The Bay Area Persian Music Ensemble is an inclusive community orchestra in the Bay Area, Northern California. It was founded in January 2020 and its goal is to practice and perform Persian music. The ensemble is directed by Faraz Minooei.
WHO WE ARE
We have roots in the Iranian plateau and our branches have extended far. We enjoy and practice the artwork that has been passed down to us for generations from the plains where civilization blossomed. This ensemble belongs to the Bay Area and is not an exclusive society. We look forward to collaborating in creative projects and meeting new members.
HOW YOU CAN JOIN US
Very easy! If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area and play an Iranian instrument, you can join us by submitting the following application.
Click on This Link to submit an application.
We practice every other Sunday from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm and the sessions are directed by Faraz Minooei. The membership fee is $50 monthly. Membership fees will only be spent on the costs of the ensemble itself, not to pay the members nor the director.
After you join, you will figure out whether you like to continue. We hope you enjoy and stay, but you could also leave the ensemble as easily as entering it if you think this ensemble is not suitable for you.
Bay Area Persian Music Ensemble
Saeid Bashash is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering at San Jose State University. He spends a good amount of his free time on learning and playing musical instruments. His music journey began at the age of 14 when he started to learn Santur and the traditional Iranian music from Mr. Babak Azarshab and Mr. Hossein Nikkhoo. Over the years, he has carried out several solo and group performances at different schools such as Sharif University, Clemson University, and the University of Michigan. He is currently receiving Taar lessons from Mr. Naser Sheikhzadegan and music theory and technique lessons from Mr. Faraz Minooei.
Elaheh Esfahanian is a Water Engineer at California Water Services Company. She loves learning and playing Persian music. Her music journey started at age 10 when she started learning Tombak from Farshad, and continued receiving lessons from Arash Farhangfar. Over the years she carried out different solo and group performances at different schools such as University of Tehran, Michigan State University, University of Michigan, and Stanford University. She continues her music adventure through the Bay Area Persian Music Ensemble.
Behdad Fariba is passionate about classical Persian music. He has been studying and practicing the Tar, a Persian string instrument well known for its double-bowl shaped body and long neck, with Maestro Fariborz Azizi for close to twenty years. Behdad has studied repertoires of Persian music (Radif - Mirza Abdollah and the advanced Radif - Ali Kabar Khan Shahnazi) and has performed in many private and public venues. He is grateful for the opportunity to participate in workshops with Maestro Mohammad Reza Lotfi and Maestro Hossein Alizadeh in the US, and learn directly from two of the most prominent Tar players of our era.
Behdad is a software engineer at Yahoo and continues to allocate most of his free time to studying and playing the Tar.
Farin is a clinical pharmacist. She started learning Daf lessons from maestro Masood Habibi back in 1993. She has carried out several solo and performances at Vahdat Concert Hall, Arasbaran and Harekat Cultural Centers with Dalahoo ensemble and Tehran Symphony Orchestra. She has performed with Ms. Ghodsi Moshiri and Chakavak Azad ensemble, maestro Jalal Zolfonoon and Khajeh Amiri brothers at Saad Abad Palace.After migrating to the US in 2006, she had a couple performances with Hamed Nickpay at Berkeley University. She has collaborated with Shahrzad Khorsandi and has performed with Peyvand ensemble in Southern California and San Jose.Farin is currently working as a full time pharmacist and teaches Daf lessons in Bay Area. She has joined Bay Area Persian Music Ensemble in 2021.
Instrument: Bass Tar
He started to learn Setar at age of 18 under Maestro Hooshang Zarif. At age of 29 he left the country and since then he was playing in some local persian bands. He is a mechanical engineer and currently is working as a metrology enginner. He was so lucky to join the Bay Area Persian Ensemble since 2020 under Maestro Faraz Minooei
Instrument: Alto Kamancheh & Kamancheh
Mohammad Hassanzadeh is a data scientist at Shell New Energies. He spends a good amount of his free time on learning and playing musical instruments. His music journey began at the age of 10 when he started to learn keyboard from Babak Roshanzamir. Over the years, he has carried out group performances at different schools such as Iran S&T University, Virginia Tech and Stanford university. He started playing kamanche (persian spike fiddle) in 2005 with Alireza Mahdizade and continued receiving lessons from Samer Habibi, Korush Babaie, Arash Kamvar, Amir Eslami & Ardeshir Kamkar.
Being passionate about traditional Persian music, Erfan Javid has started his journey by Setar almost 20 years ago. With a large gap in practicing music he has started a new journey as a newbie with Tar almost 2 years ago under Maestro Fariborz Azizi and Amir Kooshkanian supervision. He is continuing his practice with the Bay Area Persian Music Ensemble.
Behfar Razavi started his musical journey 15 years ago with the Ney (Persian reed flute), and has since added Daf (frame drum), Avaz (classical vocal style of Iran), Setar (Persian lute) and the Flute Recorder to his itinerary. Along the way he's had the privilege to share his passion for music on stage and in the recording studio, alongside his many talented musician teachers and friends. In his spare time, Behfar is CEO of Slooce Technology.
Babak has been practicing Kamanche and traditional Persian music for almost 15 years. He has taken lessons from notable Kamanche players including Reza Parviz Zadeh and Abbas Jafari. Babak has played on stage with Gouran Tanbour Ensemble in Shiraz and has been working with the Bay Area Persian Music Ensemble for more that 2 years.
Hamed Yousefi is a Tech Lead and Software Engineer at Aryaka Networks. After receiving his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the Sharif University of Technology in 2016, he moved to the US for a PostDoc at the University of Michigan. This is when he decided to start the journey of music more seriously.
Hamed is a Persian music lover. His main interest lies in singing/Avaz (classical vocal style of Iran). Over the years, he has seen multiple Avaz teachers: Morteza Kashani, Amir Asnaashari, and Mojtaba Asgari. In parallel, he has also received some Setar lessons from Amir Nojan and started to learn Kamancheh from Bahman Faryadras. He has carried out several solo and group performances since moving to Bay Area in 2019 and joined Bay Area Persian Music Ensemble in 2022.