FolkFire Articles

March / April 2000

  • Portrait of a Master
  • Focal Point Moves to Maplewood

  • March / April 2000 reviews and profiles
  • FolkFireHome
  • Index of Articles
  • Index of Reviews

  • Portrait of a Master
    by Gretchen Tomazic

    Tolkin Isakov, gifted artist extrordinare and new immigrant to the United States from Tashkent, Uzbekistan, is currently residing in St. Louis. He brings to his new home an outstanding record of accomplishments. He has been a percussionist with the National Symphonic Orchestra of the Republic of Uzbekistan, the senior teacher of percussion and the Dean of the orchestral faculty at Tashkent State Conservatory in Uzbekistan. As senior teacher of percussion, soloist for orchestra and concert performer, Tokin's performance skills and pedagogical practices are of the highest level. He has been a solo percussion performer for international concerts and festivals, an ensemble soloist for international concerts and competitions and a teacher of music clinics and workshops at universities and colleges throughout the Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Turkey, Russia, the Central Asian countries of Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Austria, France Germany, Switzerland, Greece and the United States.

    Tolkin has worked as musical director and performer with "Yalla," the National Ensemble of Uzbekistan. He has also served as arranger for and audio engineer for the internationally renowned Ensemble. As a performer, Tolkin plays percussion instruments, bass guitar and does vocals.

    Tolkin is the founder of the Central Asian Arts Association, a not for profit organization dedicated to sharing the culture of the people of Central Asia through educational presentations. These presentations include demonstrations of the rhythms, music, costumes and the culture of Central Asia. He is currently hard at work forming a percussion ensemble called "Rhythms of the World." If you are a percussionist and interested in playing in an ensemble with world rhythms as a focus please contact Tolkin.

    In his work as audio engineer, arranger, studio folk percussionist and musical programmer for Studio Audio Records, a private recording studio in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, Tolkin made recording masters and arranged music. As arranger and musical director, he worked for various Uzbek and Turkish Folk groups and soloists. He has a recording contract with Imagina Production for Yalla, the State Honor Ensemble of the Republic of Uzbekistan. Their compact discs and tapes are distributed internationally through Tower Records. Some of the more popular releases are: Jinouny, Imagina Productions, Seattle, Washington,The Beard of the Camel, Imagina Productions, Seattle, Washington, Uch Kuduk, Melody Records, Moscow, Russia, and Chaikhana, Melody Records, Moscow, Russia.

    The roots of Uzbek music goes back to the 4th century BC Archaeological discoveries have proven the existence of tribal song and dance in the region of what today is Uzbekistan. Following are the Uzbek National folk instruments that Tolkin studied while on the conservatory. These instruments are found as accompaniment to the epic poetry of wandering musicians as well as in orchestras:

    For further information on available programs, recordings, or Central Asian instruments contact Tolkin at 314-293-1605.