An extremely talented, self-taught overtone singer, Khovalyg worked as a shepherd until the age of 21, when he was invited to join the Tuvan State Ensemble. He settled in Kyzyl and started teaching throat singing and igil. A co-founder of Huun-Huur-Tu, he left the State Ensemble in 1993 to devote his attention to the newly formed quartet. He has performed and recorded with the Tuva Ensemble, Vershki da Koreshki, the World Groove Band and the Volkov Trio. Covering a range from tenor to bass, Khovalyg is particularly known for his unique rendition of the khöömei and kargyraa singing styles.
Sayan Bapa, child of a Tuvan father and Russian mother, grew up in the industrial town Ak-Dovurak. He received his musical training in Kislovodsk, Northern Caucasus, where he played fretless bass in a Russian jazz-rock band for several years. In the early 1990s he returned to Tuva to study his roots, and became a member of a folk-rock band, performing traditional Tuvan music on electric instruments. A co-founder of Huun-Huur-Tu, Bapa is a versatile string instrumentalist, and performs on the doshpuluur, igil and acoustic guitar. As a vocalist he is currently specializing in the kargyraa style.
Radik Tolouche (Tiuliush)
Radik was born in the Ovur area of The Republic of Tuva, near the border with Mongolia. He has been interested in studying and performing folk music since childhood, and he learned throat-singing from his grand-dad. While Radik was still in secondary school, his family moved to Kyzyl. After receiving his high school diploma, he started studying medicine. Upon graduation he worked at the Centre of Folk Medicine in Kyzyl. He later graduated from the Chyrgal-ool Arts School (Kyzyl), where he had been studying igil. He participated in various Tuvan rock and folk collectives. Radik currently teaches igil at the Kerndenbilija Arts School of The Republic of Tuva. He joined Huun-Huur-Tu in 2005.
Alexei Saryglar joined the ensemble in 1995 to replace Alexander Bapa. He completed his musical training in Ulan Ude as a percussionist for classical and popular music, and became a member of the large Russian state ensemble 'Siberian Souvenir'. A multi-talented performer, Saryglar makes his mark as a sygyt singer, and his expertise with traditional Tuvan percussion and string instruments naturally extends into the art of piano playing. Like the other members of the ensemble, he resides in Kyzyl when not on tour.