Shahab Tolouie
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Shahab Tolouie

Prague, Hlavní Mesto Praha, Czech Republic | SELF

Prague, Hlavní Mesto Praha, Czech Republic | SELF
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"Lita-Luise Chappell [USA]"

Shahab Tolouie has blessed the world with a magical fusion. He brings us a rare and talented gift that brilliantly blends the Persian instruments of an ancient world, with the soul-stirring Andalusian heartbeat of traditional Flamenco. His improvisations add that special acoustic bling that both seduce and awaken a rousing, gypsy-spirited sense for life. He has been taught by master musicians, played alongside master musicians, and I have no doubt that his mastership will soon be acknowledged by the world. - “Music Label Operations Manager”


"Anahita Shams [London]"

Magical combination of Spanish and Persian traditions mixed with fabulous voice of Shahab Tolouie, creates a unique album. One can hear musical instruments, some intimately familiar, others you may hear the first time in your life, but the stars of the show are the Spanish guitar and Persian setar while percussions combined with acoustic bass take your breath away. - BBC Persian TV


"Gerald Van Waes [Belgium]"


Flamenco still has a strong importance in Iran since the flamenco roots trace back to Persia, because the people who arrived in Spain many years later were the Indian musicians who came from the Persian court but were forced to leave the country when they refused to work additionally at something else rather than just perform music, many centuries ago. The flamenco style in Iran nowadays has a different and tempered form, shows just one of the possibilities but since “flamenco” now has it’s own historical and structural development in Spain there still are differences which are interesting to combine. Shahab studied Spanish flamenco in a master class in Sevilla (Spain), adapted Persian instruments like setar, laud, mandola, daf and dammam, but also developed his use of voice, in a Persian way (you can hear the influence of Persian song music -with its own typical melodic sweetness-). You can notice he also studied Persian Dervish music (with its strange to western ears half tone combinations), traditional Persian music with master Shahram Nazeri Besides he was influenced by and adapted some strength in emphasis and fluency from jazz and rock. The result is very strong when he incooperates all, making fluent movements that melt the Persian and flamenco elements into a new style (which he called “ethnoflamenco”), sometimes more flamenco, sometimes more Persian, at times brilliantly combined (in guitar style as well as in vocals), but there are also a few tracks in Andalusian style concluding the album. The liner notes say Persian music is more based upon the scale, while flamenco follows a rhythmical structure. It is the spiritual dramatic improvisation techniques which helped him to make the bridge, with a result that brings the spirit smoothly over the cross borders. Today Shahab lives in Prague where he finished the album. - Radio Centraal


"Daniel Ordónez (Spain)"

Como una brisa cálida que cruza el Mediterráneo, la música de Shahab
Tolouie contiene la secular tradición de sus diferentes culturas. El
camino de los gitanos desde Asia a través del Magreb hasta llegar a la
Península Ibérica es el que de forma mágica quedó marcado en el
sentimiento de este virtuoso de la guitarra iraní, cuyo genio descubrieron
insignes maestros del flamenco en Sevilla y de la música persa tradicional
de su tierra de origen. La fantástica riqueza del acompañamiento
rítmico, usando gran variedad de instrumentos antiguos de percusión, unido
a su voz profunda, amable y decididamente oriental cierran una armónica
combinación, tan natural que habría que evitar incluso la palabra
fusión cuando nos refiramos a Shahab Tolouie. - Radio Praha


"Darrell Jónsson (Czech Republic)"

Arriving in Prague in 2003 with impressive flamenco guitar skills and an expertise in a variety of Persian instruments, Tolouie was soon in demand as a teacher, accompanist and performer.

In 2009, a year after forming his first ensemble in the Czech Republic, Tolouie released his debut CD, Tango Perso, on the Czech Atlas Music label. Musically, it was hard to classify. "What I play is not flamenco music anymore, and it's not Persian music anymore," he acknowledges. "It's just my own creation, where you will find the roots of flamenco and Persian music. I'm not trying to damage either, but keep them parallel."

Hearing Tolouie talk about his new work and the quartet he will be debuting this weekend, it's clear the Central European musical landscape has also added new layers to his multicultural sound. "Up until this year, we were more ethnic," he says. "Now, we've added more dynamics. Instead of the electric bass, we have contrabass, adding a definite jazz feeling to the music. Now we using an extended ethno-jazz percussion rack including hi-hat, bongos, tablas, two large frame drums and chimes. As well, I've added second guitar."
- The Prague Post


Discography

"Tango Perso" (2009)
Airplay: United Kingdom,USA,
Canada, Iran, Czech Republic, Spain, Slovakia, Belgium, Poland....

Photos

Bio

Shahab Tolouie belongs to the group of musicians who derive inspiration from the traditional music of their native lands. For Shahab, this means combining traditional Persian elements with traditional Spanish flamenco. Shahab Tolouie's musical contribution, which he calls EthnoFlamenco or Persian&Flamenco fusion, has been described by the world’s media heavyweights as timeless, and unique.

Shahab’s wide musical experience has grown through contact with some of the best Iranian musical masters of his time, (one of these mentors was the legendary Iranian composer and singer of traditional music, Master Shahram Nazeri. The Andalusian background of his music originates in Spanish cultural nexus Sevilla where Shahab studied his flamenco master course, attaining the highest level of achievement, "Nivel Alto").  Shahab’s embrace of diversity is what makes his performance an unforgettable multicultural musical experience that ranges from East to West, from the mysticism of Dervishes to the passion of Flamenco. The richness of Shahab’s traditional influences is greatly appreciated by discerning audiences from west to east. No matter if you like solo guitar, dervish music, jazz or flamenco, Shahab’s dramatically personal improvisational language is the bridge that guides the spirit effortlessly across all borders.

Shahab’s multicultural show is a euphoric experience, either as a solo concert, or accompanied by the quartet and quintet. He plays a variety of traditional Persian instruments such as setar, laud and mandola in addition to his signature flamenco guitar, as well as the unique-sounding fretless guitar, often employing guitar tunings he has devised in accord with those of old Persian instruments, and his band provide an accompaniment incorporating Persian, Indian and Jazz flavours (on double bass, jazz guitar, mandola, sitar) besides ethnic and jazz percussion and drums (daf, tombak, tabla, riq, congas, bongo, cajon, chimes, etcetera).

Even though theoretical considerations regarding Shahab’s interpretations of musical traditions in his particular fusion have gained a lot of attention, it is his voice that remains his most important instrument. It is a  powerful and dynamic voice, flavoured with a special richness typical of eastern vocalists.
Shahab’s complex arrangements in combination with his unique manner of singing make his voice the pivotal agent that facilitates the listener’s understanding of a music which is founded upon the original words of the greatest mystical poets of all time, from "The Book of Kings" of Ferdousi: the unique Ghazals of Hafez and the wisdom of Moulana Rumi. Even if Persian language is not the poetical language of your land, you feel the lyrics because in this music the heart speaks and the soul hears.