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Kyaw Kyaw Naing Ensemble

Saturday / April 1, 2017 / 7 pm

Kyaw Kyaw Naings’s Burmese music is an exhilarating tease, defying expectations of symmetry or steady tempo.”
– New York Times

Join us as we celebrate a return to Myanmar after 28 years of repression and military rule. After years of isolation eight of Burma’s greatest musicians bring the rarely heard Saing-Waing orchestra- a marker of Burmese identity for some twelve hundred years. Spectacular in appearance and unique in musical tone, various drums and gongs invite us to the world of Burmese noble thoughts, joyous celebration, and gratitude. At the center of the Saing–Waing ensemble will sit Kyaw Kyaw Naing at one of the most impressive and demanding instruments in the world.

Kyaw Kyaw Naing holds a singular distinction as a master of the Pat Waing a circle of 21 drums set in a gilded circle of carved gold.  Musicians who held this position were given special status and rank by royalty, governments and an adoring public. Thus it was painful for Kyaw Kyaw to live as a political refugee for sixteen years- only now able to freely return and bring his fellow musicians to the United States.

In cooperation with the Ena H. Thompson Lectureship, Department of History, Pomona College and UCLA Center for South East Asian Studies.


After years of isolation, eight of Burma’s greatest musicians bring the rarely heard Saing-Waing orchestra. To witness this music is to enter the deepest regions of the human heart and to dream of another reality-the reality of hope and the ties to the land. 

Meet the Artist

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Aratani Theatre

Japanese American Cultural & Community Center (JACCC)
244 South San Pedro Street
Los Angeles, CA 90012


Kyaw Kyaw Naing Documentary & In Performance

After fifteen years of separation, Kyaw Kyaw returns to Burma. Paying honor to his teachers, reuniting with musician friends, he plays for the first time in years with a full Pat Waing ensemble. Bitter sweet.