On Thursday, May 8, at 7 pm, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs presents Zarbang, a world percussion ensemble representing some of the finest percussionists from Iran and Afghanistan. The concert takes place in Preston Bradley Hall at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 East Washington Street. Admission is free.
Dynamic, meditative, and internal on the one hand and ecstatic and trance inducing on the other, Zarbang’s sound uses vocalization and melody while fusing ancient Iranian rhythms with instruments from other cultures, while staying true to the essence and origin of each instrument. Zarbang’s vitality and innovative sound comes from its members, each of whom are respected musicians in their own right.
Zarbang was founded in 1996 by leading Iranian percussionists Behnam Samani, Morteza Ayan and Siavash Yazdanifar in Germany with the double aim of introducing Iranian percussion instruments to international audiences and combining them with percussive and melodic instruments from other cultures. Starting in 2001, a new lineup of musicians has given Zarbang renewed vitality and created innovations in its sound.The new Zarbang includes Behnam Samani; Hakim Ludin, the virtuoso Afghan percussionist and resident of Germany who has a mastery over most Latin American, African, Indian and Afghani percussion instruments; the Iranian born, US resident, Pejman Hadadi, who is one of the foremost musicians on the Tombak, Daf and other percussion instruments; versatile Iranian percussionist Reza Samani, resident of Germany, who performs Iranian wood wind instruments, Ney-Anban and Zorna in addition to Tombak and Daf; Javid Afsari, a highly acclaimed Iranian Santur player and resident of Norway; and Morshed Mehregan, one of the most well known Morsheds of Iran on Zarb-e-Zoorkhane.
Zarbang has performed and recorded at WDR Radio and Bayern Radio in Germany and on Belgian Radio in Brussels. The ensemble has also performed at a number of major festivals including the 2002 Persian Music Festival in Munich, Grand Performances in Los Angeles, 2001 Vorde Music Festival in Norway and the Rhythm Stick Festival at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Buy their latest CD: