Sherali Jo‘rayev

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Sherali Joʻrayev
Born (1947-04-12) April 12, 1947 (age 67)
Origin Asaka, Uzbek SSR, USSR
Genres Traditional Uzbek music
Occupations Singer, songwriter, poet, and actor

Sherali Joʻrayev (sometimes spelled Sherali Jurayev or Sherali Djuraev) (Uzbek: Sherali Joʻrayev, Шерали Жўраев) is a renowned Uzbek singer, songwriter, poet, and actor. He is a People's Artist of Uzbekistan.[1][2] Joʻrayev was awarded People's Artist of the Uzbek SSR in 1987 and an Alisher Navoiy State Prize in 1991.

Although Sherali Joʻrayev is one of the most famous and influential singers in Uzbekistan, government authorities have banned his performances on all Uzbek TV channels as well as his public performances since 2002.[3][4] President Islam Karimov is said to disapprove his critical lyrics. The singer avoids talking about it in public.[5] He still performs at Uzbek wedding parties and in other countries to popular acclaim.


Sherali Joʻrayev was born in 1947 in Asaka, Uzbekistan. His exact birthday is unknown. He symbolically chose 12 April to be his birthday. This is the date when Yuri Gagarin journeyed into outer space. Joʻrayev has stated that another reason he chose this date is because he won a cycling contest on 12 April when he was a schoolboy.[6] Joʻrayev graduated from the Tashkent State Institute of Art named after Mannon Uyghur in 1976. Two of his sons, Shohjahon Joʻrayev and Zoirshoh Joʻrayev, have become popular singers in Uzbekistan.

Professional career[edit]

Sample of "Karvon" (Caravan). "Karvon", recorded in 1985, is one of Joʻrayev's most famous songs.

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Throughout his long career, Sherali Joʻrayev has written and recorded hundreds of songs. His most famous songs include "Bahor ayyomi" ("Springtime") (lyrics taken from a Babur poem), "Birinchi muhabbatim" ("My First Love") (lyrics taken from an eponymous Abdulla Oripov poem ), "Inson qasidasi" ("The Ode to Man") (lyrics taken from an Erkin Vohidov poem), "Karvon" ("Karavan"), "Meni kutgil" ("Wait for Me") (lyrics taken from an Konstantin Simonov poem), "Oshiqlar sardori" ("The Leader of Lovers") (lyrics taken from a Rasul Gamzatov poem), "Oʻzbegim" ("My Uzbek People") (lyrics taken from an Erkin Vohidov poem), "Oʻxshamas" ("Peerless") (lyrics taken from an Ali-Shir Nava'i poem), and many others.

Joʻrayev's song O‘zbegim was featured on the 2005 album Rough Guide to the Music of Central Asia, released by World Music Network. In honor of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 78th birthday, British Ambassador Craig Murray welcomed more than 1000 guests to the Residence on April 23, 2004 to mark this annual event. The celebrations in Tashkent featured Sherali Joʻrayev, Sevara Nazarkhan, and the Chamber Orchestra conducted by Vladimir Neimer. At the same time the British Embassy arranged a tour of Uzbekistan by Scotland’s Battlefield Band, with whom Joʻrayev performed at the Residency before a large (2000 to 3000) and influential audience.

Joʻrayev's lyrics are often quoted and his music enjoyed by numerous fans. He is often invited to other countries, such as Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Russia. While Joʻrayev usually writes both the music and lyrics to his songs, he also uses the works of classical poets such as Ali-Shir Nava'i, Rumi, Babur, and Jami in his songs. In 2008, Joʻrayev organized gateherings at his home to celebrate the works of Rumi.[7]

Joʻrayev was a member of the Parliament of Uzbekistan from 1990 to 1995. He wrote the screenplay and played the leading role in the film Sherali and Oybarchin. In 1988, Joʻrayev wrote a book entitled The Child is the Master of Earth.[8]


  1. ^ "Sherali Joʻrayev: We Haven't Stopped. We Still Exist". BBC's Uzbek Service (in Uzbek). 13 April 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Feruza Tashpulatova (28 November 2007). "People’s Artist of Uzbekistan Sherali Joʻrayev Disturbed by Rumors about His Kinship with a Young Singer". Ferghana News (in Russian). Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "The Art of Propaganda". EurasiaNet. 7 October 2009. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "Uzbekistan: National Singer Sherali Joʻrayev is Sixty. His Concerts - Banned by Authorities". Ferghana News (in Russian). 26 April 2007. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  5. ^ "Sherali Joʻrayev Wants His Sons to Follow Their Own Paths". BBC's Uzbek Service (in Uzbek). 25 August 2009. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "Sherali Joʻrayev is 64". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (in Uzbek). 13 April 2011. Retrieved 29 January 2012. 
  7. ^ "Sherali Joʻrayev Gives a Concert". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (in Uzbek). 30 December 2008. Retrieved 30 January 2012. 
  8. ^ "The Child is the Master of Earth. Short information about the book.". Biblus Bibliographical Catalogue (in Russian). Retrieved 30 January 2012. 

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