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(1949 – present)

Smagul Umbetbaev (Russian: Смагул Умбетбаев; born in 1949) comes from Central and belongs to the Tama tribe. He is considered to be the greatest living player.

He started playing the kobyz at the age of 14 following a dream in which his vocation appeared to him. After making his first kobyz himself, he listened to Zhappas Kalambaev and Daulet Myktybaev on the radio and then spent only two years at the national conservatory. His musical talent and… read more

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