The Kennedy Center



Gramophonic is a Washington, DC-based quintet which includes by turns cello, mandolin, violin, accordion, guitar, bass, and percussion, including Central Asian tabla drums. Gramophonic shares a passion for the stories and cultures of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and China, and its songs explore members’ past lives in these countries through the American folk, blues, and roots music they grew up with. The band is a mainstay at prominent DC-area music festivals and performing venues like the Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival and the Rock & Roll Hotel.

Watch Past Performances

Video 5/5/2017: Tear a Root from the Earth

Tear a Root from the Earth is a new musical that unites American and Afghan folk music to tell the story of multiple generations of one family in Afghanistan. Composed by American diplomat Johnny Walsh and Afghan rabab virtuoso Qais Essar, the piece creates an innovative musical vocabulary to tell a story never before seen on the American stage. Join Essar, celebrated folk band Gramophonic, and special guests for an exciting concert performance of selections from the musical.

Presented in partnership with the Embassy of Afghanistan.