Skip to main content
  • TmbaTa: The Armenian Youth Orchestra

    What do you want to do when you get older?
    “Be musicians and scientists.”

    Answering in a way that only bright-eyed youth can, the young men and women featured in this video are members of the Armenian youth rock group Tmbata. Tmbata’s music enlivens fifth century Armenian folk music with the strains of twentieth century American rock. Their music balances rich layers of musical references with a catchy modern sound, reinventing the Armenian folk music tradition.

    In this interview, Tmbata answers questions about their American and Armenian inspirations, the importance of Armenian folk music, and what they want to do when get to D.C. for the Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

    Tmbata is led by the Armenian rock star Arik Grigoryan and formed through TUMO Center for Creative Technologies, a free access resource center for youth in Yerevan, Armenia. At TUMO, youth from the ages of twelve to eighteen have the chance to learn skills such as video editing and music: evidenced by the professionalism of this video which was filmed and edited at TUMO.

    See Tmbata perform at the Folklife Festival as part of the Sounds of California program between July 7 to 10. They will accompany Armenian Public Radio in the evening concert on July 7 at 6:30 p.m. and play again in our closing concert on July 10 at 4:30 p.m.

    SarahVictoria Rosemann is the Folklife Festival media intern. She has a degree in ethnomusicology, with a focus in Tibetology, and grew up in Reno, Nevada

  • Support the Folklife Festival, Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, sustainability projects, educational outreach, and more.