Tag Archives: Iran

Artist Profiles: Kaveh Sarvarian

Kaveh Sarvarian

Musician and composer Kaveh Sarvarian was born in Tehran, Iran in 1976. He has a Master of Composition, University of Art of Tehran.

Throughout his long career, he has performed in different countries. In Iran he was a member of the Tehran Symphony Orchestra (transverse flute), Rastak Ensemble (folk wind instruments), Naima Persian Jazz Fusion (flute, ney, tombak).

He was a professor at the University of Art of Tehran, in the Department of Music and Composition. Kaveh moved to Madrid, Spain around 2010. He presently directs the Parsinava ensemble where he delves into jazz sonorities within traditional Persian music.

Kaveh co-directs Kereshmeh, along with dancer Patricia Álvarez. It is a groundbreaking project based on the compositions of his album titled Kereshmeh, where they explore folk languages incorporated into a contemporary scenic concept.

In addition to Parsinava ensemble and Kereshmeh, Kaveh also participates in various other music ensembles and projects: Darawish (Arabic-Mediterranean fusion music), The Silk Road, Capella de Ministrers and Carles Magraner, Eduardo Paniagua.

He also is the author of three instructive books, “The Comprehensive Method of Ney “, ” Persian Music Ornamentation for Ney” , and” Tombak Method “.

Kaveh lives in Madrid, Spain where he gives online Persian music lessons on Skype and works on his musical projects.

His recordings include Parisan (Quartets for Ney), Persian Rug (Flute duo and piano), Avareh (Jazz fusion), Ofogh, Sonido del oriente (Persian music on a trip to Spain) and Kereshmeh (new perspective of Persian music).


Persian Rug, with Hamzeh Yeganeh (2014)
Parisan (2014)
Avareh, with Hamzeh Yeganeh (2014)
Moonlight Sky (2014)
Ofogh (2014)
Sonido del oriente (2015)
Kereshmeh – Nueva perspectiva de música persa (2019)


Artist Profiles: Zohreh Jooya

Zohreh Jooya

Zohreh Jooya, raised in the holy city of Mashad in Iran, received a classical music education at the Academy of Music, Vienna and then earned a masters degree in opera at the Conservatory of the City of Vienna. She currently pursues a singing career in both Oriental and European cultures with opera performances throughout Austria, Germany, Denmark and Switzerland.


Persian Nights: Traditional Folk Music from Iran (ARC Music, 1995)
Journey To Persia (ARC Music, 1998)
Music of the Persian Mystics (ARC Music, 2003)
Songs of Afghanistan (ARC Music, 2004)
Afghan Music (ARC Music, 2010)
Essence Of Love


Artist Profiles: Sima Bina

Sima Bina

Sima Bina was born in Khorasan, in northeastern Iran, an ancient cultural crossroads where Afghan, Persian, Turkish and Kurdish customs and music have co-existed for centuries. In the heart of this multi-faceted folk tradition, Sima Bina started her career on Iranian radio at the age of nine, under the direction of her father, Ahmad Bina – a master of Iranian classical music and poet. After graduating from Tehran University in 1969, Sima Bina continued and perfected her knowledge of classical Persian radif, under renowned master teacher Davami.

Since 1979, alongside her classical studies, Sima Bina has focused on extensive research on Persian folk songs, collecting, recording, writing and re-interpreting popular regional music. By traveling to remote places throughout Khorasan, Sima has been able to gather and revive a collection of almost forgotten songs and melodies. Rejecting the notion that a professional vocalist must leave popular music to folk singers, while devoting their career to ‘serious’ music, she has gained a unique position in the history of Persian music.

Since 1993, Sima Bina has been invited to present her folkloric repertoire in festivals all over the world.

Partial Discography:

Eshghe Gol (Caltex, 1978)
Zolfaye Yaaram (Caltex, 1993)
Persian Classical Music ‎(Nimbus Records, 1995)
Nava’i (Quartertone Records, 1998)
Melodies of Sahara (Caltex, 1998)
Sounds From the Plain (Caltex, 1999)
Music Of South Khorassan ‎(Caltex, 1999)
Music Of Khorassan (Caltex, 1999)
Dorna (Caltex, 2000)
Golden Songs of Sima Bina, 4 CD boxed set (Caltex, 2004)


Sima Bina Live in Amsterdam
Sima Bina Live in Los Angeles


Artist Profiles: Siavash Nazeri

Siavash Nazeri was born on the 1979 in Tehran. Siavash had the advantage of having Shahram Nazeri (one of the best known Iranian singers in the world) as his uncle. He was introduced to music at an early stage of his life. At the age of 13 he started to play the Daf without ever going to classes or having a master. Later, for a short period of time he benefited from the lessons given to him by the well known masters of the instrument; they were Bijan Kamkar and after that it was Ahmad Khaktinat and then Ardeshir Fahimi who gave him some lessons.

With a passion for Daf that was like the passion for life he learned two styles of playing that were completely new and apart from others. These groups include Kamkars and Dastan Ensemble; Young Iranian National musicians and also Traditional Iranian music group 8 and Rumi Ensemble.

He has participated in number of concerts. Kurdish music concert with the Kamkars group, with singing of Shahram Nazeri in Solaimanieh in Iraq for 3 nights in September of 2000.

In October of 2000 he participated in one night of charity concert for children with cancer. The group was Dastan Ensemble with the singing of Shahram Nazeri; the conductor of this concert was Hamid Motabassem. It was held at the Milad Hall in Tehran’s International Fair. Since then he has participated in dozens of concerts with Shahram Nazeri and with several ensembles.


Artist Profiles: Shahram Nazeri

Shahram Nazeri

Shahram Nazeri is one of Iran’s most popular singers and a master of the Persian classical and Sufi repertoires. He was born to a musical Kurdish family in Kermanshah, Western Iran, in 1950 and joined Sufi ensembles at the age of eight. When he was eleven, he sang on Iranian television and started to study the traditional repertoire or radif. He became attracted to the mysteries of Sufism and its music and literature through the works of Mowlana Jelaladin Rumi, Sheikh Attar and others.

His teachers include some of the most important exponents of Persian music in this century – Abdollah Davami, Nourali Boroumand, and Mahmood Karimi. Since the provinces of Kermanshah and Kurdistan in western Iran are dominated with Sufism and the Dervish spinning around music, he showed great interest in this kind of traditional music, mostly accompanied by the poems of the Iranian transcendental poets like Rumi. His gentle voice as well as his unique style drew the attention of millions of Iranians in a very short time.

He has several marvelous works such as Gol e Sad Barg (the one-hundred-leaf-flower), Yadegar e doust (the friend’s memoir), Seda ye Sokhan e Eshgh (the sound of Love’s Word), Shour Angiz (Joy Giver), and many others that impress any listener. For sure, he is one of those at the top of Persian transcendental music. Shahram Nazeri, one of Iran?s most popular singers, is known for his mastery of the Persian classical, Sufi and Kurdish repertoires. Called ?the Persian nightingale,? he has appeared with Iran?s leading ensembles and is acknowledged for his deeply soulful performances.

He has won many prizes and has sung with the leading ensembles of Iran, Sheyda and Aref. His performances in Europe, the Middle East, and North America have been acclaimed for their poetry and virtuosity. He has dozens of recordings to his credit.

Partial discography:

Les Maitres De La Musique Traditionnelle Vol. 3 ‎(Ocora, 1992)
Nowruz – Traditional & Classic Music ‎(Network Medien, 1995)
Shoor Angiz (Caltex Records, 1996)
Mystified – Poetry of Rumi: Sufi Music of Iran (Quartertone Records, 1997)
Through Eternity ‎(Sounds True, 1999)
Shahram Nazeri and The Dastan Group (Long Distance, 2001)
Voice of Endearment (Kereshmeh Records, 2001)
Loulian (Quartertone Records, 2006)
The Passion of Rumi (Quartertone Productions, 2007)
The Book of Austerity (Quartertone Records, 2007)
The Book Of Austerity ‎(Meshkat, 2008)
Rumi Symphony Project – Cycle I – Untold ‎(Sony Classical, 2014)


Artist Profiles: Saeed Niakowsari

Saeed Niakowsari is a composer and performer of Iranian traditional music. He is the owner and manager of ?Saba private music school?, which is a center for teaching and dissemination of Iranian traditional music in Shiraz, Iran.

As part of his working experience, he has taken part in a number of music competitions and won the reward for best santur (or santoor) performance in 1991, The 8th International Fajr Festival.

In the year 2000, hr performed for German audiences in Berlin and being successful, prolonged his stay for a two-week period to record part of his programs.

Saeed Niakowsari has also participated in several group and individual performances. Two of his individual performances have been published as cassettes, one privately and the other by the company affiliated to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting Service (IRIB Soroosh), which is the Iranian governmental broadcasting organization. In Addition two other cassettes of the group performances as well as a number of note booklets have been published.




Artist Profiles: Peyman Yazdanian

Peyman Yazdanian
Peyman Yazdanian is an Iranian pianist and composer who combines eastern instruments like ud, duduk, daf, dohol, tar, etc., with western and orchestral instruments.

Born in Tehran (1969), he started learning the Piano at the age of 6 and continued his advance level studies under the supervision of Farman Behbud. At the age of 12, he studied harmony and composition lessons from Plus Khofri. In 1991 he graduated from the Sharif Technical University in Industrial Engineering.

Peyman also took part in master classes held in Tehran with Austrian Masters from Vienna and Graz conservatories as well as an advanced stage course in Marseilles with professor Ginette Gaubert.

Taking part in the international piano competition, Concour Musical de France, held in 1998, he was awarded the second prize and the year after he won the first prize at the same competition.

Since 1979 he has written 37 pieces for the Piano, most of which have been performed in various concerts in Tehran and Paris.

He has also composed the score of the opening announcement of the Locarno International Film Festival in 1998 (Birth of Light directed by Abbas Kiarostami)


Second Take (Hermes, 2005)


Artist Profiles: Parisa


Parisa is one of Iran’s foremost female vocalists. She is a master of the radif or classical Persian repertoire. This traditional musical style is based on improvisation within a modal structure known as dastgah. The performer’s skill rests in the extemporaneous vocal ornamentation of this basic melodic framework.

Born Fatemeh Vaezi, Parisa started her musical work under the supervision of the renowned Persian Radif teacher, Mahmoud Karimi, with whom she studied for ten years at the National Music Conservatory in Tehran. Two years through her pupilage, she was invited by the Ministry of Culture to work in the National Radio and Television Broadcasting.

In 1969 she began her singing career under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture and Art, performing throughout Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan. She spent much of her early career fighting against bureaucratic obstacles and a misreprentation as a pop singer. The Ministry had misjudged her and gave her semi-pop tunes to perform. Eventually, a fierce crusade in the media
eventually allowed her to work with other traditional artists. Gradually, Parisa was seen at more traditional concerts, finally performing at the Shiraz Arts Festival during its last years.

Parisa’s musical talent truly bloomed when she was introduced to “The Iranian Center for Preservation and Dissimination of Music”. Her recordings of this period show a tremendous depth and growth in her musical understanding.

In recent years, Parisa has been successfully concentrating on teaching and guiding young talents. Since 1995, she has been performing in collaboration with Hossein Omoumi in various festivals and concerts around the world. Parisa currently lives in Iran.


Parisa (Caltex, 1996)
Baz Amadam (Playasound, 1996)
Tale of Love: Esfahan (Quartertone Records, 1999)
Sham-I-Vafa – Candle of Faith (Amity Records, 2002)
Tale of Love II – Nava (Quartertone Records, 2004)


Artist Profiles: Naser Khorasani

Naser Khorasani

A member of the American Psychological Association, Naser Khorasani (daf) is a Psychologist specializing in music therapy and meditation.

He was born in Tabriz, Iran in 1971. He is a highly respected master of Persian Classical Music Theory and Practice, and especially of the daf, which is the musical instrument most used in Persian spiritual practices, as well as the tanboor.


The howling


Artist Profiles: Mohammad Reza Lotfi

Mohammad Reza Lotfi

Mohammad Reza Lotfi was born in 1947 in Gorgan, northern Iran. Encouraged by his elder brother, he learned to play the tar and showed his talent by winning the first prize in Iran’s Young Musicians Festival in 1964. The following year, he started his studies at the National Conservatory in Tehran under Habibollah Salehi and Master Ali Akbar Shahnazi. While at the conservatory, he also studied western classical music and the violin which led to his collaboration with various orchestras under the direction of Hossein Dehlavi. Some of his other eminent teachers were Abdollah Davami, from whom he learned the Radif, and Master Hormozi, who taught him the setar.

While attending the College of Fine Arts at Tehran University, Lotfi became the student of Master Nour-Ali Boroumand. He also worked at the Center for the Preservation and Propagation of Traditional Iranian Music, both as a soloist and a conductor. His other accomplishments were teaching at the Center for Intellectual Development of Children and Adolescents, researching folk music for National Radio and Television, and appearing at the Shiraz Arts Festival.

After graduating in 1973, Lotfi joined the faculty of Fine Arts at Tehran University. He continued his collaboration with Radio and Television and co-founded the Shayda Ensemble. Between 1978 and 1980, Lotfi became the Head of the School of Music at Tehran University. He served as the director of the Center for the Preservation and Propagation of Traditional Iranian Music and the Chavosh Conservatory. In 1984 Lotfi was invited by Fondazione Cini to participate in a seminar and perform concerts in Italy where he resided for two years. He has been living in the United States since 1986 and has performed widely throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. A prolific musician, he has made numerous recordings both as a solo artist and with major Iranian musicians such as Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Shahram Nazeri, Hossein Alizadeh, and Parviz Meshkatian.

Lotfi is one of the greatest contemporary masters of the tar and setar. He is among the major figures who, in the past twenty years, have revolutionized the Persian traditional (classical) music. His innovative approach of combining the classical with folk elements, both in terms of music and technique, has injected a new vitality into a very old tradition. His original creativity and the deep-rooted emotional quality of his playing have made him the father of a new aesthetics in Persian music.

Mohammad Reza Lotfi died on May 2, 2014 in Tehran, Iran.

Partial discography:

The Abu-Ata Concert (Kereshmeh Records, 1996)
Mystery Of Love (Kereshmeh Records, 1996)