Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative

Nov 25 - 2017

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Following their amazing performance at the 2016 Ashkenaz Festival,  we are proud to support the Aga Khan Museum’s presentation of the Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative and their stunning program “All Rivers At Once”.  Discover jazz-like arrangements of traditional Israeli and Iranian folk songs. Pianist and composer Noam Lemish leads the group featuring tombak player Pedram Khavarzamini, kamancheh player Saeed Kamjoo, and Amos Hoffman on oud, as well as special guest Aviva Chernick on vocals alongside a band featuring some of Toronto’s most sought-after musicians: Jacob Gorzhaltsan (clarinet, saxophones); Kianoush Khalilian (ney); Justin Gray (bass); Derek Gray (drums, percussion).

“Our work not only transcends political and cultural divides but also musical divides,” says Lemish, one of the founders of The Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative (I=I).

Tickets to this event include same-day Museum admission.

Noam Lemish, pianist, improviser, and composer, is a multi-faceted artist whose performances and compositions are often characterized by intense lyricism and energy. Lemish works on a diverse array of projects including in a quartet with Israeli jazz guitarist/oud player Amos Hoffman, and as artistic director of The Israeli-Iranian Musical Initiative (I=I). Lemish has appeared in numerous performances across Canada, the US, Europe, Israel, and in Bhutan.

Dan Deutsch, one of the co-founders of I=I, is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Toronto Faculty of Music and the Anne Tanenbaum Centre for Jewish Studies. Dan obtained his M.A. in music theory and composition from the Jerusalem Academy of Music, and B.A. in comparative literature from the Jerusalem Hebrew University. In his current research, Dan explores the musical and cultural aspects of Gustav Mahler’s symphonic works, focusing on the interaction between Mahler’s compositional approach and his status as a Jew in fin-de-siècle Vienna. In addition to his academic activity, Dan writes music for various ensembles and orchestras.

Parisa Sabet is an experienced Iranian composer, music teacher, and multi-media journalist. She completed her Bachelor’s degree in music composition at the Chicago College of Performing Arts, and her Masters degree at the University of Toronto. Currently, she is pursuing her DMA in composition at the University of Toronto. Her research focuses on indigenous music by women from Iran. Professionally, her compositions have won various competitions and been performed in different venues in North America.

Pedram Khavarzamini was born in Tehran and learned to play tombak with masters Kamyan Mohabbat and Bahman Rajabi. He has a unique way of playing in that he keeps the traditional base and adds modern patterns, active rhythms, and new sounds. He has performed at the Lincoln Center Hall in New York, the Cleveland Museum of Art, the Thomas Jefferson Theatre in Washington, D.C., and the Theatre de la Ville in Paris.

Saeed Kamjoo is a kamancheh (bowed spike-fiddle) player and composer renowned for his creative, innovative techniques that maintain roots in Persian classical music. A graduate of the University of Tehran, he studied Persian musical manuscripts and ancient rhythmic modes. He has performed at music festivals in North America and Europe, including at the Sound Symposium in Canada and Festival Musica Sacra in Germany.

Amos Hoffman is an Israeli jazz guitarist and oud player who fuses the rhythms and melodic themes of the Middle East with modern jazz. He has recorded five solo albums, The Dreamer (1999), Na’ama (2006), Evolution (2008), Carving (2010), and Back to the City (2015). In 2013, he was awarded the Michael Landau Prize for the Performing Arts in Israel for outstanding achievements in the field of jazz.

Aviva Chernick garnered critical acclaim as the lead singer of the two-time JUNO Award-nominated group Jaffa Road. Inspired by her work as a cantorial singer and Ba’alat Tefilah (prayer leader), and by her study of the Balkan Judeo-Spanish tradition, Chernick has crafted a new sound defined by distinctive vocals. Her first album was nominated for a 2013 Canadian Folk Music Award.

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