World Art and Culture: Persia
7:00 PM
to 9:00 PM

The Sunset Valley Arts Commission presents an evening of Persian Music and Culture on Friday, May 13th from 7 to 9 PM at the Sunset Valley City Hall.  Come join us and enjoy a unique opportunity to see a different side of an ancient culture that has been often in the press. This will be an all ages event featuring delicious authentic food, persian folk dance and music by 1001 Nights Orchestra.  Their music will evoke images of this far away land of poets and musicians in a most magical way. There will also be a brief presentation on the culture and history of this exotic place with photos and artifacts. Please join us in exploring this amazing culture.

1001 Nights Orchestra - Music from the Middle East & Beyond

1001 Nights Orchestra is Austin's longest running Middle Eastern ensemble.  The group was founded and directed by Kamran Hooshmand in the early nineties.  The group's repertoire includes songs from a vast area from Southwest Asia and the Caucuses in the East to the shores of the Mediterranean in the West.

The members of the orchestra consist of: Kamran Hooshmand on the oud (an 11-stringed ancestor of the European lute), saz, robab, guitar, santour (a 72-stringed hammered dulcimer), vocals and other instruments; Ken Maranian on the clarinet; Don Weeda on the accordion and the “quarter-tone” electronic keyboard; Jay Whitley and Anne Alexander on percussion.  In this evening’s performance, the orchestra is joined by Lisa Schneider on the violin, Eric Volmerker on the bass, Setare Nematollahi on  the tar, Kimia Tager on the daff, and Shana Norton on the harp.

Kamran Hooshmand

Kamran Hooshmand was born in Tehran, Iran, and has been residing and making music in the US since 1978. He holds an MA in Middle Eastern Studies with a concentration in ethnomusicology from the University of Texas at Austin and is currently pursuing a PhD in Media Studies. He has studied and/or performed with masters of Persian classical music Ostad Mohammad Reza Lotfi and Dr. Mojtaba Khoshzamir, and has guest lectured on Middle Eastern music in schools and colleges in the US and Europe.

Along with his orchestra, Mr. Hooshmand has contributed music to numerous film and theatre productions including the IMAX documentary Ride Around the World and an award-winning score and live accompaniment to the 1924 silent, Thief of Bagdad. His musicological research is particularly focused on how certain musical modes (maqam, dastgah, etc.) as well as musical styles (rumba flamenco, bolero, muwashahat, etc.) have travelled from his native Middle East to Europe and the Americas and vice versa. Mr. Hooshmand’s Persian-Spanish multilingual project Ojalá just returned to the stage with sold-out performances. 

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