The mission of Zaryab Ensemble
is to promote cross-cultural understanding, peace,
tolerance and environmental consciousness through the
development of musical performances that can engage
international audiences. The artistic focus represents
re-interpretation of Persian traditional roots, melding
ancient Persian modal qualities and traditional instruments with modern musical systems.
The ensemble engages a renowned international cast,
specialized in both Persian and Western musical systems, all
based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In
cooperation with Afsaneh Art and Culture Society - Ballet
Afsaneh dance artists, choreographers and collaborators, Zaryab Ensemble
has developed numerous original compositions, in an inspiring juxtaposition of music, dance, visual
art and poetry. Recent performances include: Festival
of the Silk Road (annually self-produced performance at
Mexican Heritage Plaza, San Jose, CA), Celebration of Planet
Earth (self-produced performance at Mountain View Center for
Performing Arts), Re-Orient Festival (San Francisco, CA).
Clips from past work and performances
"Kahkeshani az Noor" ("Light of the Infinite"):
inspired by Sufi musical forms. Performed on May 8, 2009 at
"2nd Annual Silk Road Festival" Mexican Heritage, San Jose,
CA and Dec 6, 2009 at "Reorient Festival," San Francisco
"Ab Ra Gel Nakonim" ("Don't Muddy the Water"): Original composition based on contemporary Persian poetry
by Sohrab Sepehri, promoting environmental consciousness.
Performed on February 27, 2010 at "Celebration of Planet
Earth," Mountain View Center for Performing Arts and on May
8, 2010 at "Festival of the Silk Road - 2010" Mexican
Heritage Plaza Theater, San Jose, CA
Zaryab or Ziryab was a key figure in the development of
Andalusian or Moorish musical systems in the 8th century
A.D. Being a Persian musician, singer and
composer within the Arab courts, Zaryab's travels within the
Arab-Islamic empire took him to Cordoba, Spain where he was
exposed to Spanish music. There, Zaryab introduced
Persian and Mesopotamian musical styles, instruments and
melodies, which carried great influence on Spanish music.
Today, the influence of Persian music still survives in the
modern Spanish guitar and Flamenco music and dance.
The artistic vision of Zaryab Ensemble is
greatly inspired by the cross-cultural melding and
monumental contributions of this historical figure.