Kamyar Arsani + Huda Asfour Live
About Kamyar:Kamyar Arsani is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter born and raised in Tehran, Iran. Kamyar's musical mission is to spread cultural awareness and unity by mixing contemporary musical trends with traditional Persian folk music.
At age 7, Kamyar began daf (Persian frame drum) lessons with Master Bijan Kamkar. Kamyar also spent time playing meditative rhythms for hours at a time for Sufis. Kamyar has spent over 20 years performing and researching the daf and its roots. His second choice of instrument was the kamancheh (Persian string bow instrument) and he studied it with Masters Ardeshir Kamkar and Sohrab Pournazeri. Kamyar has also taught himself how to play other instruments including guitar, a variety of percussion instruments, melodica, ukulele and more.
Less than ten years ago, Kamyar and his family migrated to the United States around the same time that Iran's Green Revolution was occurring. Kamyar's songs and performances are very much inspired by the people of Iran and their history of struggle and protest.
He produced his first solo album in 2015, entitled "No Freedom." The album was dedicated to those oppressed by societies all around the world.
Kamyar also plays in two other collaborations: "Huda & Kamyar," a daf and oud Duo, and "Time is Fire," a weird world/post-punk band.
Huda & Kamyar is a project between Palestinian oud player Huda Asfour and Kamyar on the daf. They tour locally with the goal of bringing middle eastern traditional and contemporary music to broader audiences.
Kamyar is also the poet and singer of "Time is Fire (TiF)." Their music has been described by Washington Post as "Music from a country that does not exist."
Kamyar takes on a different character performing with Time is Fire, wearing his sikke (a Sufi hat representing the "tombstone of Ego") and singing poems of resistance and freedom in English and Farsi. Within the four member band's worldly, funky, post-punky, afro-infected music, the sikke and poems make perfect sense. Their sound has been evolving since the group first came together in 2015. Washington City Paper: "Time Is Fire could have limitless places to go." Time is Fire recently released an EP that can be found here.
Huda Asfour was born to Palestinian parents in Lebanon in 1982, and grew up in Tunisia before moving to Gaza and then Ramallah. After secondary school she went to Birzeit University, where she joined the Sanabel ensemble, and then studied at the National Conservatory of Music under the supervision of the Palestinian musician Khaled Jubran.
She moved to Egypt in 2004 to continue her studies, where she teamed up with Tamer Abu-Ghazala to form Jahar. She performed in Egypt, Palestine and Lebanon, and in 2009 won a grant from the al-Mawred Cultural Foundation which enabled her to record her first album.
As well as being a musician, Asfour is a practicing biomedical engineer, with a post-doctoral position in the United States.
Asfour is one of a new generation of young Arab women singer-songwriters. Artists like Tunisia's Badia Bouhreizi and the Egyptian Maryam have sought to create their own distinctive style and sound, rather than emulating the great divas Like Umm Kalthoum and Fairouz, or going along with the current vogue for reviving old classics. Of this generation, Kamila Jubran has arguably been the most successful in this endeavor, and her influence is clear on the work of the others, including Asfour.