Ashkhabad (band)

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Origin Ashgabat, Turkmenistan
Genres Folklore
Years active 1993–2009
Labels Real World Records
Associated acts Melina Kana
Past members

Ashkhabad was a Turkmen folklore band formed in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.


  • Atabai Charykuliev - vocals
  • Gasan Mamedov - violin, Honored Artist of Turkmenistan.
  • Sabir Rizaev - clarinet, soprano saxophone
  • Kurban Kurbanov - accordion
  • Hakberdiev Alamuradov - dep, hammer, varnish


The musicians of the band individually built their careers by playing at weddings, at one of which lead singer Atabai Charykuliev was noticed by orientalist and producer Nazim Nadirov. Surviving a state campaign against Islamic wedding music (at one point, Charykuliev was confined to a mental institution for continuing to play), the dissolution of the Soviet Union enabled him to continue performing.[1]

After several concert performances (including a performance on Turkmen television together with singer Aziza), he was awarded the title "Honorable Traditional Musician of the People" by the newly independent Republic of Turkmenistan.

Ashkhabad was soon formed as a Muslim wedding music supergroup, naming itself after the capital of Turkmenistan.

After one of the band's shows was recorded at a studio in Germany and given a tour in Europe, Charykuliev said that he owed all that he has to the President of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov.

On March 21, 2009, Charykuliev died in Ashgabat.

Recordings and notable performances[edit]

In 1993, they were the first musical group from the former Soviet Union to be published under the label of Peter Gabriel - Real World (division of Virgin Records). Their album, City of Love (a literal translation of the band's name), found some popularity in Europe.[citation needed]

In 1998, together with the Greek singer Melina Kana, they released the album Loot.

On 23 February 2000, they appeared on the television show Anthropology‘‘ on channel NTV Russia and in 2002 on Channel One Russia's Nochnaya smena.

In 2002, the band performed concerts in Moscow and attended the First Moscow International Festival of Ethnic Music.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]