Cavit Tebrizli, Vocal: Cavit is from the city of Tabriz in northwest Iran. A frequent guest on Turkish Radio and Television Station, Cavit has been musically active since his early years. Several years after the 1979 Iranian revolution, Cavit left Iran due to the lack of personal and artistic freedom. He moved to Turkey to fulfill his strong desire to develop his musical career. He found Turkey to be an ideal place to pursue this career, and has since given numerous concerts at major concert halls and festivals all over Turkey. As an artist and cultural practitioner, he performed at the Ministry of Culture of Turkey and collaborated on many projects pertaining to the music and dances of the Turkic world. He performs frequently at the concert halls and festivals of major European cities. Cavit has been an international member and collaborator with the Silk Road for several years. He is now on his second concert tour of North American cities. Cavit and the Silk Road Ensemble are planning a future tour of Turkey’s major cities (www.cavittebrizli.com).

 

Jalal Zolfonoon,  Setar:  Jalal Zolfonoon received his earliest musical training from his father, Habib Zolfonoon, and his older brother, Mahmoud Zolfonoon the tar. At the age of 13, Zolfonoon enrolled the National School for Iranian Music to study musical theory, composition and technique under Ruhollah Khalegi and Musa Khan Maroufi. While he immediately fell in love with setar, the instrument was not taken seriously in those times. He instead decided to study the tar, while also learning the violin from his brother Mahmoud Zolfonoon. In 1967, Jalal Zolfonoon was accepted into the faculty of the Fine Arts department of Tehran University where he would further study the setar with Master Noor Ali Boroumand and Daryoush Saffat. From then on, he dedicated himself to the delicate instrument. He began combining the techniques of the older masters of setar with his own ingenuity and mystic sensitivity. And for the first time, Jalal Zolfonoon introduced an ensemble of only setar players, creating the best selling album of traditional Persian music, Golehsadbarg (which means, "100 petal flower"). At the same time, Jalal also composed for the setar in mind and would prove one of the most expressive, while technically virtuosic players of the instrument. Perhaps most notable of Jalal Zolfonoon's contributions to this music is that he showed for the first time the power and versatility of the setar as an ensemble and solo instrument that could fully express the nuances of Traditional Persian music in any setting. In fact, since Golehsadbarg's success, the setar evolved from the least to the most popular instrument in Iran. Following the success of Golesadbarg, Jalal Zolfonoon continues to record a number of other albums on which he is featured as lead soloist, composer and/or ensemble player with a number of wellknown singers and musicians with whom he has also toured worldwide. Zolfonoon has also written a seminal book on "Setar Playing /Teaching Method". He lives in Iran, but tours outside in Europe, the US, Canada and Japan with his son, Soheil, and other musicians (www.zolfonoon.ir).

 


Gasan Mammedov, Violin, Piano, Garmon, and Vocal: Gasan is a native of the city of Ashkhabad, the capital of the Republic of Turkmenistan. Gasan began his musical training on the violin at the age of seven and attended the Conservatory of Music in Ashkhabad from 1976-1981.  Gasan is one the most traveled artists of Central Asia. He has had an active career as a musician, both in the former Soviet Union and in the world. Gasan has worked with number of major groups in his country. His group Firuze received first prize in the 1979 Leningrad/Saint Petersburg International Competition Festival. He was a member of the Gunesh Ensemble from 1981-1983. During his studies at the Turkmenistan Conservatory of Music, he performed and collaborated on many projects with several groups in the country. In 1990, Gasan joined the newly formed Ashkhabad City of Love group which played at many festivals around the world. The group’s performance at the WOMAD (World of Music and Dance) Festival in London resulted in the release of the Ashkhabad CD on WOMAD’s label, owned and produced by the British artist, Peter Gabriel. Gasan’s musical activities have taken him to more than 50 countries around the globe. He has given several concerts in the US. Gasan is an international collaborator and member of the Silk Road Ensemble.