Shahriyar Jamshidi, Composer & Kamanche Player
Shahriyar is known as a Kurdish Kamanche player and composer was born in Kermanshah, Iran and was raised up in a traditional Kurdish community that the members had a tight connection to the music in their daily life. He remembers when he was seven, his father took him to the Sufi celebration events annually. In that great mysterious rituals, the audiences who were sitting cross-legged on the floor politely and formal, sung and clapped spiritually. The group of musicians played Tambour entire night. The mythical harmonies gradually gave him the best passion he needed and brought him to the sky. Shahriyar found that the music has power and capability to change his sense more than his family members. Therefore, his routine became to listen to live music in Kurdish radio channels every night. Due political issues and eight years of war in Iran, Shahriyar did not have any opportunity to learn music until age seventeen.
He holds a Bachelor of Music from the Tehran University of Art in 1988. Shahriyar received his Kamanche training with celebrated musicians such as Mahmood Merati, Mojtaba Mirzadeh and Ardeshir Kamkar, focusing on the study of Kurdish music in order to reconstruct the old songs of the Kurds, his people.
In developing countries, the cultural capital, music, in particular, is in danger of extinction. He believes that an effective way to retain the ethnic music is to bring this type of music to daily life. Over 24 years of his career, He has been attempting to recreate the classical Kurdish music in an understandable way for younger generations. Shahriyar considers this effort as a cultural bridge between past and future. In 2003, He founded the Dilan Ensemble (derived from the name of the Kurdish musician Qadir Dilan), which has since performed numerous times in Tehran and other cities of Iran. He has also performed on several well-known Kurdish TV channels including Kurdistan, Newroz, and Kurdsat, 2002-2007.
Since settling in Canada in 2012, Shahriyar has consistently sought new musical languages, thereby crossing cultures with his Kamanche Solo music. He has already performed at Toronto’s Tirgan Festival twice, International Society for Improvised Music (ISIM) in Switzerland and Canada, High-Fest in Armenia, Festival du Monde Arabe, introduced to Ontario Contact by the International Resource Centre for Performing Arts (IRCPA), frequently appearing at the Aga Khan Museum and the Small World Music series in Toronto.
As a composer, Shahriyar has devoted his career to preserving the ancient music history of Kurdistan by composing and arrangement pieces for Kamanche, Vocals and Orchestra. He has released three albums including Alvanati (2004), call of the Mountains (2008), A Yellow Flower (2014) and Kamancello (2017).