“...An organic authenticity that reflects strong ties to both traditional Persian music and the improvisational aspect of jazz.”
- Robert Bush, San Diego Troubadour.
The Sibarg Ensemble explores a creative intercultural music making by combining the sounds of traditional Iranian music and jazz. Through original compositions, arrangements of classical melodies and folksongs, and structured improvisations, ensemble members draw on their own distinct musical backgrounds, while creating a unique dialogue with one another. With each performance, Sibarg sets out to create a sense of unity and peace while facilitating multiculturalism.
Vocalist Hesam Abedini established the Sibarg Ensemble in 2008 at the Tehran Music Conservatory as the first university ensemble to combine Iranian and non-Iranian music. Up until that point, no music school or academic institution in Iran maintained an ensemble or orchestra that performed new music composed for traditional Iranian and Western instruments. When the ensemble moved to the United States in 2010, they reformed with kamancheh player Niloufar Shiri, tar player Ebrahim Poustinchi, pianist Josh Charney, and bassist Kyle Motl. Their first album Cipher, released in 2018, was sponsored by the Jordan Center for Persian Studies and the Farhang Foundation. The Sibarg Ensemble has performed at numerous music festivals, universities, and cultural institutions, including Springfest SD, Mount Saint Mary’s Women in Music Festival, Carlsbad Music Festival, Intercultural Music Conference (IcM), Central Stage Berkeley, UCLA Royce Hall, USC Bovard Auditorium, UCI Smith Hall, and UCSD Conrad Prebys Music Center. They have also held educational workshops at UCLA, UCSD, the Iranian-American Cultural Center San Diego, and with the Santa Monica Youth Orchestra. Their music has been featured on WNYC’s New Sounds, KEXP’s Wo’ Pop, WFMU, KZSU, and KFJC.