Saeid Shanbehzadeh

Traditional Persian Folk

Persian Gulf traditional music from the city of Boushehr

Trance singing, dancing, music and rhythms

This Ensemble directed by Saeid Shanbehzadeh delighted audiences in Iran, Europe and North America with the hypnotic rhythms and melodies of this amazing music.

The music from the city of Boushehr arose from the unique combination of Persian, Arab, African and Indian traditions that came together centuries ago in this southern Iranian cultural crossroad on the Persian Gulf. This diversity results from the wealth of local traditions in which music plays a vital role in all aspects of life: religion, work, social events, drama, music therapy and trance.

The main instruments include the Neyanban (Iranian bagpipe), Neyjoti (double flute), Dammam (dual faced percussion), Zarbetempo (percussion), traditional flute, Senj (local type of cymbals), Boogh (horns).

Saeid Shanbehzadeh : Neyanbon, Neyjofti, Dammam

He began playing music at the age of seven in his native town of Boushehr in southern Iran with old music masters from the area and according to the local oral traditions. He first learned percussion and singing, then Neyanban (bagpipe), Neyjofti (double flute) and traditional dances.

At the age of twenty he created his own traditional music group, the Zâr Ensemble (before called Shanbezadeh’s Ensemble) which won the first prize at the Fajr Festival in Tehran in 1990. At the same time he also began to conduct research and write about southern Iranian music in Iranian periodicals. His research on the ethnomusicology of the region led him to collect many different types of local music and create sound archives for this music. As a result of his research and his concerts he is now a nationally and internationally known musician.

In 1996 he was invited to spend a semester at the University of Toronto. In 1998 he was named professor and director at the House of Culture and Music of the island of Kish (Iran). In 2001 the French Montalvo/Hervieu Company invited him to participate in creating and touring with the “Babelle Heureuse” show, which was performed more than two hundred times in France, Europe and Brazil.

He also composed film scores and acted for a variety of film directors, such as Mohssen Makhmalbaf for the film “Dar” (“The Door”), Bahram Bayzai for “Gouf te gou ba bad” (“Speak with the Wind”) and Rakhshan Banietemad for “Baran va boumi” (“Baran and the Citizen”).

Shanbehzadeh Ensemble