Pedram Khavarzamini & Bassam Bishara

Please join us for a duet with Bassam Bishara on Oud and Pedram Khavarzamini on Tonbak. In this performance common roots and points between Arabic and Persian music will be presented based on improvisation. Pedram and Bassan have been collaborating for over 3 years on different projects in Toronto.

Pedram Khavarzamini, one of the world’s foremost Iranian Tombak players, lived in France for a few years, then moved to Canada in 2014. Tombak is the main percussion instrument in classical Persian music, and Pedram is considered to be one of the most interesting players. He started to learn Tombak alongside masters Kamyar Mohabbat and Bahman Rajabi. A talented student, he performed in concert with Bahman Rajabi, a duet for Tombak. Pedram founded his own Percussion-Tombak group, named VARASHAN. He released his album KOOTAH, with compositions by Pedram for Tombak and Persian percussion, with Hamid Ghambary, produced in Iran and Europe. His thrilling Tombak technique coupled with his musical influences (Persian, Indian, Turkish, Jazz and more) have given him the privilege of being a very unique Tombak player. Pedram knows how to mix the traditional Iranian foundation with his own modern patterns. Through this alchemy, he creates active rhythms and new sounds. His extremely developed sense of improvisation and his ability to adapt give unique colour to each of his concerts. He is known as one of the finest musicians of the new generation of Persian classical music.

Bassam Bishara was born in the village of Rama in Upper Galilee, Israel in 1954. He started his musical education at the Robin Conservatory in Haifa, and graduated from the music department of the Hebrew University. Bassam taught Middle Eastern music at the Music Academy in Jerusalem, and has performed internationally as a soloist, blending tradition and innovation, and forging important musical links between the Middle East and the West, from traditional Arab compositions and arrangements to jazz, documentary films, and orchestral scores. Bassam has received several awards: the Award of Honour for his achievements linking traditional Arabic music and the music of the West; the Jerusalem Encouragement Award for his contribution to the revival of cultural heritage; the Israeli Radio Broadcast Award; and the Arab Women Association Award (London, England) for his role reconstructing classical and traditional Arabic repertoires. He has performed in England, Germany, Sweden, and at several universities in the United States. Bassam moved to Canada in 2001. He teaches Middle Eastern music at York University and is the music director and composer for Arabesque Dance Company & Orchestra.

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