Russian Yodelers, Drowned Out in Rose Parade, to Hold Concerts

Three Russian singing cowboys who rode in last week’s Rose Parade to the sound of a high school band plan to march to their own beat back to Pasadena today.

Singing horsemen from the remote Russian area of Tuva--who were unexpectedly drowned out by a band marching behind them on New Year’s Day--will stage free concerts at noon and 7:30 p.m. at Caltech.

Tuvans are known for their unusual yodeling--their ability to sing two notes at once.


They had earlier promised to sing to parade-goers who shouted out ekii (“eh-key”), the Tuvan word for hello. But the loud band--and overhead helicopter noise--made it impossible for spectators to hear them, said visit organizer Ralph Leighton.

“The Tuvans were deeply moved” by the friendly Colorado Boulevard crowd, he said.

The noon concert will be at Caltech’s Olive Walk; the evening performance will be in Baxter Hall.

Leighton said the three singers will also perform for free Wednesday at noon and at 7 p.m. at UC Santa Barbara and at noon Sunday in Pasadena’s Victory Park.

Two years in the planning, the Tuvans’ parade appearance was almost scrapped when they missed their flight from Kyzyl, the town 3,000 miles from Moscow where they live, and subsequently missed their Aeroflot flight to the U.S.

Leighton said seats on a Lufthansa flight were found at the last minute to get the singers to Los Angeles hours before the parade.