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Norooz 2018 – A Spring Celebration with Mamak Khadem & DAO
March 10, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm$30 – $50
Diaspora Arts Connection, in collaboration with the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies, San Francisco State University, proudly presents a celebration of spring, Norooz, and community on Saturday, March 10, 2018. Join us for the beautiful and uplifting music of Mamak Khadem and Agusevi Cambo Orchestra (Dzambo Agusevi Orchestra) from Macedonia, and celebrate Norooz with us. The stellar musicians will be joined by the amazing Miriam Peretz and her dance company at the Center for Iranian Diaspora Studies, San Francisco State University.
About Mamak Khadem: Called “…one of the wonders of world trance music”, by The Los Angeles Times, Mamak Khadem captivates audiences by blending her roots in the ancient poetry and music of the Persian masters with a bold and revolutionary new sound. By nature, she is a nomad, one who thrives on open spaces. By occupation, she is a bridge, one that connects geography to lore. In music, she is open to cultural influences, but she has chosen the classical Persian style as her base. Formerly of the sensational cross-cultural fusion ensemble AXIOM OF CHOICE, Mamak weaves a canopy, both simple and rich, for a stunningly emotional and spiritual musical experience that inspires new listeners to embrace cultural diversity and an awareness and appreciation of Persian arts and culture through a blending of old and new.
“The Road”, Mamak’s newest project, continues a journey started with her celebrated first solo album Jostojoo. Following her passion for new influences, Mamak has crossed borders from various regions in Iran to Serbia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Morocco and Indonesia. Searching for common threads and powerful traditional melodies remains a driving force behind her music using elements from her Iranian heritage such as the poetry of Rumi to re-imagine a song from another culture, time and place. The freedom of her musical expression is intoxicating.
Mamak Khadem was born in Iran, at a time when tides were changing. She was part of the Children’s Choir for National Radio and Television of Iran, but it wasn’t until after the Iranian Revolution that her passion for singing waxed. Inspired by works of master musicians, she seized every opportunity to further her vocal art, regularly traveling back to Iran to study with some of the finest Persian vocalists and masters. She also benefited from the study of classical Indian singing tradition at the Ali Akbar Khan College of Music in Northern California and from singing with the Los Angeles based Balkan choir Nevenka.
About Agusevi Cambo Orchestra (Dzambo Agusevi Orchestra): The trumpet virtuoso Dzambo Agushev (Djambo Ozden) was born in Strumica, in eastern Macedonia, on the 28th of October 1987. His family has a long and significant musical tradition. Since his childhood, following the example of his father Cemal and of his uncle Koco, Dzambo never even considered an alternative to the music career.
In the mid-nineties, when his family used to live in Germany, his father played in a local big Orchestra. Dzambo insisted every day to go with him to the rehearsals, he listened and observed, sitting in a corner and being silent all the time, hoping to receive, one day or the other, his own trumpet as a present.
The conductor of the Orchestra, reading the childs thoughts and aspirations, engaged himself to find an instrument for him and Dzambo started immediately to learn playing.
When the family Agushev came back from Germany to their home country, Dzambo heard for the first time his uncle Koco playing. Koco Agushev was a local legend and an appreciated musician abroad; everybody praised his talent and virtuosity.
Dzambo, astonished by the ability of his uncle, started to imitate Koco and to rehearse every day, more and more, with the goal to become as good as him, may be to become even a better musician.
Uncle Koco was the leader of a solid established Orchestra called Agushevi and his father Cemal joined the team. Dzambo was so fascinated by Koco that he stopped sleeping at his home, trying to spend as much time as possible in his uncles house. He spent his free time listening to the bands rehearsal and praying Koco to show him how to improve his technique.
Dzambos next target was to be accepted in Agushevis Orchestra. His uncle was proud of him but first he had to promise to rehearse more and more, giving him new and more difficult exercises.
Following his uncles indications was not always easy, as well as for his mother to stand hours and hours of homes rehearsal So sometimes little Dzambo was sent away from his room, obliged to go for a walk and take some fresh air. Whilst most of the boys in his age in Strumica, as almost everywhere, wanted to play with a ball as much as possible, he just wanted to spend more and more time trying to improve his ability as a trumpet player.
At the age of 11 Dzambo became a member of the Orchestra, as third trumpeThe concert with Goce Arnaudov at Tetovo filigrani represented the peak of young artists promotion.
He owes his nickname to the legendary saxophone player Ferus Mustafov: when Ferus heard Dzambo playing, he could hardly believe to his eyes and hears He could hardly believe that an eleven-year- old- boy could play so fast and named him Jumbo (in the Macedonian transcription is Dzambo) and invited him to record a CD. Jumbo 11, his debut album was published in Bitola by a local label.
Every trumpet player who wants to be fully respected in the Balkans must take part in competitions. There are several ones in the whole region, more or less important, but for sure the local communities take these challenges seriously and deserve them great attention.
Dzambo accepted the challenge and went to compete at Kumanovo Trumpet Fest in 2006, downsizing the other musicians and conquering a deserved first place. From 2006 until 2011 the new star of the Agushevi Orchestra was the absolute champion in Kumanovo, until he was banned to compete to leave the place to other competitors.
In 2011 he took part to the competition in Pehcevo and managed to win all the prizes, impressing the jury. It is widely known that the dream of every trumpet player of the Balkan region is to win the Guca Festival, which takes place every year in Guca, a village in the mountains in Central Serbia. The Assembly of Trumpet Players of Guca is since the sixties the most important event of this kind in the whole area and probably in the world. Thanks to the triumph in Pehcevo, in the same year Dzambo was invited to compete in Guca, in the international category. For a young player, the first time in Guca is an impressive experience: it can also awake fear of making mistakes before a huge and competent audience.
The guy everybody considered the best trumpeter in Macedonia felt no fear but a deep sense of respect and the will to show his skill: When I entered the stage, I starred the crowd and I said to myself that I could not do anything else but win. And so it was. The Orchestra received the first prize and Dzambo wrote his name in the history of the famous event: both the judges and the audience appraised the Orchestra and his young leader.
The victory in Guca was followed by another victory in Pehcevo in 2012, with the consequent request from the organization not to compete anymore, because Agushevi Orchestra took all the possible prizes.
Having started from Strumica in 2006 as a simple member of his uncles Orchestra, in a few years Dzambo made a name for himself and is now followed by a large audience in the Balkans, as well as in other countries, where his popularity is constantly increasing: he is frequent guest in Turkey, where he has a good career since several years. He toured Australia and will be soon touring the USA. The Agushevi Orchestra has already brought his musical message to several European countries, but Dzambo and his fellows dont even think to stop for a while: instead, they keep on touring and spreading their Balkan groove. The guys are also working on their new CD, planned for spring 2014.