Music and musicians have historically played a vital role in the cultures of Kyrgyz Republic and Central Asia in general. Music traditionally served not only as entertainment but as a way to reinforce social and moral values, and musicians provided models of exemplary leadership. When these rich traditions were confronted with the withdrawal of resources and the influx of western pop following the demise of the Soviet Union, many went into decline.
The prime exemplar of Kyrgyz mountain music, Nurlanbek Nyshanov, musician-composer and artistic director of Ustatshakirt Plus, was identified by the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia as a “tradition bearer.” With an ensemble featuring traditional instruments—including the choor (wood flute), the kyl kiyak (bowed, two-string instrument), the komuz (three-string instrument made of the wood of an apricot tree), and the jaw harp—Nyshanov performs songs from the oral tradition as well as his own compositions as part of an exceedingly rare visit to the United States.
Appearing as part of CMA’s International Cleveland Community Day program. Free, no tickets required