April 18, 2024

Mongolian Jazz, Nara Bara: ‘Hamt Zamin Hümüs’

Nara Bara do jazz, Mongolian style.

They have just released a new album Hamt Zamin Hümüs, bringing a jazzy shapeshifting dimension to Mongogian folk music.


Yider, a Mongol musician, created the NaraBara project with keyboardist Asr, his long-time friend and collaborator. The two traveled to Hohhot and spent three months “in retreat,” focusing on the songwriting process and polishing the general framework of the songs. Their fusion concept soon attracted three experienced musicians – drummer Zhitong Xu, bassist ErDàn, and guitarist Suoty – who had previously dedicated themselves to music scenes both domestic and abroad. With the addition of these members, five became one. A group with interlinked hearts that brings blazing collisions of improvised ideas and energetic performances. “NaraBara,” meaning “the contour of the sun” in Mongul, has been the band’s guide since its inception, while new album Hamt Zamin Hümüs marks their first attempt at reaching there.

Hamt Zamin Hümüs is an organic dialogue between Mongolian folk tunes and the contemporary musical language.

Hamt Zamin Hümüs showcases the band member’s appreciation for the cross-cultural sounds of world music. Morin khuur, the Mongolian instrument that shares a great kinship with the band members who studied it professionally, shaped the melodic texture of the album along with other traditional string instruments collected from around the world including the guembri, ngoni, and kora.

NaraBara moves fluidly between traditional and contemporary, acoustic and electronic.

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