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Parisa and Dariush Talai in Concert

October 5, 2002 - June 27, 2013

Parisa: Vocals
Dariush Talai: Tar & Setar
Houman Pourmehdi: Tombak

Location: Wadsworth Theatre, Los Angeles Tickets: $45, $35, $30, $25, and $20 (Members 10% off).

Internationally renowned Dariush Talai on tar and Houman Pourmehdi on tombak join Parisa, one of greatest female vocalists of Iran.

This traditional musical style is based on improvisation within a modal structure known as dastgah. The skill of the performer rests in the extemporaneous vocal ornamentation of this basic melodic framework. Parisa s innovative approach with soft, contemplative gestures in her voice and mastery of this form has won her a passionate following in Iran and abroad. Parisa has been barred from performing publicly in Iran since 1979, though she has many students and performs frequently on the international stage. During her 1988 USA tour, the Los Angeles Times described Parisa as “a confident, controlled singer, sang with great warmth and skill, her multi-timbered voice moving with exquisite grace through the music’s intricate vocal ornamentation’s, while vividly underscoring the splendid imagery of the words.”

Parisa will sing selected verses from Rumi, Hafez and Saadi – greatest Persian poets of all time. Their program will convey profound spiritual concepts, passion for God the beloved and praising of the beauty of nature. The rich imagery of the words comes alive through Parisa s moving rendition of the poetry.

Dariush Talai on Tar (long-necked lute), and Setar virtuoso is recognized today as one of the finest interpreters of traditional Persian music. After graduating from the National Conservatory of Music in 1971, Talai entered the School of Music at the University of Tehran, where he received his Bachelors degree in performance and musicology. He continued to study with various masters such as Ali Akbar Shahnazi. Nur Ali Borumand, Abdollah Davami, Yusof Forutan, and Said Hormozi. In a prestigious competition organized by Iranian Radio-Television in 1977, he received three prizes for the best performance on the tar, best performance on the setar, and the best interpreter of Persian music among all instrumental participants. In 1979 Talai received a scholarship for higher education from the French government and since then he remained mainly in Europe and United States studying and teaching at the University of Sorbonne in Paris, and the University of Washington in Seattle. Talai has performed both as a soloist and with his trio throughout Europe and the U.S at the Maison de la Radio France, Opera Comique de Paris, Theatre de la Ville de Paris, Carnegie Hall, and many other venues. He also collaborated on music for the theater, dance, and the cinema with prestigious European and American artists such as Maurice Bejart, Michel Portal, and Caroline Carlson. He has made numerous recordings of Persian traditional art music such as Antologie de la musique persane on Ocora, and including a multiple-CD set on Al-Sur The Integral Repertory of Persian Art Music. Talai is not just a leading exponent but also a philosopher and aesthetician of Persian music. He has invented a system of notation, codifying the concept of the radif, and also has added a complete analysis of its syntax and modal structure.

Houman Pourmehdi on tombak (goblet drum) was privileged to study under guidance of Amir Nasser Eftetah. At sixteen he continued his studies at the National Conservatory of Music in Tehran where he completed the techniques of playing tombak under supervision of Morteza Ayan. He also studied daf with great masters, Haj Agha Sadeghi, Mirza Agha Ghosi, and Darvish Karim. Pourmehdi’s deep understanding of the Persian musical heritage and his beliefs in exploring new territories make him a unique musician. Pourmehdi moved to the United States in 1988 where he has given numerous concerts with renowned artists such as Mohammad Reza Lotfi , and Hassan Nahid, in classical Persian music and several concerts with eminent as Wadada Leo Smith, David Johnson, Rajeev Taranath, and John Bergamo in contemporary world music. He currently resides in Los Angeles where he teaches tombak and daf and pursues his own studies in the world music.


October 5, 2002
June 27, 2013


Parisa and Dariush Talai
Wadsworth Theatre