Kongar-ol Ondar

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The Great Kongar-ōl Ondar
Kongar-ol Ondar.jpg
the great Ondar in 1993
Background information
Native name Ондар Коңгар-оол
Born (1962-03-29)March 29, 1962
Near the Khemchik River, Tuva, Russia
Died July 25, 2013(2013-07-25) (aged 51)
Kyzyl, Tuva, Russia
Genres Tuvan throat singing
Instruments Doshpuluur Igil Chanzy
Years active 1980 - 2013
Labels Warner Bros. Records
Website ondar.com
Kongar-ool Borisovich Ondar

Kongar-ool Borisovich Ondar (Tuvan: Ондар Коңгар-оол Борис оглу, Ondar Konggar-ool Boris oglu, [ɔnˈdɑr kɔŋˈɡɑrɔːɮ ˈbɔris ɔˈɡlu]; 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: хөөмей) 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.[1] In 1993, he performed at Frank Zappa's eclectic "garden party/soiree" gathering in his last days.[2]

Kongar-ool Borisovich Ondar in his homeland of Tuva

He also appears on the Béla Fleck and the Flecktones albums Outbound, album/DVD Live at the Quick, and Jingle All the Way.[3] He released one album on Warner Bros. Records titled Back Tuva Future.

He died after emergency surgery for a brain hemorrhage in Kyzyl on July 25, 2013. He was 51 years old.[4]


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