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San Francisco World Music Festival: September 26 - October 16, 2005

The San Francisco World Music Festival 2005 will celebrate its Sixth Anniversary with an exciting gathering of some of the most interesting musicians in the world.

"The San Francisco World Music Festival has a reputation for experimentation as an indirect call for cultures to share peace and understanding." San Francisco Chronicle

For festival 2005, Executive Director, Michael Santoro, and Program Director, Kutay Derin Kugay, traveled to Azerbaijan, Iran, and Kurdistan (Eastern Turkey) to meet with musicians and scholars to find new musical treasures to bring to the Bay Area this year and to do field research for the festival's main event. The trip was a resounding success... field recordings of women Ashuq singers in Baku, Azerbaijan; recordings of Dengbej singers in a Kurdish village 60 miles outside of Diyarbakir, Turkey; a film shoot of a tar player on the 2,400 year old burning mountain of Yanardag in Baku, Azerbaijan; & documentation of a Nowruz song composed and performed by Kurdish tambour master Ali Akbar Moradi in Tehran, Iran....

The centerpiece of Festival 2005 is a specially commissioned world premiere work called NOWRUZ PROJECT, which will premiere on October 2 as an international music experiment and artistic statement for global peace. Much of the research from abroad will be incorporated in to the production, which will include scenic and lighting design by Matthew Antacky. This evening will present traditional and newly composed music, poetry, and film, featuring Azerbaijani master pianist Chingiz Sadykhov, Azerbaijani kamancheh soloist Imamyar Hasanov, Afghani dutar and rubab player Aziz Herawi, Persian ney master Hossein Omoumi, tombak and percussion virtuoso Pejman Hadadi, Persian tar player Ashkan Ghafouri, Kurdish vocalist Ozden Oztoprak, and composer and lyra master Ross Daly with a new commissioned composition for Nowruz; Kurdish filmmaker Nizamettin Aric; and Kurdish community leader and poet/singer Mustafa Kart. All of these artists represent a variety of traditions, nationalities, ethnicities and disciplines. The binding thread in bringing them together is the observance of the vernal equinox or Nowruz, whose pre-Islamic origins are embraced in different ways throughout the Caucasus, Middle East and Central Asia. Taking place at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, this concert will help to promote San Francisco as a world center for international music collaborations.

Also on the festival line-up... On October 1st at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, coming to the Bay Area from Crete, world-renowned master musician and composer ROSS DALY with Kelly Thoma, Periklis Papapetropoulos, makes their US debut accompanied by acclaimed Persian percussionist Pejman Hadadi.

On October 8th at Brava Theater WOMEN SINGERS OF THE WORLD, featuring Dona Rosa (Portuguese), a blind fado singer making her US Debut, and Gulare Azafli & Zülfiye Ibadova (Azerbaijani Ashuq), two women Ashuq singers discovered in Baku, also making their US Debuts. Also on the program are a diverse group of singers from several continents, including Ozden Oztoprak (Kurdish),  Barbara Chookasian (Armenian), Lichi Fuentes (Chilean), & Mariana Sadovska (Ukrainian). On the program there will also be a 15-minute short film presented about the music and life of the blind Taiwanese singer Yang Shuo Tsing, filmed and edited by Michael Santoro in Taiwan especially for this event.

On October 9th at Ashkenaz in Berkeley, DONA ROSA, blind Fado singer coming from Portugal and Gulare Azafli & Zülfiye Ibadova, Ashuq singers coming from Azerbaijan, perform a double-billed concert with lecture. On October 15th at Brava Theater, there will be a concert of CHINESE & WORLD PERCUSSION, featuring Master Wang Wei, percussionist on the soundtrack of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon", and several Bay Area master drummers from different countries. On October 16th at the Croatian American Cultural Center of San Francisco, the festival closes with a performance by CEMALI & GUESTS, two brothers Cem and Ali, whose progressive musical sense made them Turkey's first alternative pop group in it's history. There will be DJs and cultural food.

Continuing in our efforts to introduce artists to the larger community, there are several outreach events this year. On September 26th at the Community Music Center, there will be a NOWRUZ LECTURE, a demonstration and discussion of Nowruz cultural perspectives from the Zoroastrian community; On October 3rd at the Community Music Center, there will be a Ross Daly LECTURE & WorkshoP, where participants will learn about his music and have the opportunity to perform Cretan musical instruments; On October 5th at the Alice Fong Yu Elementary School, artists in a Festival Residency Program will perform an assembly program in the afternoon, work with the school percussion troupe, & perform evening concert for the community; On October 9th at the Asian Art Museum, the third annual Youth World Music Showcase will feature elementary and high school students of masters in the Bay Area; On October 11th there will be a UCSF CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CONCERT where Bay Area musicians will perform a free concert for the hospital's young patients; and On October 13th at the Asian Art Museum, there will be a lecture called A CLOSER LOOK AT KURDISH MUSIC, a demonstration and discussion of Kurdish cultural perspectives.

San Francisco World Music Festival: 2005 is produced by DOOR DOG MUSIC PRODUCTIONS

For Complete Information about the festival please visit:

Door Dog Music Productions is sponsored & funded in part by: Alliance for California Traditional Arts, Bocce Café, Brooke Oliver Law Group, Center for Middle Eastern Studies at the University of California Berkeley, Creative Work Fund, Down Home Music, Fort Mason Foundation, Fund for Folk Culture, James Irvine Foundation, KPFA 94.1FM, Nob Hill Hotel, Potrero Nuevo Fund of the Tides Foundation, Radisson Hotel Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco Foundation, San Francisco Grants for the Arts Hotel Tax Fund, Shulte Grants for the Arts & Crafts, Society for Asian Art, WA Gerbode Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, Walter & Elise Haas Fund, WESTAF, and the Zellerbach Family Foundation.

... Payvand News - 7/15/05 ... --

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