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CANCELLED — Nowruz — Persian New Year — Concert & Celebration
March 21, 2020 @ 5:30 pm - 8:00 pm EDT| $25 – $30
Organized by: CRS (Center for Remembering & Sharing)
DUE TO THE STATE OF EMERGENCY, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
Please join the CRS community in celebrating Nowruz, the Persian New Year, with Sufi and Persian music performed by D.C. based Percussionist/Vocalist KAMYAR ARSANI and vocalist MINA OMIDI and whirling by members of the CRS Sufi Dance community trained by Sufi Dance Artist Läle Sayoko in costumes by Thailand-/Japan-based natural clothing label USAATO. A pop-up exhibition of Usaato clothing and accessories for men and women, along with handmade incense by Queen of Incense, will be on display, and a reception with wonderful Persian food provided by Taste of Persia’s SAEED POURKAY will follow the performance.
The program will take place on Saturday, March 21, 2020 from 5:30 – 8 pm. Tickets are $30 at the door and $25 in advance (food and drink included).
Persians celebrate the new year (Nowruz) at the time of the Spring Equinox. For them, the holiday is an opportunity to celebrate the spiritual rebirth that can happen when one remembers that we are actually immaterial spirit and only seem to be having a (seemingly very real) experience of the physical. We invite you to discover and enjoy traditional Persian & Sufi music, dance, and food as a means of sharing this universal message of love and unity with everyone.
Taste of Persia recently lost its store front and we are supporting a community fundraiser now underway to help Saeed re-open his beloved restaurant:
https://www.gofundme.com/f/taste-of-persia. Saeed came to the U.S. from Iran in 1978 and for a time ran a successful graphic design company with his brothers, with clients such as David Bowie, before going into business for himself, which left him briefly homeless, before he decided to try his true passion: cooking! Since then he has gained a huge following, having catered the Nowruz celebration at the U.N. in 2015 and become the favorite of the local Iranian community. We are honored to share his delicious dishes with you.
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.
MINA OMIDI is an Iranian immigrant, multidisciplinary artist, musician and singer. After receiving her BFA in Graphic Design from Tehran Art University in 2013, she began studying music and unfold her abilities as a singer in Iran. Mahsa Vahdat is the artist who played the most significant role in her path and helped her open up her heart and voice in deeper levels. Mina has always been obsessed with spirituality; Singing poems of classical Persian poets like Rumi and Hafez is a healing remedy to her. “It is my meditation and healing remedy to get through pain of loss and wounds that Ego shapes!” she says. The songs Mina performs at CRS embody her passion for sharing the universal message of love, unity and freedom.
USAATO shares beautiful traditional clothes made in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The clothing is designed by Japanese haute couture designer Usaburo Sato with fabrics made by the caring hands of the Thai people. The fabrics are mostly made of hand-spun cotton, silk and hemp, picked in mountains and villages, naturally dyed from plants and fruits, then made into clothes with traditional weaving machines by women in local villages of north and northeast Thailand and Laos. The attention, time and passion put into the creation of these clothes give it a sense of energy that can be felt on your body and in your soul. Soft and warm, relaxing wears suitable for both outside and home. The products are mostly women’s clothes but men’s clothes, children’s clothes, samue (monk’s working clothes), and rakui (pajamas) are also available. Approximate prices for tops are from $70 to $180 while bottoms are from $90 to $180.
CRS Resident 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 and second 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 – 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