Be Here Now: The Alash Ensemble @ Caffe Lena

Alash Ensemble is a quartet of master throat singers from Tuva, a tiny republic in the heart of Central Asia that is renowned for the unique traditional music of its nomadic herdsmen.

Alash has expanded on the throat singing tradition with new ideas from the West. Under the guidance of Kongar-ool Ondar – best known to western audiences for his role in the award winning documentary film “Genghis Blues,” they’ve blended together both western and traditional Tuvan instruments, experimenting with new-found harmonic structures.

alash02They have collaborated with the futuristic Sun Ra Arkestra, the unclassifiable Béla Fleck and Flecktones, and the classical Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

They can be heard as guest artists on the Flecktones’ Grammy-winning holiday CD, “Jingle All the Way.” And trust me, you’ve never really heard “Jingle Bells” until you’ve heard Alash unleash their Tuvan throat-singing talents on the holiday classic.

The Alash Ensemble performs at 7pm on Wednesday, July 29 at Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs. Definitely something different to do after opening day at the track.

Elizabeth Woodbury Kasius and HEARD open the show.

Photo by Peter Hasselbach

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