Accompanied by NAGMEH FARAHMAND on Percussion
Sahba Motallebi is a modern virtuoso of the tar and setar, an innovator in teaching Persian Music and has been recognized as the Best Tar Player at the Iranian Music Festival four years running (1995-1998) and “The Best Tar Player” at the Toronto Conservatory of Iran (1993 – 1996). She is recognized internationally as a master of tar and setar, lute-like stringed instruments central to one of the world’s great musical traditions. She began studying music as a young girl in Sari, a small seaside city in the north of Iran. In 1993, at the age of 14, her talent garnered her an invitation to begin studies at the Tehran Conservatory of Music. She flourished there, and was recognized as Best Tar Player at the Iranian Music Festival four years running (1995-1998). After graduating from Conservatory in 1997, she helped found the groundbreaking women’s music ensemble Chakaveh, and in 1999 she was invited to join the Iranian National Orchestra, thus beginning her career as an international performer. For the past decade, Sahba Motallebi has lived near Los Angeles, She continues to perform worldwide, and has released a series of noted books and recordings, the latest of which is 2014’s A Tear at the Crossroad of Time. Sahba is also recognized as an innovator in the teaching of Persian music; her pioneering efforts to put instructional materials on the internet and to teach students online have inspired something of a renaissance in the transmission of this ancient art form, and reflect her abiding commitment to bring the gift of music to her community and the world.
Naghmeh Farahmand, daughter of one of Iran’s leading percussionists, Mahmoud Farahmand, grew up surrounded by music in a full house of drums. She started playing the tonbak when she was 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. So she started playing the santur under the guidance of Faramarz Payvar and Pashang Kamkar. Besides learning traditional music, Naghmeh 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, and was honored to perform 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.