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Music of Asia: Kazakhstan

A recent music festival highlighted unique music traditions from Kazakhstan—and one stand-out kobyz performance.

What happens when a dombra, dutar, and kobyz get together?

I received an email this morning from the Asia Society, about an interesting event they recently held as part of their ongoing Music of Asia Series. Late last month, the society's Washington, DC Center and the Embassy of Kazakhstan co-hosted a Central Asian music festival at the Kazakhstan Embassy.

Producer Shreeya Sinha told me that among performances featuring the region’s traditionally popular instruments, such as the dombra and dutar (long-necked lutes popular in Central Asia), the one ‘most likely to go viral’ is that of Yerbolat Myrzaliev, a well-known Central Asian musician, who stole the show with his unique skills on the kobyz, an ancient Kazakh instrument with strings made from horse hair.

You can watch Myrzaliev's riveting and crowd-winning performance in the short video clip below: 

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