- Parissa and Hamnavazan perform at the Kay Meek Centre, Sunday, June 10, 8 p.m. Contact Nava Arts Centre at 604-985-6282 or online at navaart.ca for more information.
PERSIAN classical music vocalist Parissa spent 10 days in May at North Vancouver's Nava Arts Centre rehearsing with the Hamnavazan ensemble for their current North American tour.
The group - featuring two North Vancouver musicians: Hossein Behroozinia on barbat and Saeed Farajpouri on kamancheh - began the tour last Saturday in Toronto and perform Sunday night at West Vancouver's Kay Meek Centre before heading south for shows down the West Coast.
Parissa, based in Tehran, has performed here before, most recently with the Dastan Ensemble (also featuring Behroozinia and Farajpouri) at Centennial Theatre. She studied Persian classical music for many years with the late Mahmood Karimi and was involved with The Centre for Preservation and Dissemination of Music before and after 1979, although her role changed dramatically after the revolution. No longer permitted to perform publicly in Iran, Parissa teaches music students in her home and performs concerts outside her homeland.
The Persian diva has released several albums worldwide, samples of which can be heard on her website www.parissa.org. Her Shoorideh album, recorded with the Dastan Ensemble for the German Network Medien label, won the prestigious French Charles Cros Award for Best World Music Album in 2003 and spent two months on the European World Music charts.
Farajpouri, a noted kamancheh player, composer and lecturer at the School of Music at Tehran University moved to North Vancouver a couple of years ago. His presence here adds immeasurably to the West Coast's already world class World Music credentials.
Hamnavazan have built their current show around new music from Farajpouri in the mode of Isfahan and, after an intermission, material in the mode of Bayat Turk from "before the revolution," says Behroozinia. "People who know Parissa know her from this music."
The intense rehearsals for the tour were held around the grand opening of the Nava Arts Centre which celebrated the launch of its new location at 1355 Main St. on Saturday, May 26 (see Bright Lights coverage on page 12). Behroozinia began Nava Arts in 2003 as a cultural centre for studying and performing arts from around the world. Although as an Iranian barbat player his expertise is in a specific style of music his intention for the centre is to be all-inclusive and the grand opening featured music from Pakistan, India, China and the West as well as Persian classical music.
The North Vancouver centre offers classes in string and percussion instruments such as barbat, tar, setar, tombak and daf and also focuses on the study of calligraphy with master calligrapher Yadollah Kaboli.