Ondar in 1993
March 29, 1962|
Near the Khemchik River, Tuva, Russia
|Died||July 25, 2013
Kyzyl, Tuva, Russia
|Genres||Tuvan throat singing|
|Instruments||Doshpuluur, Igil, Chanzy|
|1980 - 2013|
|Labels||Warner Bros. Records|
Kongar-ool Borisovich Ondar (Tuvan: - ?, Ondar Konggar-ool Boris oglu, [?n'd?r k'r?:? 'b?ris ?'?lu]; March 29, 1962 - July 25, 2013) was a master Tuvan throat singer and a member of the Great Khural of Tuva. Ondar was born near the Khemchik River in western Tuva. Considered a living treasure by the Republic of Tuva, Ondar was granted a stipend and an apartment for the musical skills he possessed. Jovial and personable, Ondar is probably the best-known face of khöömei (Tuvan: ) throat singing to Westerners, appearing on the Late Show with David Letterman and in interviews for CNN and other networks.
In the Central Asian tradition of self-fulfilling child naming, Kongar-ol literally translates to "loud boy."
Ondar is also known outside Tuva for inviting American blues musician Paul Pena to Tuva. Pena, who had learned throat singing before coming to Tuva, was the subject of the documentary Genghis Blues in which Ondar was also featured.
In 1992, Ondar won an international throat-singing contest, which brought invitations to perform in Europe and the United States. In 1993, he performed at Frank Zappa's eclectic "garden party/soiree" gathering in his last days.
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