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Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan

One Heart, Different Tongues—An Evening of Kurdish/Alevi Music

Public Programs | Music

Photo of a dark stage. Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan sit on a rug with instruments playing together.

Photo by Azadeh Besharati

Catch the enchanting rhythms and beautiful melodies of Kayhan Kalhor and Erdal Erzincan, two longtime musical collaborators whose blending of Iranian kamancheh and Turkish saz demonstrates that to be one in heart is better than to be one in tongue.

This is a past program

This program took place on
Tuesday, May 16, 2023

About the Program

Grammy Award winner, WOMEX 2019 artist of the year, and internationally acclaimed kamancheh (Persian spiked fiddle) player Kayhan Kalhor returns to the Skirball with world-renowned Turkish saz/bağlama (long-necked lute) virtuoso Erdal Erzincan. The two may speak different tongues, but their hearts are united through music. They have been playing concerts together for two decades, mesmerizing audiences with enchanting rhythms and beautiful melodies.

Kalhor is a Kurdish speaker from Kermanshah in Northwestern Iran and Erzincan is a Turkish-speaking Alevi from Erzurum in Eastern Turkey. Both Kurds and Alevis have been marginalized minorities and have suffered from historical systematic suppression by the central governments in their countries. The Kurd and Alevi nomads have been playing music not only for expressing love and worship but also to lament the sorrow of injustice and separation.

"The tongue of mutual understanding is different indeed: to be one in heart is better than to be one in tongue."—Rumi


Stream Now

Kayhan Kalhor: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

Erdal Erzincan - Mihrican mı Değdi

Mother holding young daughter dancing and smiling outside during a festival

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