Kurdish Music Workshop and Concert at AUIS | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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Kurdish Music Workshop and Concert at AUIS

Saturday, April 23, 2016 - 21:30

Kurdish Music Workshop and Concert at AUIS
by Hazhar Zahway, Sohrab Pournazeri, and Ertan Takin


April 6 - 7, 2016 - Sulaimani, KRG-Iraq -  The American University of Iraq, Sulaimani (AUIS) hosted a two-day music and cultural event, including a concert and a workshop on traditional Kurdish instruments and the art of improvisation in Kurdish Music. The events were led by three Kurdish musicians of international acclaim; Hazhar Zahawy, Ertan Takin and Sohrab Pournazeri from the Kurdistan regions of Iraq, Turkey and Iran respectively.

The musicians hosted a workshop on introduction to the main Kurdish musical instruments on April 6, 2016 at AUIS.The talk focused specifically on Kurdish instruments life Daf, Dhol, Balaban, Mey, Zorna, Tambur and Kamancheh. The musicians talked about the history and techniques, accompanied with some demonstrations. The workshop was open mainly to the AUIS community and for musicians and artists in Sulaimani. It ended with a long Q&A session with the speakers.

On April 7, 2016, the trio gave an enthralling musical performance to a packed audience, displaying the art of improvisation in Kurdish music. The two hour long concert was attended in large numbers by AUIS community and from outside the university, and was a display of intense performances by the musicians on traditional Kurdish instruments.

Hajar Zahawy is an internationally known percussionist. Born in Khaniqin in 1980, he moved to London in 1990 where he became a self-taught master of the Daf. He began his professional career as a daf player in 1996, at the young age of 16 in Belgium's MED TV studio, where musicians from all over Kurdistan gathered. He was a member of Nishtiman, a seven member group of musicians who performed at the Bimhuis at the Holland Festival in 2013. He led the artistic direction of the group with the aim to promote diversity and transcend geographical borders in Kurdish music and raise awareness about its tradition.

Ertan Tekin is a masterful musician of woodwind instruments, most especially of the Zorna, Balban, and the Duduck, traditional instruments in Kurdish music. He has participated in hundreds of musical projects. He was a member of the Nishtiman ensemble.  

Sohrab Pournazeri is a musician, virtuoso and composer. He was born in 1982 in Kermanshah and has a musical upbringing. His father was a well-known musician and he began studying the Tanbour and Daf at an early age, and later the Tar and Setar before finding his true calling by taking up the Kamancheh. His style is rooted in both Persian classical music as well as folk and the sacred musical culture of Ahl-e Haqq in Kermanshah. He is an incredible virtuoso soloist and was also a member of Nishtiman.

Photos: Hawta Ali, Hana Mohammed (student volunteers) and Soran Naqishbandy.