ARTS & CULTURE BEAT
by MASA ZOKAEI
The 6th Annual Iranian Festival
Classical Iranian dances and music performances, celebrity appearances and cultural booths, Persian food and aromatic tea, made up the 6th Annual Seattle Iranian Festival on June 17 at the Seattle Center in Seattle, Washington.
Organized by the Seattle based non-profit, The Iranian American Community Alliance (IACA), the all-day festival brought hundreds of Iranians and non-Iranians in the Seattle area together to celebrate Iranian culture.
Celebrities in attendance included the Memphis Grizzlies NBA player Hamed Haddadi, who autographed photos and took pictures with fans. Haddadi will be in Seattle next month for the Haddadi Hoops Camp for Kids.
Also in attendance was nationally touring comedian K-von, and performances included dances by Delshodeh Dance Ensemble, ANAR: Helene Eriksen’s Traditional Dance Theater, the Karavans Dance troupe and The Mystic Rose Dance Company, and Persian Traditional Music by Sahba Motallebi , Mahdi Bagheri and Pezhham Akhavass. Photos of the festival can be seen on JavananSeattle.com
The IACA is a cultural and community based organization focused on cultural and educational programs, like the Seattle Iranian Festival, and youth and leadership development through community service. Board members include Ali Ghambari, Rozita Ghaderi, Gazalle Zatolyan, Shima Houshyar and Parham Rahbar.
Fete de la Musique
‘Fête de la Musique’ will feature 80 musicians playing a variety of music be it Arabic fusion, Moroccan Rif, Iranian fusion, Gypsy jazz, Rock & Blues, French songs, classical music, Tango & Flamenco, and others.
Organized by the Alliance Française of Dubai, under the sponsorship of the French Embassy, Fête de la Musique takes place every June 21, the day of the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere, in more than a hundred countries worldwide. It was launched by the French Ministry of Culture in 1982 to enable the expression of all musical styles to flourish.
The list of musicians also include the Hamami Brothers, The Fridge, Gypsy Swing Project, Blues Trip, Funk’n’ Groove, among others. All the musicians are asked to play music at the festival for free, and admission is open to the public at no cost.
Around the world, Fete de la Musique is held in open air areas such as streets, public buildings such as museums, train stations, castles, and parks.
Kalhor to Perform at Music Fest
Iranian musician and Kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor is slated to perform at the 2012 Tanglewood Music Festival as a member of the Silk Road Ensemble. Accompanied by renowned American musician and founder of the Silk Road Project Yo-Yo Ma, the ensemble will perform at Ozawa Hall on June 22 and 24, 2012.
Kalhor is known for his performances on the traditional instrument of Kamancheh and creating a unique mixture of Persian classical music with folk tunes of the Kurdistan region. He has worked with many prominent figures of Persian music such as Mohammad-Reza Shajarian and Shahram Nazeri.
Kalhor has also composed and performed with Indian sitar player Shujaat Husain Khan and Indian tabla player Swapan Chaudhuri, with whom he formed the group Ghazal.
The Silk Road Ensemble is composed of internationally-renowned musicians, composers, arrangers, visual artists and storytellers from over 20 countries.
[JAPAN] International Poster Triennial
Iranian graphic artist Mehdi Fatehi has been awarded at the 2012 edition of the International Poster Triennial held in the Japanese city of Toyama. Fatehi received the Bronze Medal of the event for his poster Alefpa.
The Grand Prix of the triennial went to Japanese artist Osamu Fukushima while Jianping Fathi’s works were showcased at the Category A section of the event which is dedicated to printed and published posters.
More than 390 posters by 4,622 artists from 53 countries were selected by the jury panel of the festival to be displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in the city of Toyama.
Ney Master Kassai Passes Away
Iranian musician and traditional Persian music maestro Hassan Kassai has passed away at the age of 84 after a long-drawn battle with cancer.
The iconic master of Ney, the end-blown flute of Persian musical tradition, passed away at his house where he was under home care for the past few years, ISNA reported.
Born in 1928 in the historical city of Isfahan, maestro Kassai started learning the Ney from Mehdi Navai at the age of 12. He also learnt the basics of traditional Persian music and the Radif of Iranian music from master Abolhassan Saba.
Kassai was fifteen when he presented his first performance on Radio Iran and introduced Ney to the orchestra in the year. His performances caught the attention of many musicians in different parts of the world including American composer Ray Coder who described him as one of the few creditable and reputable musicians in the world.