A special evening bringing together two of Vancouver’s most innovative and captivating world music groups.
Opening the night will be the Persian-Sufi Vashaan Ensemble, bringing together some of Vancouver’s top Persian musicians, and special guest singer Soleyman Vaseghi, who specializes in Sufi-inspired songs.
The second part of the evening will move into Arabic traditions, with Gord Grdina’s 10-piece powerhouse group HARAM, performing Arabic music, from Iraqi folk to Egyptian radio music, reinterpreted by Vancouver’s most creative jazz musicians.
ABOUT THE VASHAAN ENSEMBLE. www.vashaan.com
Gathering together some of the finest classically trained Persian musicians in Canada, the Vashaan Ensemble draws upon Iran’s rich musical past to perform joyful and memorable Persian Traditional songs. The Vashaan ensemble was formed in 2011 as a project to explore and present forms of Iranian music that have rarely been heard in North America. Their first collaboration, “Shadmaneh” brought lost melodies and unknown musical styles of Southeastern Iran to a wide range of listeners in an effort to demonstrate how rich and cheerful Iranian traditional music can be.
GUEST SINGER Soleyman Vaseghi (Soley) was born in Tehran in 1946 into a family with many generations of involvement with Sufism. His love of music and extraordinary voice were remarkable even from his early years. At the age of 20 his performing career began, practicing a wide variety of vocal styles.While he was a student of Sociology at the University of Tehran, he was introduced as “Soley” on National Iranian Radio and Television. In a short time Soley became very famous. He began to compose music for himself as well as for other singers. Along with other musicians, after the Revolution in 1979 Soley was prohibited from performing. At that point he began extensive research in literature, poetry and different kinds of music. Before he left Iran in 1986, he produced several “New Age” style albums for international audiences, inspired by the lessons of Sufism and based on the poetry of Rumi, Hafez, Roudaki and Sohrab Sepehri. His albums, “Vaghehe”, “The Water” and “The Rainbow” are the results of this journey. Soley currently lives in Toronto, Canada.
HARAM is led by Juno award winner Gordon Grdina is an accomplished Oud/Guitarist. Founded in 2008, HARAM is one of Vancouver’s most exciting new musical adventures: a 12-piece jazz & middle-eastern ensemble that rearranges and improvises on the music of traditional Arabic composers Oum Khalsoum, Abdel Wahab and Farid Al-Atrash. The result is a music that is both on-the-edge thrilling and deeply moving, appealing to Old World and New World music lovers alike. The sheer size of the band aside, trying to collect this ambitious selection of players in the same place and time is a feat. On stage you’ll find drummer Kenton Loewen (Dan Mangan, The Crackling, Jerry Granelli), trumpeter JP Carter (The Inhabitants, Destroyer, Fond Of Tigers) Chris Kelly (Now Orchestra, Eye of Newt) and bassist Tommy Babin (Paul Plimley, Now Orchestra, Sendero Luminoso).Violinist Jesse Zubot (Tanya Tagaq, Hawksley Workman, Fond Of Tigers) is a staple of Vancouver’s “free” music scene and is founder of the world-renowned Drip Audio label. Percussionists Tim Gerwing and Liam MacDonald have been performing the Arabic tradition with Iraqi Oud virtuoso Serwan Yamokly for years and Emad Armoush has been a professional Arabic singer since his youth. Composer, improviser and soloist Francois Houle is known internationally.