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August 13th, 2016
10th Annual Seattle Iranian Festival Poster

10th Annual Seattle Iranian Festival Program

Elham Hakimi

Featured Performance
Nima Mirzaei

He was born in Isfahan, Iran in June of 1977, His passion for music began at an early age. Nima has been playing music since age of 9, with accordion, then piano, and key board. At the age of 14 he started Setar with Ostad Behzadi which was a beginning steps to attending music school. He has been in the Real Estate field since 2013.

Karoun Dance Ensemble

Featured Performance
Karoun Dance Ensemble

Karoun Dance Ensemble is an Iranian style dance company based in Seattle. Directed by Janelle Bel Isle, the group of American and Iranian-American dancers collaborate to choreograph traditional and creative style dances mostly in Persian styles. Janelle and Samira from Karoun are happy to be back performing at the festival and have prepared two modern style dances this time.

Elham Hakimi

Featured Performance
Elham Hakimi

Elham is a proud Iranian-American who enjoys sharing her love of Persian culture and dance and finds great joy in her work as a Persian dance instructor.

She joined Delshodeh Dance Ensemble in 2008 and started choreographed dancing with Heather Rastovac and Sonja Hintz, then formed that group to Karoun Dance Ensemble (a choreographed, classical Persian dance group) in 2012.

She has successfully carried the name Karoun and transformed it to "Little Karouns" where she teaches the younger generation, traditional dance style and form.

She has performed in different events such as, Seattle and Portland Iranian Festival, Folk Life Festival, Seattle Benaroya Hall and Town Hall, University of Washington, city of Bellingham, and Vancouver BC.

She is also a volleyball player, coach & referee, and also plays Dulcimer (Santur) - a Persian musical instrument and loves to help others.

She has been working in Seattle Cancer Care Alliance/Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center since 2005 and loves her job.

Farzam Fattahi

Featured Performance
Farzam Fattahi

Born in the captivating city of Shahi, Farzam Fattahi began his music career from the youthful age of seven. He was an attentive violin student of several professional instructors. While being mentored, Farzam acquired a talent to play both classical and traditional Persian music. In addition, he taught himself to play the piano, guitar, and sign for leisure.

Upon moving to the United States in 1978, Farzam concentrated his talent exclusively on playing the piano and guitar, while complementing his music with vocal performances. Ten years after moving to the new country, Mr. Bijan Mortazavi inspired him to pick up a violin again. Since then, he started playing violin professionally. he has created his unique and exciting way of playing this instrument.

After 20 years, Farzam moved to California in 2005 to pursue his aspiration to become a professional musician and singer. He played his music for friends and family, while building a network of peers and potential clients. Farzam now performs with many well known musicians like Professor Pouian and continues to produce harmonious and catching tunes. He has recently created several new songs, as well as two music videos. He is currently working on his new CD which will be released in the near future.

Nusha Sepehri

Featured Performance
Nusha Sepehri

Nusha Sepehri was born in 2004 and raised in the United States. Her parents have encouraged her to learn about the Persian culture and language since she was very young.

She speaks, reads, and writes in both English and Persian. Her father told her stories from Shahnameh which captivated her. They both believe that Shahnameh has beautiful stories and great lessons. They wanted others to have the opportunity to also learn about these stories, which resulted in their collaboration in the creation of the audio book collection, "The Stories of Shahnameh" which is available in both English and Persian languages.

Nusha will be narrating one of the fascinating stories of Shahnameh at the Festival. She is also a member of the Seattle Iranian Choir and will be performing with the group at the festival as well.

Pooneh

Featured Performance
Pooneh

Pooneh is the Director of Academy of Middle Eastern Dance (AMED) established in 2005. She has Masters Degree in Art and is a Professional Performer, Master Instructor, Choreographer, Director and Producer.

She is a cultural ambassador in British Columbia. Pooneh created her own performance style, which is dynamic & floating, delicate & sensual, mysterious, still sincere and natural.

Her dance performance techniques that she teaches and practices, emphasizes on presenting the variegation of the Middle Eastern folk dance through the personal message of the dancer. As she believes there is no dance without real emotions. She has won several prizes while performing at various events and stage shows.

Seattle Iranian Choir

Featured Performance
Seattle Iranian Choir

Seattle Iranian Choir is an ensemble consists of local Iranian-Americans and directed by Afshin Sepehri. The focus of the group is Persian music. They perform at Iranian Festivals & celebrations. At last year’s Seattle Iranian Festival, the Choir performed a song to pay tribute to Ferdowsi. This year, Seattle Iranian Choir returns to the festival with a musical of an ancient heroic figure, Arash Kamangir, lyrics by Siavash Kasraee and music composed by Afshin Sepehri. The choir is accompanied by pianist Payam Khodaei. The members of the Iranian Seattle Choir include: Afshin Sepehri, Arash Bakhtmand, Arash Tarkhan, Arya Khubcher, Bahram Namiranian, Cyrous Khubcher, Elyas Bayati, Farangis Sorooshian Sepehri, Fereshteh Demehri, Golbanoo Ghavami, Mahsa Maghami, Mahshid Yarmohammadi, Majid Mirbagheri, Mazeiar Salehie, Nusha Sepehri, Omid Gholamhosein, Payam Khodaei, Ramin Mehran, Sarvenaz Sorooshian, Sepinood Gashti, Triti Kadkhodayan, & Yasaman Esmaili.

Janelle Bel Isle

Featured Performance
Janelle Bel Isle

Janelle studies and performs many different dance traditions from around the world: Iranian, Turkish, Georgian, Indian, African, and Arab and American dance styles. She began her career in the Los Angeles area and has been working in Seattle since 2008. Janelle is the director of Karoun Dance Ensemble based here in Seattle and is honored to be a part of the Iranian festival this year.

Sina Dibay

Featured Performance
Sina Dibay

Sina was born in Tehran in 1988. He started learning to play Tonbak from maestro Farhad Andalibi when he was 7 years old. Learning musical theories, and rhythms helped him to choose Daf as his professional musical instrument. He started learning Daf from maestro Farzad Andalibi and Bijan Kamkar at age 9. After 3 years, at age 12 he participated in the National Student Musical Competition at Roudaki Hall and was recognized as top five drum players.

Later he had other performances with Nafir ensemble in Tehran. He moved to United States in 2011 to pursue his Master degree in Computer Science. At the same time he and one of his friends started the Salmak ensemble to acquaint the public with historic Persian culture, specifically classical music. The band has played in different concerts across the US, and has played in different cultural festivals. In 2013, the band performed Persian traditional music at TEDx Talks.

Sina joined Parnian Traditional Music Ensemble in 2015, and they have performed in multiple cultural events including Folk Life Festival 2016.

Karavans Dance Troupe

Featured Performance
Karavans Dance Troupe

They specializes in folkloric dances from the Middle East, North Africa and Persia. They bring to life these colorful, exciting dances by carefully researching the music, costumes and dance steps that represent each country. Karavans has appeared for many years at the Folk Life Festival, Arab Festival, Turkish and Persian Festivals as well as at various cultural events and educational.

Check out their website: http://karavansdancetroupe.com/

Ali Ghaemmaghami

Featured Performance
Ali Ghaemmaghami

Our returning performer, Ali studied Persian music at an early age in Master Ahmad Ebadi’s Setar classes in Tehran.Studied Barbat and Radif (Persian classical music repertoire) with two other Masters of Persian classical music, Master Shahidi and Master Behroozinia at “Central Preservation and Propagation of Music Academy“ in Tehran. Studied Setar Technics and Radif with Master Jalal Zolfonoon. Studied Persian Ney and Radif under instruction of Master Hossein Omoumi.

Reza Razavi

Featured Performance
Reza Razavi

Reza has been performing Persian & Azerbaijani classic traditional songs for over 20 years. He enjoys working with varieties of musicians and loves performing in live venues. He has a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering and is currently employed by the Boeing company.

Giti Najafi

Featured Performance
Giti Najafi

Giti, a Persian-born multilingual vocalist started singing when she was 5 years old at Radio Tehran. She moved to Norway as a teen and then to Spain where she lived for ten years learning the language and culture, falling in love with flamenco music and dance. Now living in Portland Oregon, she continues to perform in expanding audiences across the globe.

Rahim Shahryari

Featured Performance
Rahim Shahryari

Mr. Shahryari is a multi talented well known professional performer in the music scene of Islamic Republic of Iran. He plays the authentic instrument of Qarmon (Gharman), the original instrument for Accordion. Qarmon is widely known as a traditional lead instrument in ethnomusicology of east European countries, Central Asia, Russia, and the Crocuses as well as Azerbaijan and Iran. Mr. Shaharyari has proven to be an exceptional vocalist as well. He burst into music arena in Iran in 1996, by forming the Araz Ensemble, a first of it’s kind in the country since the Islamic revolution of 1997. Since his debut in 1995, in Tehran International Exposition, he has performed as lead singer/Qarmon player in nearly 200 live concerts in Iran, and around the world.

Mr. Shahryari has published over 15 musical albums of his own, and helped in production of dozen more for other artists. He enjoys a broad popularity in Iran, Azerbaijan, and the respective Diaspora communities in Europe and North America. He is best known for promoting a new waive of popular young minded Azeri ethno music that, he introduced in his widely sold album in year 2000 in Iran. In 1999 he performed with his group Araz in the 2nd World Congress of Azerbaijanis in California, hosted by Dr. Hassan Aghnami. He returned to U.S a year later for a tour of 10 cities concerts on the invitation of University of California, Santa Barbara’s school of fine Arts.

Mr. Shahryari is the recipient of Fajr Festival’s ( most prestigious music festival in Iran ) Golden Plaque. He has received numerous awards, proclamations, and memorandum of appreciation from both governmental and private institutions.

For more information click here

Vancouver Pars National Ballet

Featured Performance
Vancouver Pars National Ballet

VPNB was established in 1989, with a vision of both enlightening and interacting with all communities nationally and internationally. VPNB is committed to preserving and perpetuating the fragile tradition of Iranian folklore dances in an endeavor to project how art can interconnect communities.

Their goal is to enrich the lives of the participants and spectators. They are driven by a strong sense of duty to educate and integrate this ethnic art form that is on the verge of extinction. This group utilizes dance as one of the most effective tools of communication and understanding with all the diverse cultures in Canada and around world. Creating a profound interest in the hearts of innumerable young artists and trainees is the most satisfying and rewarding criteria of this group. They believe a healthy body incorporates a healthy soul.

See their facebook page here

Najmieh Batmanglij

Featured Guest
Najmieh Batmanglij

Najmieh Batmanglij was born and raised in Iran. During her childhood, her mother wouldn’t allow her in the kitchen. “Concentrate on your education,” she would say. “There will be plenty of time for you to cook later in life.”

Ms. Batmanglij came to America in the 1960s to study at university and would cook Persian food with fresh local produce using recipes sent by her mother in letters. Her housemates loved the food she made and encouraged her to cook all the more. Little did she know that the American food revolution had just begun. Later, when Ms. Batmanglij returned to Iran with her master’s degree in education in hand, her mother welcomed her into the kitchen and started to work with her.

At the end of 1979, as the Iranian Revolution took a more fundamentalist turn, Ms. Batmanglij and her husband fled to France, where their first son Zal was born.

It was in France that Ms. Batmanglij decided to follow her passion for cooking. With the help of her friends and neighbors, she wrote her first cookbook, Ma Cuisine d’Iran.

In 1983 she and her husband emigrated to America, where she gave birth to their second son, Rostam, and wrote her first book in English, Food of Life.

Ms. Batmanglij has spent the past 35 years cooking, traveling, and adapting authentic Persian recipes to tastes and techniques in the West. She has been hailed as “the guru of Persian cuisine” by The Washington Post. Her Food of Life was called “the definitive book on Iranian cooking” by the Los Angeles Times. Her Silk Road Cooking was selected as one of the 10 best vegetarian cookbooks of 2004 by The New York Times; and her book From Persia to Napa: Wine at the Persian Table won the Gourmand Cookbook Award for the best wine history book of 2007.

Ms. Batmanglij is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier and lives in Washington, DC, where she teaches Persian cooking, and consults with restaurants around the world.

Check out her website here

Hossein Amanat

Featured Guest
Hossein Amanat

Hossein Amanat - AIA MAIBC, es­tab­lished his repu­ta­tion as a young gradu­ate in 1966 by win­ning a na­tion­wide com­pet­i­tion to design the Shahy­ad Free­dom Monu­ment in Tehran, which has since be­come the sym­bol of mod­ern Ir­an. This first ar­chi­tec­tur­al pro­ject led to the op­por­tun­ity to cre­ate some of Ir­an’s most pres­ti­gi­ous mod­ern build­ings in­clud­ing han­di­craft centres, uni­versit­ies, lib­rar­ies and a town on the Caspi­an Sea. He also de­signed the em­bassy of Ir­an in Beijing, one of the dis­tin­guished build­ings in the dip­lo­mat­ic quarter of that city.

In all his pro­jects, Mr. Amanat demon­strates his par­tic­u­lar skill for the ap­plic­a­tion and com­bin­a­tion of di­verse cul­tur­al themes in the cre­ation of dis­tinct­ive designs. He has re­ceived nu­mer­ous design awards and has lec­tured ex­tens­ively on art and ar­chi­tec­ture at cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al in­sti­tu­tions and conferences.

Founded in 1966 and based in Canada since 1980, "Hossein Amanat Architect", formerly known as Arc Design In­ter­na­tion­al, is a Van­couver-based firm of­fer­ing mas­ter plan­ning, ar­chi­tec­tur­al and in­teri­or design ser­vices world­wide. The firm is proud of its com­mit­ment to ex­cel­lence in design and ex­e­cu­tion, sens­it­iv­ity to the en­vir­on­ment­al and cul­tur­al con­text of each pro­ject and ad­her­ence to state of the art stand­ards.

Since mov­ing to Canada in 1980, Mr. Amanat's prac­tice has ex­pan­ded and di­ver­si­fied. He has de­signed the World Ad­min­is­trat­ive Cen­ter of the Baha’i Faith in Haifa, Is­rael, uni­versity lib­rar­ies and factor­ies in China, mixed-use high-rise build­ings in San Diego, res­id­en­tial con­domin­i­ums in Santa Mon­ica, a temple in Sam­oa, re­li­gious and cul­tur­al cen­ters near Dal­las, Seattle and Wash­ing­ton, D.C. and res­id­en­tial dwell­ings in Canada and Cali­for­nia. He re­cently com­pleted a trans­it-ori­ented mixed com­mer­cial and res­id­en­tial high-rise pro­ject along the Van­couver mass-trans­it line.

Check out his website here

DJ Dance Party

The night before the main festival featuring DJ Farid from Arizona. Click here for the event Facebook page

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