Roya Bahrami: Producer, Music Director, Composer, Lyricist, Lecturer (santurs, vocals)
A native of Iran Roya migrated to the U.S. as a teenager and studied Persian music with masters Lotfi, Alizadeh, and Talai. She also studied Western classical music and Flamenco resulting in a natural blend of traditions in her compositions. She has developed lecture-performance programs on topics such as: “Music and Spirituality,” and “Traces of Persian Music in Andalusia”. Her performance credits include National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, American University, World Cimbalom Congress ( 2009 in Mexico, 2011 in Hungary). She accompanied the flamenco dancer Carmela Greco on her U. S. tour in 2004 and has performed on Spain’s national TV as well as at the Museum of Flamenco Dance in Seville.
Roya founded The Roya Ensemble in 2007 to realize her Persian-flamenco compositions, resulting in, as dubbed by The Smithsonian, 'an innovative fusion with seductive sounds'. Roya’s latest CD ‘I Am, I Am Not’ inspired by ‘the incredible closeness of beings’ and the ancient Persian sufi notion of ‘selflessness’, was recorded with the full ensemble in an acoustic setting.
Roya Bahrami & Ensemble have performed at President Obama’s Inaugural celebratory concerts at the Smithsonian Institution, University of Maryland, Gettysburg World Heritage Festival, Shepherd University, Amnesty International Arts Festival, Washington Folk Festival, The Mansion at Strathmore, University of Memphis, and University of Mary Washington.
2012 recipient of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities' (DCCAH) Individual Artist Grant for creating "Cultural Dialogue through Music" and 2009 recipient of DCCAH's Folk Arts Grant for creating and presenting "Understanding Multicultural Identity through Artistic Expression." She was a guest performer and teacher at the Hackbrett Days in Linz School of Music in Austria (April 2013).
Ricardo Marlow: (flamenco guitar)
Winner of the 2008 and 2010 Maryland Individual Artist Award, Ricardo Marlow, released his debut solo flamenco guitar album ‘Madera Sonora’ in 2008. Ricardo has appeared at The Kennedy Center’s Millenium Stage, The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for the 20th Mayor’s Art’s Awards. (2004-9) Mr. Marlow has mastered his art under the tutelage of the master flamenco guitarist Gerardo Nuñez in Sanlucar de Barrameda, Spain.
Denis Malloy: (bass clarinet, clarinet, tenor saxophone)
B.M., Clarinet, Peabody Conservatory. Mr. Malloy has performed with the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia, AIM Orchester in Graz Austria, and The Summer Opera Orchestra in Washington. D.C. In addition to his classical performing experience Mr. Malloy also records and performs with his Jazz group Tree House Quartet. He also composed recorded and performed with Boister, with whom he collaborated in producing original scores for four silent era films.
Steve Bloom: (congas, cajon, ashiko, bata, shakers, daf, tombak)
The Washington Post wrote that… “Steve Bloom has never met a rhythm he couldn’t master.” Bloom has gained a command of Cuban, Senegalese, and Nigerian drumming and song in three decades of apprenticing and performing with masters of these traditions, and Sufi practice and drumming with masters Adnan Sarhan of Baghdad, and Dr. Ali Analouei, from Esfahan, Iran.
Jon Seligman: bodhran, drum set, riqq
Jon Seligman leads the percussion department at McDaniel College in Westminster, Maryland, teaching lessons, pedagogy, ensemble and world music classes. His performing and recording credits include Global Percussion Trio, Mahbood Len Seligman, Michael Formanek’s Minor Infractions Ensemble, Tim Jenkins, and the Christopher James Band. In 2003, Jon Seligman was awarded a Maryland State Arts Council Grant for Jazz Composition. His latest original music CD, ‘Quintet Music’ (2010), features Dave Ballou, Bruce Swaim, Harry Appelman and Jeff Reed.
Roya Bahrami - and Vocals, santur (Persian hammer dulcimer)
Ricardo Marlow - Flamenco guitar
Denis Malloy - Tenor Sax, bass clarinet, Clarinet
Steve Bloom - Congas, Cajon, Ashiko, bata, daf, tombak, percussive colors
Jon Seligman - bodhran, Drum Set, Riqq
"I Am I Am Not" - November 2010
Featured on Top-10 World chart of various radio stations for many consecutive weeks. Features Roya Bahrami's original compositions and arrangements. Inspired by the ancient Persian mystical notion of “selflessness” as well as the “incredible closeness of beings living in a multicultural world”, she features her ensemble in an all acoustic recording. A seamless blend of Persian, flamenco, Latin, and jazz! Lyrics are based on Persian poetry of Rumi, Sohrab Sepehri, Fereydoon Moshiri, and Roya Bahrami, including introductory pieces with poetic translation of the lyrics recited in English and accompanied by the ensemble.
"Roya" - August 2007
Inspired by the timeless wisdom of Persian poets Rumi, Hafez, and Sepehri and by the Persian roots of flamenco, this album features the sounds of Roya's Persian santur. The compilation includes Persian spiritual and classical music blended with Western elements and introduces a new genre, Persian-Flamenco, a fusion of Persian melodies and poetry with flamenco rhythms and harmonies. Roya sings and plays all the instruments: Persian santur (hammered dulcimer), the great-grandparent of the piano; the Iranian daf and zarb (hand drums); and the keyboards for synthesized instruments. The album, which is a compilation of her original compositions, debuted on the Top-10 world charts of a number of radio stations in Canada and the U.S. CD Baby Editor's Pick in Persian Contemporary category since the release date.
I Am I Am Not
Moon & Musician
The Beloved (acoustic)
On The Path (acoustic)
"World music with a nod to the ages, a beautifully executed set, genteel, graceful and opulently delivered."
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January 3, 2011 ROYA ENSEMBLE, “I Am I Am Not” Iranian native Roya Bahrami certainly wears a multi...January 3, 2011
ROYA ENSEMBLE, “I Am I Am Not”
Iranian native Roya Bahrami certainly wears a multitude of hats for her Washington, D.C.-based fusion ensemble Roya Ensemble. In addition to founding the outfit, she produces, composes, arranges, sings and plays santur. Third album “I Am I Am Not,” released in November 2010, is a dreamy, ethereal, all-acoustic recording, capitalizing on her novel Persian-Flamenco sound, with solo improvisations from acclaimed musicians Denis Malloy (bass clarinet, clarinet, tenor sax), Ricardo Marlow (flamenco guitar), Steve Bloom (congas, cajon, ashiko, bata, shakers, daf) and Jonathan Seligman (bodhran, riqq). The cool, laid-back mesh of Persian, flamenco, Latin and jazz is often complemented by Bahrami’s written passages based on Persian poetry, including “Moonstruck,” an elegant 7-minute affair, with lyrics based on a poem by 13th-Century Persian mystical poet Rumi. The title track, whose traditional elements are garnished with a surprise clarinet interlude, again weaves a lyric and vocals from Bahrami, sung in Persian and translating to, “Don't ask who I am, I am and I am not.” “Stranger” offers a fond nod to her homeland, as she sings, "(translated) Ocean, carry me to top of the cliffs, so the wind would carry my words to that land/Familiar fragrance of a flower, the smell of earth, a foggy day/These nostalgic moments carry me back to Iran.” Instrumental tracks like “Carmelita” demonstrate Roya Ensemble's magic sans the lyrics—as genuine and mannered as the heritage music these songs honor. Roya has long shared its wares in highbrow company—including President Obama’s Inaugural celebratory concerts at the Smithsonian Institution—and the National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, American University, Amnesty International’s Human Rights Arts Festival and the Washington Folk Festival. “I Am I Am Not” is certainly world music with a nod to the ages, a beautifully executed set, genteel, graceful and opulently delivered.
"Innovative Fusion.. Seductive Sounds"
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January 19, 2009 Persia Meets Flamenco: The Roya Ensemble Roya Bahrami, santurs; Ricardo Marl...January 19, 2009
Persia Meets Flamenco: The Roya Ensemble
Roya Bahrami, santurs; Ricardo Marlow, flamenco guitar; Steve Bloom, percussion
12:00 noon, Meyer Auditorium
Start the day with the seductive sounds of this innovative fusion, led by santur master Roya Bahrami. A native of Iran, she studied Persian classical music with Hossein Alizadeh and Dariush Talai, among others, and later accompanied the flamenco dancer Carmelo Greco on her 05-06 U. S. tour. Guitarist Ricardo Marlow, a regular on the DC flamenco scene, has performed with the Danza del Rio, Paco de Malaga, and Arte Flamenco dance companies. The Washington Post wrote that master percussionist Steve Bloom "has never met a rhythm he couldn't master." He has appeared with such greats as Olatunji, Tito Puente, Paul Horn, and Nestor Torres, and leads his own group, Havana Select.
Iranian-American composer Roya Bahrami captures ancient Persian mystical notion of "selflessness"
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Nov 19, 2010 Inspired by the ancient Persian mystical notion of "selflessness," Iranian-American co...Nov 19, 2010
Inspired by the ancient Persian mystical notion of "selflessness," Iranian-American composer, arranger, and lyricist Roya Bahrami has released her album 'I Am I Am Not' featuring original compositions and arrangements. She features the entire Roya (fusion) Ensemble in an all acoustic recording (video below), inspired by what she calls the "incredible closeness of beings living in a multicultural world."
"Roya Ensemble’s original form of fusion that seamlessly blends Persian with flamenco, Latin, and jazz”
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Scheduled to be released on November 5, 2010 and available at CDBaby.com, Iranian-American musician ...Scheduled to be released on November 5, 2010 and available at CDBaby.com, Iranian-American musician Roya Bahrami tells us of her new album’s essence: ”It’s a reflection of our multicultural world and the incredible closeness of beings…I am also inspired by Rumi, the ancient Persian mystic’s teachings regarding ‘selflessness’, where one walks the bridge between the visible and invisible worlds. As a composer, I have experienced this sense of awakening, which inspired the title song and the name of the Album: I Am I Am Not.”
What sound type does the album reflect?
“It’s Roya Ensemble’s original form of fusion that seamlessly blends Persian with flamenco, Latin, and jazz,” says Bahrami. ”I’ve also created plenty of space for improvisations that help mark each artist’s response to my music. These are included in Moon & Musician, Moonstruck, Carmelita, Stranger, The Beloved, and Message.”
Bahrami’s latest CD is filled with “original compositions and arrangements developed over the past three years, evolved with the formation of my fusion group ‘Roya Ensemble’ consisting of top talents in flamenco, Latin, and jazz.”
Check out the music video of Bahrami in action at the Gala Hispanic Theatre at the Tivoli Center in Washington, D.C.–shot with the generous support of Bahrami’s friend, Rebecca Medrano, founder of the theatre.
“The multi-cultural Roya Ensemble performed original music in which the mysticism of Persian melodies and poetry blend with Spanish flamenco."
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Summer 2008 “The multi-cultural Roya Ensemble performed original music in which the mysticism of Pe...Summer 2008
“The multi-cultural Roya Ensemble performed original music in which the mysticism of Persian melodies and poetry blend with Spanish flamenco. The concert, held in conjunction with a conference, titled “Jews and Muslims in Islamic Lands: Conflict, Coexistence, Confluence” and sponsored by the Meyerhoff Center on the theme of interactions between Jews and Muslims through history, demonstrated the cultural roots of traditional, spiritual Persian music and its reach and influence outward”.
"..pleasures of flamenco puro with soulful ballads by guitarist Richard Marlow, vocalist/percussionist El Yiyiand, Persian composer Roya Bahrami on santur.”
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October 24, 2005 “In the space of a solo on the stage of the Portland Art Museum's Grand Ballroom, ...October 24, 2005
“In the space of a solo on the stage of the Portland Art Museum's Grand Ballroom, flamenco artist Carmela Greco distilled a power that comes only with age. "Intimo," which played Thursday night, was a welcome return to the pleasures of flamenco puro with soulful ballads by guitarist Richard Marlow, vocalist/percussionist El Yiyiand Persian composer Roya Bahrami on santur.”
PDF RiderRoya Bahrami & Ensemble Rider and Stage Plot
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