Sazgen Sazy

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The Sazgen Sazy musical ensemble is Kazakh folkloric group of musical performers. In 1981 Uzbekali Zhanibekov the outstanding musical researchman, historian and ethnographer had brainchild to form group from members of staff of Ykhlas Museum of Folk Musical Instruments in Almaty to present concerts for visitors to the Ykhlas Museum of Folk. After few years they make their name and professional musicians formed a queue to join in.

Bagdat Tilegenov, now the ensemble musical director, joined in 1989 but the group then was only called Sazgen. After only two glorious years he was asked to be head of it. Bagdat says:

"Folk music is everlasting. It's like the classics which are the foundation of the basics and the start of all beginnings. We're born with them and we're still learning with them. We live with them. Musicians playing Kazakh folk instruments make listeners sense the beauty and feel the music of steppe melodies from ancient times. Listeners are moved by the originality of the works of folk composers and they hear the voices of mysterious instruments which come alive as the musicians play, giving rise to an exalted reaction of in the hearts of the listeners

Sazgen Sazy has wide repertoire of more 300 works includes, Kazakh musical arrangements known as the kuy and works by illustrious Kazakh composers such as Kumangazy, Ykhlas, Tattimbet, Dauletkerey, Kazangap, Dina Nupeisova, Sugur and Bayzhigit. The ensemble also perform works by modern composers and foreigh songwriters like The Beatles, Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder, Paul Mauriat, James Last and Roger Whittaker.

The ensemble always look to expand and update their repertoire of Kazakh folkloric songs. Each region in Kazakhstan has its own melodies, musics and songs. Exampli grata - the melodies of southern regions such as Zhambyl, Taldykorgan, Almaty and Shymkent are very often cheerful and merry, but in center of country the musics gains more breadth like the wide open expanse of the steppe. In western region of Kazakhstan music is distinguished by dynamic and expressing nature. With money and support from Ministry of Culture and Information, Sazgen Sazy is always gathering new materials from remote villages which they present on stage at later time.

In 1998 Dir. Tilgenov saw advert for folk ensembles to join in international festival in Italian town of Vico Equense where Kazakh music was much novelty. They joined the festival but only 12 Kazakhs were surrounded by Scottish men with bagpipes and Spanish men with guitars and drums during opening parade. As nobody could hear the Kazakh music they started sing very loud the song "My Kazakhstan" by the famous composer Shamshi Kaldayakov which later became national anthem of country. Although bagpipes made much noise on first day, on next day our group sang alone. Kairzhan Zholdybayev sang Abay's famous song Ayttem Salem and followed with Italian song O Sole Mio. This very much pleased the Italians people and Kazakh ensemble received much clapping from audience and jury and won the prize. Since then the ensemble has gone from strength to strength and now has worldwide reputation.