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Sufi Music & Dance Concert with Kamyar Arsani & Friends
January 11, 2020 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm EST$20
CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing) presents a soulful program of Sufi and Persian music performed by D.C. based Percussionist/Vocalist Kamyar Arsani and his students with whirling by Sufi Dance Artist Läle Sayoko and other members of the CRS Sufi Dance community. The program will take place on Saturday, January 11, 2020 from 5 – 6 pm. Tickets are $20 and light refreshments will be served.
Sufi dance or Sama means spiritual listening and its purpose is to transcend physical experience and melt into Oneness with the Divine. CRS presents a variety of Sufi dance, music, meditation and visual art programs, curated by Läle Sayoko, in order to share these peace-building practices with participants from all backgrounds.
Sufism, as the mystical dimension of Islam, preaches peace, tolerance and pluralism, while encouraging music as a way of deepening one’s relationship with the Creator. The pain of [perceived] separation from the Creator is at the core of Sufi lyrics and music; and hence the intense longing to dissolve the physical realm and transcend into the spiritual universe with Sama’a, the practice of listening to music, chanting and whirling, and finally culminating in spiritual ecstasy (wajd).
— from “Sufi Music: The Song of the Soul” by Dr Suvarnalata Rao, The India Times
Kamyar Arsani is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter born and raised in Tehran, Iran. At age 7, Arsani began studying the daf (Persian frame drum) with Master Bijan Kamkar. He also spent time playing meditative rhythms for hours at a time for Sufis. In 2009 the Green Revolution in Iran brought Kamyar and his family to Washington, D.C., where he has been based ever since. He travels up and won the east coast playing daf and other instruments and singing and performing Sufi and Persian folk songs as well as his own compositions and contemporary music of all kinds.
Every month Kamyar Arsani travels to NYC to offer Persian Daf lessons at CRS. The Daf is a frame drum with lots of rings inside that you can shake when you play for added effect. It is an integral part of Sufi and Persian music because of the variety of sounds it can produce and its ability to induce trance. Kamyar learned from masters in Iran and has been playing and singing for decades. Learn more about the next daf classes on January 11 from 1 pm here.
Sufi Dance Artist Läle Sayoko lives to embody and transmit the voice of spirit through music and dance. As CRS resident Sufi Dance instructor, choreographer, performing artist, and musical curator, she loves to welcome people into this holy practice to explore and share their own divinity. She intermittently tours internationally with BELLA GAIA, a live concert blending music, dance, technology, and NASA satellite imagery inspired by the experience of astronauts viewing the earth from space. “Sublime” — Village Voice.
One of the founding members of Japan’s famous SAMANYOLU professional belly dance group in Tokyo, Läle went on to a long solo career performing throughout the northeastern USA and touring with United Kingdom’s Mugenkyo Taiko Drummers on over a 100 city tour encompassing the U.K., as well as Turkey’s Baba Zula. About six years ago, she was forced to retire to support her young daughter through a life-threatening medical crisis. Several years later she discovered that she could whirl as a form of prayer to support her daughter and began studying Sufi Dance with Paris-based Sufi Artist Rana Gorgani. In April 2018 Gorgani awarded her the International Sufi Dance Certification Of Cid UNESCO, granting her authority to teach Gorgani’s method of Sufi Dance training. She currently teaches Sufi Dance classes at CRS every first Thursday of the month from 7 – 8:30 pm and leads the CRS Healing Circles + Whirling Prayer that take place every third Thursday of the month from 7:15 – 9 pm.
More About Kamyar Arsani
Kamyar Arsani is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter born and raised in Tehran, Iran. With his focus on Daf (Persian frame drum), through years he expanded circle of his instruments to Drums, Percussions, Guitar, Ukulele and Melodica. He currently resides in Washington D.C, teaching and performing around DMV area and working with individuals with Autism.
Kamyar began Daf lessons with Master Bijan Kamkar. Kamyar has spent over a decade performing and researching the Daf and its roots. His second choice of instrument was the kamancheh (Persian string bow instrument) and he studied it with Masters Ardeshir Kamkar and Sohrab Pournazeri. Ten years ago, Kamyar and his family migrated to the United States around the same time that Iran’s Green Revolution was occurring. Kamyar’s songs and performances are very much inspired by the people of Iran and their history of struggle and protest.
At the time he started working as Autism classroom Teacher Assistant in Virginia and Washington DC public schools, and the science of Behaviorism and creating motivation for students with Autism became his passion. But he did not put music behind, Kamyar produced his first solo album in 2015, entitled “No Freedom.” It was written on Guitar and Ukulele. The album was dedicated to those oppressed by Iranian Government.
Aside from his solo work, Kamyar also plays in other collaborations and has performed series of concerts at Kennedy Center, Library of Congress, Georgetown University, UMD, WVU and VOA.
Kamyar is also the poet and singer of “Time is Fire (TiF).” Their music has been described by Washington Post as “Music from a country that does not exist.”
https://youtu.be/2rn3u92MAR8 (Kennedy Center Performance)
Kamyar takes on a different character performing with Time is Fire, wearing his sikke (a Sufi hat representing the “tombstone of Ego”) and singing poems of resistance and freedom in English and Farsi. Within the four member band’s worldly, funky, post-punky, afro-infected music, the sikke and poems make perfect sense. Their sound has been evolving since the group first came together in 2015. Washington City Paper: “Time Is Fire could have limitless places to go.” Time is Fire recently released an EP that can be found here:
With the new wave of hatred portrayed among our nation, Kamyar could not sit quiet and wrote four songs inspired by Rumi and Hafez and Ferdowsi poems on his Daf,inviting people to believe in a new spring together. He collaborated with Benjamin Schurr of Blight Records and produced an electronic backed Daf album called “Voices in the Dark” , which can be found on Blight Records Bandcamp (Production of DC,2018)
For more information you can contact Kamyar at:
FB: Kamyar Arsani