In the past year, 2014 Fellow Askat Jetigen Uulu has been participating in CECArtsLink’s Playing Together Central Asian Music Academy, a two-year program of workshops and performances featuring young musicians from Central Asia. The program is supported by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs. One ensemble to emerge from the program is Bandistan, an ensemble of talented musicians from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan who is touring through NYC and the Northeast this month. With this group, Askat performs traditional and new Central Asian music on the rarely heard komuz, qyl-qobys, ooz, setor and tanbur, as well as western instruments. The group is also experimenting with improvisation and other collaborative music methods during the tour, and leading educational workshops. Following a short residency at Carnegie Hall, the group has performances at the Asia Society, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Pioneer Works.
Artistic Director Jeremy Thal on OneBeat Russia
Director Jeremy Thal chronicles his musical awakening and early fascination with Russian culture, as well as the creative impetus behind the OneBeat Russia program. “I could never be as devoted a fan as the kids who sported Primus T-shirts, who cloud-nined their cars to Phish, or who sewed Dead Kennedys patches onto their jean jackets. I aspired to like the music one day, when I was cooler. In the interim, the only music that could match the depth of angst in my adolescent soul was early 20th century Russian classical,” writes Thal reflecting on his time growing up in Wisconsin. Check out the full article on Medium.