August 12th, 2017
11th Annual Seattle Iranian Festival Poster

Our Business Sponsors

11th Annual Seattle Iranian Festival Sponsors

Festival Program

Elham Hakimi

Featured Guest
Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib

As the Lieutenant Governor of Washington State, Cyrus Habib is the first and only Iranian-American elected to a state office in the United States, and to date the highest ranking Iranian-American in public office. He previously served in the Washington House of Representatives, representing the 48th Legislative District.

He was elected to the Washington State Senate in 2014 and shortly thereafter became the Senate Democratic Whip. In 2014, he was named one of the "40 Under 40 Political Rising Stars" by the Washington Post. He is a Professor and Distinguished Lawmaker in Residence at the Seattle University Law School, where he teaches courses in intellectual property rights and legislation.

A three-time cancer survivor, Habib has been fully blind since age eight. He is a graduate of Columbia, Oxford, and Yale Law School. He is a Rhodes Scholar, a Truman Scholar, and a Soros Fellow.

Karavans and Khan El Khalili Dance Troupe

Featured Performance
Karavans and Khan El Khalili Dance Troupe

Specialize 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.

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.

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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.

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.

Behnam Daneshvar

Featured Performance
Behnam Daneshvar

Behnam Daneshvar began his study of the Persian Tombek under the guidance of Mr. Hamid Ghanbari, following the traditional techniques prescribed by the great Maestro Bahman Rajabis, and received additional training under Maestro Navid Afghah. His artistic performances and tasteful accompaniment of traditional Persian instrumentalists has been praised for their musicality at venues, festivals, and music conferences worldwide. Currently, residing in southern California, Behnam maintains a rigorous teaching schedule and appears regularly with many California-based ensembles, as well as being an active recording artist for the film and television industry.

Zohreh Ghahremani

Featured Guest
Zohreh Ghahremani

Zohreh (Zoe) Ghahremani is an artist, a poet, and writer. She has authored four books: The Commiserator is a fact-based book in Persian, Sky of Red Poppies was her first novel in English, which became the 2012 One Book, One San Diego. The Moon Daughter won the San Diego Book Awards in 2014 and her satirical memoir as a dentist, Drill, Fill & Bill, awaits the right time to be released! She is currently working on another novel titled The Basement. Over two hundred of her articles have been featured in magazines and anthologies.

For two decades Zoe taught at Northwestern University while practicing dentistry. She became a full-time writer in 2000. She lives in San Diego with her husband and close to their three children.

Other Awards: First place, California Stories, 2005, San Diego Book Awards 2004 for short stories, Best fiction SBWC 2004, among others. In 2013, more than 30,000 girl scouts of San Diego honored Zohreh with the San Diego Cool Woman Award.

Zoe has served on the board of San Diego Writers, Ink, and the San Diego Writers and Editors Guild. She was a columnist for Zan Magazine and a member of the Iranian-American Writer’s Association. She is currently associated with the San Diego Writing Women and serves on the board of friends at the San Diego Central Library.

Nima Mirzaei

Featured Performance
Nima Mirzaei

Nima has been amazing in collaborating and coordinating with our Festival musicians & singers!

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.

Mariam Khosravani

Featured Guest
Mariam Khosravani

Mariam Khosravani is the Founder & President of the Iranian American Women Foundation. Mariam is also the Executive Director of the Coastline Community College Foundation. Mariam has been active in the field of philanthropy as a consultant, speaker, and trainer for the last fifteen years. She is passionate about humanitarian aid and has assisted in the expansion of several non-profit organizations.

She has raised millions of dollar in funds for various local, national and international organizations. She has served as the Chair of the Investment Council for the United Way of Orange County for 2 years, and another 2 years as a Board member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP).

Served as the Community Services Commissioner for the City of Irvine for eight years and was on the Board of Directors for the California Community College Foundations as well. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) and is a member of the Advisory Board of PBS SoCal, Orange County’s PBS station. In 2015, Mariam was awarded with the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

Vancouver Pars National Ballet group

Featured Performance
Vancouver Pars National Ballet group

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.

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.

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.

Seattle Iranian Choir

Featured Performance
Seattle Iranian Choir

Seattle Iranian Choir is an ensemble with members from the local Iranian-American community. The focus of the group is Iranian music. The group’s debut was at the 2015 Nowruz Festival and since then, they performed in various Iranian events including Nowruz, Mehregan and Yalda celebrations. The ensemble performed songs at the last two Seattle Iranian Festivals and is excited for their third appearance where they open the festival with the song “Ey Iran” and perform other Iranian folk songs later in the day. This year, the choir is accompanied by talented percussionist, Vafa Mostaghim.

Shahin Shahbazi

Featured Performance
Shahin Shahbazi

Shahin Performed Music from the age of 10 and began playing with the Tonbak. With his mother's encouragement, he continued with playing the 'Tar" & "Setar" to this day. Mr. Shahbazi vastly benefited from the instruction of masters of Tar & Setar such as hooshang Zarif, Mohammad Reza Lotfi, Dariush Talaei, Massoud Shoari, and Behrouz Hemmati. Mr. Shahbazi had abundant interest to continue his learning and performance in the master course of Maestro Hossein Alizadeh at Tehran University where he accompanied Mr. Alizadeh.

Mr. Shahbazi acquired Vocal radif "Radif avazi" and old pieces from the masters of the feild, Karim Saleh Azimii and Ahmad Ebrahimi. He has learnt the fundamentals of composition from Farhad Fakhreddini. Mr. Shahbazi performed and was present on the side of Professor Dr. Manuchehr Sahabi and in the master classes of Composition and Orchestration.

In the field of harvesting, mixing, & joining poetry and music, he learned from Professor Hossein dehlavi. He had also benefited, for semesters, of auto musicology in Dr. Mohsen hajjarian's classes. Shahin Shahbazi has performed with various groups of artists and masters of Persian Music such as Ahmad Ebrahimi, Kambiz roshanravan, Javad Bathaei, Fardin Khalatbari, and also Mehrnavazan ensemble led by Maestro Farhad Fakhreddini. He had held several concerts in Iran as well as Turkey (on the celebration of the 800th year of Mowlana's " Rumi" birth ), India, Uzbekistan, Austria, Germany, and the United States.

Shahin Shahbazi's accomplishments:

  • Best Iranian classical music at the music festival (Khaneye mosighi) in 2013 for the album "Aberoye Ab"
  • 2006 & 2007 research and study of music in Bangalore and Dehli, India.
  • 2001 establishment, administration, and composition of various concert for the "Nafir ensemble".
  • 2000 Elected as the winner of the “first solo performers” Festival For The Young Players in Tehran.
  • Arrangement of Radif and pieces by maestro Aliakbar Khan Shahnazi. This was the first time that any kind of Radif in this volume was ever arranged.

Featured Performance
Kamancheh virtuoso & Multi-instrumentalist, Mehdi Bagheri!

Born 1980, Mehdi Bagheri has fast become one of the most renowned practitioners of the Persian Kamancheh of his generation. A composer and multi-instrumentalist born in Kermanshah, Iran, Mehdi received his master’s degree from the Arak University in 2004, studying with luminaries of traditional Iranian music including Maestros Kayhan Kalhor & Ardeshir Kamkar, while simultaneously pursuing a degree in Dramatic Theater.

He has performed worldwide at festivals such as the Oslo World Music Festival and Morgenland Festival, he has appeared at the Théâtre de la Ville (Paris - France), the Smithsonian Institute (Washington, D.C.), the Asia Society (Houston, TX), and the Getty Center (Los Angeles, CA), as well as appearing with the Berlin Radio Choir, featuring performances of his works in the RBB Hall. Since 2010, Mehdi resides in Southern California, sharing his music through a broad range of performance, recording, and educational practices.

Iranian-American Got Talent

Dance Party

DJ Farid from Arizona Returns! Join us after the Festival for a 21+ Dance Party at Trinity Night Club. Pack your dancing shoes and see you there!

Dance Party