The name of Jivan Gasparyan has been synonymous with Armenian duduk for over 60 years.
His exquisite tone, control and interpretations have garnered him countless accolades. Now in his eighties, he had the pleasure of seeing his grandson perform at the Sharq Taronalari Festival in Samarkand, and win the UNESCO prize there.
The duduk is a simple instrument; but deceptively so, in that it requires an embouchure (and diaphragm) of steel plus circular breathing to elicit its haunting, cool sound. The younger Jivan has all these attributes, as well as technical agility, as this piece demonstrates.
I was covering the festival, toting my trusty camcorder, and had the good fortune to arrange this spontaneous shoot with Gasparyan jr in a room just adjacent to the hotel kitchen. My thanks to his two stalwart accompanists, and to my various friends who guarded the doors and kept waiters and dishwashers at bay.
Gasparyan senior was there too, and at the very end of this video you can see Jivan jr. slide his eyes sideways, to see if his grandfather approved of the performance.
He did.

Post a Comment


Here’s where you’ll find my weekly original world music video blogs that appear on Huffington Post, as well as an archive starting in April of 2009.

This is also the place where you will find video that is exclusive to my site. I’ve traveled to places like Uzbekistan, Morocco, and Taiwan and no matter where I go I have found amazingly talented and creative people working in every genre from the deepest traditions to the cutting edge.

It’s been incredibly rewarding to interview them and to capture some of what they do on video. Enjoy what you see and hear, and let me know what you think. I welcome your feedback.