THE IRAN ENSEMBLE MEMBERS
Faraz // Golnaz // Farzin
ABOUT THE MEMBERS
Faraz was born in Tehran and began to play SANTUR at the young age of nine. He received B.A from San Francisco State University in 2008 as a Nagle Scholar. He was the first World/Jazz music major with Santur as primary instrument. He is a performer, compose, and a teacher. He also had the good fortune to study with masters such as M.R Lotfi, H. Omoumi, Royal Hartigan, Hafez Modirzadeh, Michael Dessen, Kojiro Umezaki and Christopher Dobrian.
He is the founder of Echomerz Ensemble and has performed with noted ensembles in United States. Among those were with collaboration with Yo-Yo Ma and Kayhan Kalhor in Silk Road Ensemble.
Recipient of numerous scholarships and grants, he earned his Masters of Fine Arts degree in music with emphasis in Integrated Composition, Improvisation, and Technology from the University of California in Irvine. His thesis, "Abstracting" Iranian Classical Music, challenges the traditional practice of Iranian Classical Music to introduce innovative and transformative functions of the music in contemporary society.
Golnaz is a native of Tehran, Iran and is a renowned percussionist specializing in the instrument of Daf. In addition to her formal musical studies at the University of Tehran, Golnaz began playing the Daf at age 10 and traveled and lived in the remote villages and towns in the Province of Kurdistan; the origin of Daf, to fully understand the importance and meaning of the Daf to the Kurdish people. The Daf is a vital instrument in the Kurdish culture and has generationally been used in their daily life for celebrations of birth, marriage, songs of prayer, worship and even death. Golnaz has performed concerts individually and with numerous diverse groups throughout Iran and Internationally including Armenia, Spain, Italy, Estonia, Switzerland, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and the United States. Golnaz has worked and performed with the legendary Kurdish folk lore Master, Ali Reza Feyz Bashipoor, in the creation of the musical album “Colorful Garments” (Vocalist: Bijan Kamkar); album: Nagshe Khial and Ab Nan Avaz(Vocalist: Homayoon Shajarian); album: Bigah (By: Rosaneh Ensemble) and is currently studying to become a classical Iranian vocalist under the teachings of Classical Vocalist Master, Ali Reza Shahmohamadi.
Farzin is Iranian/American Kamancheh virtuoso hailing from Isfahan, Iran. Despite his young age, his magnificent talents have taken him to many stages where he has performed Persian, Arabic, Indian, American, Kurdish, Turkish, Pop and Cross-Cultural Music throughout the United States with renowned artists such as Aynur Dogan, Simon Shaheen, Abigail Washburn, Celeste Buckingham, Sandeep Das, Mike Block, Idan Raichel, Wu Man, Shane Shanahan, and Alireza ShahMohammadi. He has been mentored by world-renowned Persian Classical Music master Kayhan Kalhor and has also studied Arabic Classical Music with the Palestinian Oud and violin virtuoso, Simon Shaheen. Farzin was invited as a Fellow to the prestigious Omi International Arts Center Residency.
He has recently travelled to China to perform at the World Music Asia 2017 festival in Shanghai, Wuhan, Chonqjing, and Beijing and also to work as a teaching-artist in international schools in Beijing where he taught about Iranian/middle eastern music and culture.