Saturday, August 1, 2015

All-star musicians dedicate concert to women of Kobani

Renowned line-up of musicians to perform in support of Kobani's women. (Photo supplied)

Renowned line-up of musicians to perform in support of Kobani's women. (Photo supplied)
LOS ANGELES, USA —Kurdish singer and women rights advocate Rojan Feyz is in Los Angeles for a much-anticipated concert of Kurdish folk songs and Persian classical music to be held Sunday at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre.

Feyz said the performance, which includes musicians and dancers are from Middle East, Europe, Latin America and North America, will be dedicated the to the female fighters who battled ISIS in the ethnically Kurdish area of northern Syria known to Kurds as Rojava.

“Kobani women made every Kurdish woman proud. They are inspiring,” said Feyz, referring to the Kurdish town on the border with Turkey that became a powerful symbol of Kurdish resistance when the extremists were driven out earlier this years after months of fierce fighting.

The event was organized by Shahin Yousefzamani, a Kurdish musician and composer.
“The purpose for this concert is to further introduce the liveliness and beauty of Kurdish music to the international audience,” Yousefzamani told Rudaw.

Yousefzamani is the son of the renowned violin-players and composer Hosein Yousefzamani, who is from Iranian city Sina, also known as Sanandaj. His uncle Hasan Yousefzamani was also a musician.

The Sunday concert will include 15 songs, 10 of which will be Kurdish. A diverse dance group will perform three innovative choreographies.

“To a Western ear, Kurdish music might be a reminder of the music often heard in horror movies, instigating fear. To me, Kurdish music has so deeply resonated that I feel I must have been a Kurd in a past life or something. It runs in my blood,” said Greg Ellis, an American drummer and percussionist.

Ellis’s collaboration with Kurdish musicians started 12 years ago with Alireza Bashipoor, the tambour player from Iranian Kurdistan.

Hajar Zahawy, the acclaimed Daf player has travelled from London to join this diverse group for the performance. Born in Khaneqin, in Iraqi Kurdistan, Zahawy has been praised for his impressive skills as a Daf player.

“With its strong specificity, the enchanting rhythm and melody, there is nothing not to like about Kurdish music,” said Pedro Eustache, the world famous flautist, keyboardist, and composer.

“The rhythm of Kurdish music feels so natural and familiar to me. I think in Venezuela we got our music from you guys,” said Eustache.

Greek-born Oud player Dimitris Mahlis said he found the energy and melody in Kurdish music to be irresistible. He was first exposed to Kurdish music through Kamkars, a musical group consisting of the seven Kurdish brothers and a sister from Sina.

“Of all types of Kurdish music, I think the Iranian Kurds’ music is much more developed, more so than Turkish or Iraqi music,” said Mahlis.

Nazanin Badiei, a choreographer, performer and dance instructor, and her group of Persian and Latino dancers will perform three Kurdish modern rhythms for the concert.
Badiei started her performances of folk and modern dances in the Talar Vahdat theatre in Tehran. She has performed Kurdish, Azeri and Gilaki dances in addition to authentic and modern Persian dances.

“After the Islamists took over in Iran, people felt supressed and disillusioned. That’s when they clung to Kurdish music for the upbeat rhythm,” said Mehrdad Arabifard, a Los Angeles-based percussionist and fiddler.

“Many talented Kurdish musicians who resided in Tehran did a great job introducing and blending Kurdish and Persian music. Nowadays, Kurdish music has a significant influence on Iranian music,” Arabifard added.

Navid Kandelousi, a New-York-based musician will play Kamancheh at the concert. He was born in Mazandaran, Northern Iran, and learned violin at a young age. He is a performer, composer and instructor of Setar, Tar, Violin and Kamancheh.

Other musicians in this concert include Ramin Yousefzamani on violin, Hamid Saeidi on the Santur, and Ali Sanaei on bass.
The article was originally published in Rudaw

1 comment:

Lateef Owaisi said...

Salaam and Thanks for the interesting info. Please let me know how I could have the groups CDs or DVDs for the Toronto Public Library.

Lateef Owaisi