique musical talents. They also conduct workshops at schools and colleges to share their music and culture with American young people. In December 2008, December 2009 and December 2010, Alash toured with the legendary American group Béla Fleck and the Flecktones to promote the Flecktones’ Grammy winning album Jingle All the Way, which features Alash as guest artists.

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