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Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
3301 Lyon Street, San Francisco, California 94123
Moms Against Poverty in artistic collaboration with Diaspora Arts Connection presents a fundraiser concert, featuring vocalists Rojan, Martik, and Sina Bayat, as well as prominent musicians Hajar Zahawy, Shahin Yousefzamani, Aidin Okhovat, Greg Ellis, Dimitris Jimmy Mahlis, Omid Sayareh and Jerry Watts.
About the artists:
Rojan Kurdish & Persian Vocalist
Rojan was born in Kurdistan, a land with the pain and wounds as ancient as its history, whose music beats the joyous rhythm of the valiant heartbeat of its inhabitants.
She was born in Sanandaj to a cultured and music-loving family. There she was introduced and influenced by Kurdish music which resonated within her heart and seeped through the fabric of her soul. Before long, destiny led Rojan and her family to Kermanshah where she spent her school years and discovered mystical Persian sic. The yearning strings of her spirit vibrated with the ancient Sufi melodies of Iran.
She undertook musical studies with the guidance of Hengameh Akhavan and subsequently studied orchestration under the supervision of Tahmoures Pournazeri and Jalal Zolfonoon, which gave birth to two major albums, «Delshodeh» and «Kurdistan.» Rojan is currently recording her new project, «Hiva.» She is married and lives with her family California, USA. Artist website: rojan.us/
Shahin Yousefzamani ( شاهین یوسف زمانی ), Composer / Double Bass & Piano Player
Shahin Yousefzamani was born on October 10, 1975 in Iran. He graduated from the Tehran Conservatory and performed with Tehran Symphony Orchestra (1992-2005). He has performed internationally with many renowned artists including: Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Iraj Bastami, Khashayar Etemadi, and Alireza Assar. Shahin was nominated for his composition «Dasht» to be included in the program of the Young Composers Festival under the conducting of Maestro Seiji Ozawa. In 1994 Shahin studied composition with Professor Thomas Christian David. Since 2007, Shahin has performed with many symphony orchestras in Orange County and Los Angeles, California. He has toured internationally with the legendary Googoosh. His various compositions have been featured on the Fox TV Network, as well as national radio airplay. Amongst Shahin's many compositions, «Dasht» was recorded by Homayoun Shajarian. “Fantasia Shoushtari” was conducted and recorded by Professor Thomas Christian David. “Faghat To” was recorded by the pop music group «Black Cats,» “Sarzamin-e Man” was recorded by the singer Faezeh. Artist Facebook page: facebook.com/shahinymusic/
Martik: Martik Kanian (Gharakhanian), who began his professional musical career at the age of fifteen, has been at the helm of the contemporary Iranian music scene for the past 40 years, and remains one of its most popular and beloved stars.In addition to being a gifted guitarist and songwriter, he is blessed with a soulful voice that is endowed with a unique tonality, tenderness, and velvety softness that mesmerizes his audience. In the 1970’s, he helped bring the best of Classic Rock and R&B to a thirsty and appreciative audience in Iran. He then expanded his repertoire, giving voice to the music of contemporary Iranian songwriters as well as contributing to his own original and haunting melodies. In 1980, Martik made Los Angeles his home and has since continued his craft and growth in popularity. He has produced nine successful Persian albums and is in great demand for public and private concerts and functions both in the United States and Europe.Martik’s warm and charismatic personality is the perfect vehicle for his universal musical talent, crossing all cultural and generational boundaries.
Saeed Kamjoo, born in 1965 in Tehran, Iran, is a Persian musician and composer. He started learning the kamanche at the age of seventeen under the supervision of Ardeshir Kâmkâr. He furthered his studies in the instrumental and vocal repertoires of Classical Persian music under the guidance of such renowned masters as Ali Akbar Shekârchi and Ustad Asghar Bahâri. He is also a graduate of the School of Fine Arts from Tehran University.
His approach to playing the kamanche is based on his perception of the values inherent in classical Persian music. Kamjoo's style of playing the kamanche combines creativity and authenticity with innovation. Although his music has its roots in Classical Persian music, he allows himself to explore the new.
Kamjoo moved to Montreal, Canada in 1997 and has since been collaborating with various ensembles in Canada, the USA and Europe. He has recorded many albums and performed in numerous music festivals around in Canada, the USA, Mexico, U.K, France, Germany, Netherlands, Belguim, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Poland, Greece and Turkey. Saeed Kamjoo has also performed as a guest artist with Dastan Ensemble, one of the most renowned Persian musical groups. He is a co-founder of Namâd Ensemble.
(Hajar) Hussein Zahawy is a Kurdish percussionist. He was born in December 1980 into a Kurdish family. He spent his childhood in the Iraqi part of Kurdistan and then moved to the UK with his family at the age of 10. After completing school, he went on to study for A Levels in Music, English and English Literature. He went to the University of London and studied for a BA in Ethnomusicology.
At the age of 5, his Grandfather introduced him to the daf (Kurdish frame drum), which was to become a way of discovering other percussion instruments of the world. When he was 13, he was invited to join the first national Radio and Television Orchestra of Kurdish music in Europe.
As well as being a professional percussionist, he also gains work through acting roles with theatre companies in both the UK and USA. From a very early age, he has always shown a keen interest in following a career path in music. It was all around him as he grew up. So it's no surprise to see that he has become a professional percussionist. Hussein has a wide range of musical influences: Kurdish, Turkish, Arabic, Persian, Indian, Mediterranean, Jazz, etc.
Hussein is currently based in London, UK. He would describe his music as: "…rhythmic ingredients from some of the Middle Eastern traditions like Persian, Kurdish, Turkish and Mediterranean interpreted in his own personal style."
Hussein's message for his fans is: «We need to love and care for each other more. Enjoy the moments. Take them and cherish them.»