The Art of Improvisation – From Iran to Canada

Thursday Sep 9, 2021

5pm and 6:15pm Shows

Hadden Park

3405 Ogden Ave
Vancouver, BC
(Kits Point)

Presented in Partnership with Publik Secrets Society.

Join us in Hadden Park for an evening concert featuring the Ali Razmi Persian Ensemble and the Grdina-Houle-Loewen Trio

Advance registration is required. Registration is by donation. There will be limited capacity in the performance area.


About the Performers

Ali Razmi Persian Ensemble (5pm start)

Ali Razmi, a gifted Tar and Setar (Persian lutes) player and composer, leads an ensemble that will present Sufi-inspired traditional and more contemporary Persian music. Ali Razmi, who received his M.A degree in music from The Art University of Tehran in 2006, has performed in concerts around the world, including Iran, Azerbaijan, India, Turkey, Canada and the US. He has worked alongside well-known Sufi musicians in Iran, and after his arrival to Canada in 2007, with the Rumi society of Vancouver. As a composer, Ali has composed several Sufi songs based on Rumi poetry, and participated in various Sufi events in Canada and USA. Ali has also collaborated with non-Persian groups such as the Musica Intima choir, the Vancouver Intercultural Orchestra, and with jazz player Gord Grdina.. Ali is a key member of Vancouver’s Vashaan Persian Folk Ensemble. Joining Ali are other highly esteemed members of the Vashaan Ensemble: Saina Khaledi on Santur (hammered dulcimer) and Ali Sajjadi on oud (pear-shaped lute). Both Saina and Ali regularly collaborate with both Persian and non-Persian ensembles in the Vancouver region and teach on their respective instruments. The one non-Iranian member of the group is percussionist Kent Loewen, an active member of the Vancouver jazz and improv scene and a member of various east-west music collaborations such as Gord Grdina’s Haram.

Grdina-Houle-Loewen (GHL) Trio (6:15 Start)

Founded in 2014, the Grdina-Houle-Loewen trio has forged a new stream of complex compositions that meld together density, ferocious energy and technical virtuosity, with a strong influence from Arabic and Persian music. The group’s versatility and wide dynamic range has become finely honed, creating an ensemble that can change course dramatically. Over the last three years the trio has had performances throughout Canada, Italy, France, Belgium, the USA, and Poland. The group features some of Vancouver’s top world, jazz and improv musicians: Francois houle on clarinet and electronics, Gord Grdina on oud and guitar, and Kenton Loewen on drums.


Hadden Park is located on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded Indigenous territories of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.