Miami Dade College’s (MDC) MDC Live Arts and Rhythm Foundation will co- present an evening of Persian classical music with Sahba Motallebi and Naghmeh Farahmand at 8 p.m., on Saturday, Jan. 27, at the North Beach Bandshell.
The stars—and initiatives—aligned for two of Miami’s premier presenting organizations to bring forth this rare event. MDC Live Arts, with Ojala/Inshallah: Wishes from the Muslim World season, is designed to explore the diversity of Muslim culture through the arts and challenge widespread assumptions concerning contemporary Muslim identity. The Rhythm Foundation’s Axis of Love series, injects positivity and empathy into the global conversation through presenting instrumental, traditional and innovative sounds from the conflict zones of the Middle East and Africa.
The collaboration launches with Persian classical musician Sahba Motallebi on Saturday, Jan 27 and continues with Iraqui trumpeter Amir ElSaffar on Saturday, March 3 and Moroccan trance group Innov Gnawa on Saturday, May 5. In an immersive environment. The audience surrounds performers in an in- the-round stage setup. The evening also features culture-specific traditional snacks and sweets to engage the audience in a multi-sensory experience.
Persian classical music is a deeply spiritual and contemplative art form central to Iranian identity. One of the world’s oldest and greatest musical traditions, it is built around melodic phrases organized into hundreds of pieces and 12 larger systems, which a master musician weaves into a larger improvisational performance. Such a master musician is Sahba Motallebi, who remains rooted in this ancient tradition, while incorporating Iranian folk and contemporary elements to create a musical experience that engages both the mind and the soul. She will be accompanied by Naghmeh Farahmand on tonbak (goblet drum) and daf (frame drum).
The two musicians will also participate in engagement activities at MDC’s Wolfson Campus, addressing Honors College students, with discussions about their backgrounds and cultural identities.
About Sahba Motallebi
Sahba Motallebi is a modern virtuoso of the tar and setar, lute-like stringed instruments central to Persian classical music. One of its few female soloists, she was named Best Tar Player at the Iranian Music Festival for four consecutive years. She began her studies at the Tehran Conservatory of Music at age 14, helped found the women’s music ensemble Chakaveh and later joined the Iranian National Orchestra, which launched her international career. She is now regarded as an ambassador of classical Persian music in the U.S.
About Naghmeh Farahmand
Naghmeh Farahmand is the daughter of Mahmoud, one of the leading percussion masters in Iran. She started playing the tonbak at age six under the supervision of her father, and was encouraged to learn a melodic instrument to gain insight into the melodic aspect of music, as this would make her a better accompanist. She began playing the santur under the guidance of Faramarz Payvar and Pashang Kamkar. Besides learning traditional music, Farahmand found the daf to be very powerful and spiritual and began learning Sufi and Kurdish rhythms from Bijan Kamkar and Masoud Habibi. She has performed in many well- known traditional ensembles in Iran and at festivals around the world. Farahmand has also performed with ney master Hassan Nahid and famed vocalist Hengameh Akhavan. In 2010, she moved to Canada and started working with musicians in world music and jazz. She is the founder of the Sharghi percussion ensemble.
WHAT: Sahba Motallebi accompanied by Naghmeh Farahmand
WHEN: Saturday, Jan. 27, at 8 p.m.
WHERE: North Beach Bandshell
7275 Collins Ave Miami Beach FL 33141
To purchase tickets, please visit http://www.rhythmfoundation.com/ Tickets are $20 advance/ $25 day of show.