Tien-Shan-Switzerland Express
National Mountain Orchestra (Switzerland / Austria)
Heinrich Känzig - Bass, Musical Director
Zabine - Yodeling
Paul Haag - Alphorn, Buechel, Trombone
Melanie Schiesser - Schwyz Accordion, Buechel, Alphorn, Trumpet, vocals
Patricia Dreager - Accordion
Roland Schildknecht - Hammered Dulcimer
Marc Halbheer - Drums, Percussion

Egschiglen (Mongolia)
Tumenbayar Migdorj - Morin Khuur, vocals
Tumursaihan Yanlav - Morin Khuur, vocals
Uuganbaatar Tsend-Ochir - Ih Khuur
Wandansenge Batbold - Percussion, vocals
Amartuwshin Baasandorj - Khoomii, Tobshuur
Sarangel Tserevsamba - Yoochin, vocals

Sabjilar (Khakassia)
Sergey Charkov - Vocals, Chathkan, Kay, Yh
Anna Bournakova - Vocals, Percussion
Viatcheslav Kouchenov - Vocals, Chathkan, Kay, Yh

Tenir Too (Kyrgyzstan)
Kenjegul Kubatova - vocals, Komuz
Rahatbek Kochorbaev - Komuz
Nurlanbek Nishanov - Flute, Temir Komuz

National Mountain Orchestra (Switzerland / Austria)

Heiri Känzig - Musical director, bass. The Swiss bass player, who was born in New York, is among the few European jazz musicians that can be found on American major labels like Verve or Blue Note. His musical openness also brought him into contact with musicians from pop music or classical music. He performed more than 70 CD recordings and gained international acknowledgement above all with the Vienna Art Orchestra. Heiri Känzig’s subtle work on the borderlines between styles and cultures distinguished him to direct the project.

Zabine - Yodelling. Sabine Kapfinger is the complete name of the lady who set out as Zabine to teach yodelling to people all over the world. She became famous under the name of Alpine Sabine with her appearances with the folk music rebel Hubert von Goisern and his Alpine Cats. After the band stopped performing she traveled to India and Africa. "I wanted to find back my voice and put it into a new context. I wanted to come back to my very own vision". The result is "a creative sweeping attack of a musical single fighter that dares to dream in dreamless-cold times like today" - and creates a very unique musical microcosm.

Paul Haag - Alphorn, buechel, trombone. Paul Haag started classical trombone studies in Basel in 1956 and subsequently changed over to jazz music. Some 15 years ago he started to play alphorn as well. In 1973 he had great success with Magog at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Haag performed with Alpine Experience in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy and Australia. In 2000 he founded his own alphorn formation The Horns, a quintet that caused quite a stir with its further developed Alpine sounds.

Melanie Schiesser - Schwyzerörgeli (Swiss Accordion), alphorn, buechel, trumpet, vocals. The musical roots of Melanie Schiesser are in the traditional folk music of the Glarnerland. Starting in 1983, Melanie performed together with her sisters in the family band Echo vom Kammerstock playing Swiss Accordion, trumpet and piano all over Switzerland and in the neighboring states and was often to be seen and heard in radio and TV shows. Yodelling, alphorn and buechel playing are still included in the music of Melanie today.

Patricia Dräger - Accordion. She had her first accordion lessons at the age of four, later she also learnt transverse flute at the music school of Zug. In Winterthur she studied transverse flute and passed with honors in 1998. This was followed by a degree with the main subject contemporary music. In 1995 she obtained admission to post-graduate studies in music, also with honors. Since then, she works as conductor and actress in various theatrical productions.

Roland Schildknecht - Hammered dulcimer. Roland Schildknecht was born in the canton of Glarus and learnt the play on the hammered dulcimer almost auto didactically. In the beginning of the 80s, he started to combine alpine folk music with jazz and rock elements and to experiment with the possibilities of the hammered dulcimer. In 1983, he founded the folk-jazz-rock group Schiltpatt. This band performed on various festivals in Switzerland and abroad and can be heard on various recordings and CDs.

Marc Halbheer - Drums, percussion. Marc Halbheer discovered his passion for drums in his youth. Since those days, he consequently developed his skills. Today he is a master of these instruments. He studied with teachers like Ralph Humphrey or the long-time Frank Zappa band member Ed Man in Los Angeles. During this time, he made friends with his most important musical companions Yiotis Kiourtsoglou, Lior Yekutieli and Martin Tillman. Since 1992, he is lecturer for percussion and rhythmic at the music university of Lucerne.

Egschiglen (Mongolia)

The ensemble Egschiglen ("beautiful melody") was founded by master-class students of the conservatory of Ulaanbaatar in 1991. Until today, 4 of the founding members form the heart of the ensemble. The roots of the six musicians of Egschiglen lie within the tradition of the Mongolian nomads that are moving through the endless grassland, the barren beauty of the Gobi desert to the snow-capped mountain in the north for decades. Right from the beginning, the artists moved the contemporary music of their country into the centre and discovered systematically the tonal dimensions of this repertoire with traditional Mongolian instruments and Central Asian singing techniques.

Tumenbayar Migdorj - Moriin khuur (horse head violin), vocals
Tumursaihan Yanlav - Moriin khuur, Singing
Uuganbaatar Tsend-Ochir - Ih Khuur (mongolian bass)
Wandansenge Batbold - Percussion, vocals
Amartuwshin Baasandorj - Khoomii, tobshuur (Lute)
Sarangel Tserevsamba - Yoochin (hammered dulcimer), vocals

Sabjilar (Khakassia)

The Russian republic of Khakassia is located right in the centre of Asia, between Mongolia, China and Kazakhstan. The singing of epics in laryngophony accompanied by the chatkhan, a kind of zither, is one of the most important art forms. Sabjilar ("ambassador") was founded to bring back to life the old epics from the 6th to the 12th century. In addition, they also perform nomad songs from the Siberian steppe regions, hunter melodies from the mountains and new improvisations on the chatkhan. All members are familiar with various instruments and styles of the overtone singing khay. Amongst the instruments are the komuz, a two-string lute, the yh, a two-string violin, the chatkhan as well as the dungur, a drum that is used by shamans with their rituals. Viatcheslav Kouchenov was awarded various prizes and is considered to be one of the best overtone singers of Siberia.

Viatcheslav Kouchenov - Khay, chatkhan, komuz, yh, vocals
Sergey Charkov - Khay, chatkhan, komuz, yh, vocals
Anna Bourkanova - Vocals, dungur

Tenir Too (Kyrgyzstan)

Kenjegul Kubatova – Vocals, komuz. Kenjegul probably has the most beautiful female voice of Kyrgyzstan. She was born in Narin, an important musical centre of Kyrgyzstan, and finished the state conservatory in the capital Bishkek. In her singing she combines power, perfection and finesse from the extensive tone material of Kyrgyzstan.

Nurlanbek Nishanov - Flute, temir komuz. Nurlanbek is a multi-instrumentalist. He learnt playing the komuz (lute) and the temir komuz (Jew's harp) in his birth town Narin. After finishing secondary school he learnt among others the wind instruments sybyzgy and chopo choor. He studied European classical music at the state conservatory of Kyrgyzstan. Since 1998, he is conductor of the ensemble Ordo Sakhna and lecturer at the faculty of folkloric and traditional music.

Rahatbek Kochorbaev - Komuz. Rahatbek Kochorbaev studied the komuz at the state conservatory of Bishkek. His way of playing is extraordinarily brilliant. He is member of a vast variety of ensembles in Kyrgyzstan and he mainly gives solo concerts - just like the tradition of the Central Asian nomads.
Thomas Kayser Kulturproduktionen 
Rud. Wackernagelstr. 176 | CH-4125 Riehen 
Tel. +41 61 601 41 11 | Fax +41 61 601 41 12 
eMail: tkayser@bluewin.ch