Latvian world jazz ensemble Baraka focuses on the ancient Persian ghazal tradition that spread throughout Central Asia (Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan). Three female vocalists appear on Gole Sangam: Tajik traditional singer Zarina Tadjibaeva, Baraka’s regular soloist Devika Evsikova and spoken word artist Iran Raihi, who recites verses written by contemporary Iranian poets.
Even though Baraka specializes in what they call ethno jazz, this project sounds like a smooth jazz ensemble backing the vocalists. The fusion could have worked better with less saxophone and some additional traditional instruments. Aside from the vocals and percussion, there is barely any Central Asian musical influence.
Personnel: Zarina Tadjibaeva on lead vocals; Devika Evsikova on vocals, bass, Chapman stick, fretless bass, Rhodes piano; Iran Raihi on spoken word; Deniss Pashkevich on saxophone and flute; Artem Sarvi on Hammond organ, Rhodes and synthesizer; Egor Kovaikov on acoustic and electric guitar, sitar; Dmitry Evsikov on bongo, conga, darbuka, ghatam, clay pot, daff; Marcis Vasilevskis on electric guitar; Vilnis Kundrats on tenor saxophone; Artur Kupetov on electric guitar; Madars Kalniņš on Hammond organ and synthesizer; Zigmund Kukovsky on bass; Janis Amantov on trumpet.
One of the finest acts in the world music scene, Niyaz featuring Azam Ali will perform its 21st Century Global Trance Music on Saturday, April 29 at 8:00 pm at Roulette in New York City.
Niyaz combines Sufi poetry and folk songs from its native Iran and surrounding countries with rich acoustic instrumentation and modern electronics. Formed in California in 2004 and currently based in Montreal, Niyaz’s sound bridges the gap between East and West.
The group was founded by the mesmerizing vocalist andcomposer Azam Ali, whose Iranian heritage and Indian upbringing have deeply influenced her music, and multi-instrumentalist and composer Loga Ramin Torkian (oud & kamaan lutes). They will be joined by Didem Basar (kanun), Gabriel Ethier (keyboards, programming), Vaneet Vyas (tabla), and whirling dervish dancer Miriam Peretz.
The show Qasida: Flamenco Meets Persian Music is set for Friday, March 18 at 8:30 p.m. at Zankel Hall.
Qasida combines musicians from Spain and Iran who represent and expand upon the ancient musical relationships from which flamenco is derived.
Led by two powerful vocalists, Rosario Guerrero “La Tremendita” (Sevilla, Spain) and Mohammad Motamedi (Iran), the group explores the roots of flamenco in the richly varied poetic songs and improvisations of Motamedi. Songs of Spanish folk poetry and Persian high art merge into a musical world in which the spirit of ancient ‘Al-Andalus’ is briefly revived.
Zankel Hall at Carnegie Hall, Seventh Avenue between 57th and 56th Street, New York City.
Hossein Alizadeh, a master of the tar and setar lutes, and Pejman Hadadi one of the most innovative Iranian percussionists are set to perform on Saturday, April 16, 2016 at 8:00 p.m. at Roulette in New York.
Alizadeh, deemed one of the most important figures in contemporary Persian music, has had a successful solo career, performing both in Iran and throughout North America, Europe and Asia. He was the conductor and soloist in the Iranian National Orchestra of Radio and Television, established the acclaimed Aref Ensemble, and worked with the Shayda Ensemble.