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Anadolu Kültür's Female Minstrels project continues with ‘From Yerevan to Van’ concerts in Van & İstanbul
Turkey | Anadolu Kültür
Ashugh Leyli and Dengbêj Gazîn will give joint concerts on September 7th on the Aghtamar Island in Van following the mass at the Armenian Church of the Holy Cross and on September 12th in Istanbul.

From Yerevan to Van...


Anadolu Kültür's Female Minstrels project kicked off with ‘From Van to Yerevan’ concert in Yerevan last spring. The project is funded by the European Union  within the framework of the programme Support to the Armenia-Turkey Normalisation Process.


Dengbêj (minstrel in Kurdish) Gazîn and Ashugh (minstrel in Armenian) Leyli's first joint concert took place in Yerevan's National Center for Chamber Music on May 26th, 2014.


The concert was broadcasted live on CivilNet and reached out to a greater audience beyond Yerevan. The live recording can be viewed here.


The traditional musical performance, minstrelsy, is a folk literature that can be regarded as a genre of oral history narrative, which is still preserved in both Turkey and Armenia.


The minstrel stories displaying the common past of the peoples have been neglected and silenced by the official history; it is passed down throughout generations and is still alive in both societies.


The two important figures of this tradition, Dengbêj Gazîn of Van and Ashugh Leyli of Armenia, met on May 19th, 2014 in Yerevan to begin their preparations for their first concert.


During the concert, three disciples from the Van Women Artists’ Association founded by Dengbêj Gazîn herself accompanied her performance, while Ashugh Leyli performed together with female musicians from Armenia.


Beside the common repertoire  selected for the concert, Ashugh Leyli and Dengbêj Gazîn performed their own songs to the audience.


Lusine Nazaryan, a researcher on minstrelsy from Armenia and Marlene Schäfers, an anthropologist from Cambridge University is amongst the group that is conducting the field trip investigating the local minstrelsy tradition.


Ashugh Leyli and Dengbêj Gazîn’s second meeting will take place on September 1st in Van, Turkey. The musicians that will perpetuate their field trip in Van will give their second joint concert on September 7th 2014, at 13.00 on the Aghtamar Island in Van following the mass at the Armenian Church of the Holy Cross.


All the materials gathered during the field trips and the stories the minstrels sang will be compiled  and published in a book along with a CD containing the recordings of Dengbêj Gazîn and Ashugh Leyli.


Afterwards, the duo will travel to Istanbul to record their album which will be released by Kalan Müzik and also to perform a final concert in Istanbul at the Mustafa Kemal Hall of ITU Macka on September 12th, at 20.30.


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For further information:


İrem Argat
[email protected]


Tamar Nalcı
[email protected]


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