Iberi Choir
Sahba Motallebi + Naghmeh Farahmand and Iberi Choir
September 21, 2017
Chicago, IL
Preston Bradley Hall
Google Map

Join us for a rare and exclusive performance from Persian classical musician Sahba Motallebi and percussionist Naghmeh Farahmand at World Music Festival Chicago on Thursday, September 21st! Shortly following, Georgian ensemble Iberi Choir will share moving harmonies that are intended to present the full splendor of Georgian tradition, from the sonorous styles found in the eastern region of Kakhetia to the more extroverted, virtuosic sounds found in the western regions of Guria and Mengrelia.

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Event Schedule:
Show begins at 6:00p.m.

About Sahba Motallebi www.sahbamotallebi.com
with Naghmeh Farahmand:
Sahba Motallebi is a virtuoso on both the tar and setar, two related lutes at the heart of Persian classical music. As a teenager in her native Iran she pushed against patrimonial restrictions and emerged as a dynamo on her instruments; when she was only 14 she began her studies at the Tehran Conservatory of Music and between the years 1995-98 she was a four-time winner as best tar player at the Iranian Music Festival (she also studied abroad, in Russia and Turkey). While still in school she cofounded the boundary-breaking female music ensemble Chakaveh; in 1999 she was invited to join the prestigious Iranian National Orchestra, which initiated her global performance career, and eventually led her to settle in Los Angeles, where she’s lived and played for over a decade, and has worked fastidiously to preserve traditional Persian classical music. She also extended her education in performance practice at CalArts. Motallebi has achieved extraordinary recognition as an expat and she’s been honored by performing with the great master Hossein Alizadeh. For this rare Chicago appearance she will perform with percussionist Naghmeh Farahmand, daughter of the great Mahmoud Farahmand. Although her playing is rooted in Persian traditions, she’s also learned in Sufi and Kurdish music as well, and before immigrating to Canada in 2010 she had performed with Iranian giants like the ney player Hassan Nahid and singer Hengameh Akhavan. Since relocating her practice has expanded to include jazz as well as music from Bulgaria and India. Her 2012 album features her wide-open aesthetic, one rooted in the fundamentals of Persian tradition but versatile enough to make room for a growing world of influences.

About Iberi Choir:
Hailing from Georgia’s capital city of Tbilisi Iberi Choir are distinguished advocates of one of the world’s greatest polyphonic vocal traditions. The practice stretches back centuries, and it’s generally considered to have predated the introduction of Christianity in the region, even if the sound sometimes seems liturgical in nature. The ensemble was founded in 2012 by Buba Murghulia, a singer in storied Georgian troupes like the State Ensemble for Song and Dance and Kapela, as well as the experimental rock band the Shin. Its eleven members survey a wide variety of traditions, deftly combining a quiet theatricality and amusing vocal acrobatics. The dominant sound of the group focuses on breathtaking harmonies, as one, two, or three vocalists deliver soaring melodic leads while the rest of the group sing lushly striated drones or contrapuntal curlicues and lockstep patterns in exhilarating fashion to create a mind-boggling array of rhythms, melodies, and shifting timbres. Adorned in striking black coats and robes, and outfitted with traditional swords, the acapella choir is capable of mesmerizing listeners with a concentrated blend of voices that’s astonishingly ethereal and calming, but they’re equally adept at rhythmically agile works, where the harmonies toggle between peaceful serenity and guttural polyrhythmic propulsion.