The Center for World Music is proud to present Altai Kai, virtuoso performers skilled in the different styles of kai (overtone throat singing) and indigenous folk instruments of the Altai Republic of Russia. Stories of nature’s beauty and of mighty folk heroes are accompanied by traditional jocular melodies and dancing rhythms. As storytellers, the performers skillfully recount traditional sacred tales, epics of centuries past, and visions of shamanic spiritual realms.
Altai Kai's velvety, low-pitched kargyraa, mesmerizing khoomei, and melodic sygyt place the listener amidst forests of singing birds, gurgling brooks, and the growls of nighttime predators. Throat singing and the ringing melodies of the khomus (jaw harp), topshur (two-stringed lute) and accordion all come together to form the sound of Altai Kai.
The ensemble was founded in 1997 by Urmat Yntaev, with the goal of preserving and cultivating the traditional culture of the Republic of Altai. Today the group is a laureate of multiple national and international competitions. In 2003, they were entered into the Guinness Book of World Records for the longest performance of throat singing. They are members of the Folklore Union of Russia, and the International Organization of Folk Art (an NGO accredited by UNESCO). Altai Kai made their international debut at WOMEX 2007 in Sevilla, Spain.
Altai’s Relationship with Nature
The Altai people have strong values of stewardship of the land. The region is home to the Golden Mountains of Altai, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The land is remote and largely untouched, fostering unparalleled biodiversity. Altai Kai’s 2017 album Altai Tele was dedicated to the 85th anniversary of the Altai Nature Reserve, a part of the Golden Mountains of Altai. The group’s collaboration with the Reserve began in 2014 with their album Altai Kabai (Altai Lullaby). The compositions on that album praise the natural sites and flora and fauna of Altai. The group creates music to encourage appreciation of nature and inspire stewardship of the land in younger generations. They are popular in Altai and their 2017 debut performances of Altai Tele were sold out well in advance.
The WorldBeat Cultural Center is located at 2100 Park Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101. Free parking is available in the Estacionamento Balboa Park Parking Lot which is located directly across the street at Inspiration Point Way.
Online Processing Fee $2
6:30 PM Doors Open. Enjoy vegan foods from across the globe for purchase at the WorldBeat Cafe.
7:30 PM Concert Starts
Special thanks to the WorldBeat Center for hosting this concert.
Financial support is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.
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