Performances & Recordings
2012 recipient of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities' (DCCAH) Individual Artist Grant for creating "Cultural Dialogue through Music" and 2009 recipient of DCCAH's Folk Arts Grant for creating and presenting "Understanding Multicultural Identity through Artistic Expression," Roya has performed at numerous educational and cultural institutions in Washington D.C. area, including the National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian Institution's Freer and Sackler Galleries, the Library of Congress, the Arts Club of Washington, Mary Washington University, American University, George Washington University, and the University of Maryland. She has also performed at similar venues in New York, West Virginia, Oregon, and the state of Washington. In 1999, she appeared on Spain’s national television Program “Imaginaria” broadcast live from Granada, Spain, and later that year released her first CD entitled Probe, in which she explored the melding of Persian melodies with other musical traditions. In 2004 Roya composed santur pieces for the celebrated flamenco dancer, Carmela Greco, and accompanied Ms. Greco on her 2004-2005 U.S. tour.
Her second album Roya was released in August 2007 with all her original compositions including her continued work in Persian-flamenco fusion and one in which she sings and plays all the instruments in an electro-acoustic arrangement. She founded the Roya Ensemble in 2007 in order to realize the album ‘Roya’ in live settings as well as developing her new compositions and arrangements creating a seamless blend of Persian, flamenco, Latin, and jazz, best realized in her third album I Am I Am Not released in November 2010, inspired by ‘the incredible closeness of beings’ and the ancient Persian sufi notion of ‘selflessness’. The ensemble is comprised of a roster of DC area musicians creating a magical mix of sounds with Roya's santurs and vocals, Ricardo Marlow's flamenco guitar, Denis Malloy's jazzy horns, and Steve Bloom's and Jon Seligman's world percussion.
Please visit Roya's listing on CDBaby to purchase her CD's or MP3's.
Roya Bahrami & Ensemble have performed at President Obama’s Inaugural celebratory concerts at the Smithsonian Institution, University of Maryland, Shepherd University, Gettysburg World Heritage Festival, Amnesty International’s Human Rights Arts Festival, Washington Folk Festival, The Mansion at Strathmore, University of Memphis, and University of Mary Washington.
"Roya has achieved a level of artistry that few can claim. The message of her music is uniquely profound, far reaching and inspiring in the extreme. All who hear her will be changed for the better by the experience." Nancy Jo Snider, Director, Music Program, American University, Washington, D.C.
Educational & Cultural Exchange Performances
Roya also continues to appear in solo concerts and conferences around the world. She has created and offers lecture-performance programs on: “Classical Music of Persia,” “Music and Spirituality,” “Understanding Multicultural Identity through Artistic Expression,” and “Traces of Ancient Persian Melodies in Andalusia.” To highlight a few, in the recent few years she has presented her 'Music and Spirituality' program at the Rumi Forum in Washington D.C., she appeared in concert at the Museum of Flamenco Dance in Seville, Spain in conjunction with her program on 'Traces of Ancient Persian Melodies in Andalusia', she presented "Classical Music of Persia" at the Library of Congress, she presented 'Understanding Multi-Cultural Identity through Artistic Expression" at the American University Katzen Art Center. She was invited to the Congress of the Cimbalom World Association (CWA), Querétaro, Mexico, May 27-31, 2009 to present "Classical Music of Persia" along with concert performances. In January 2011, Roya was invited to perform at the CWA's International New Year Concerts in Budapest, Hungary and returned to Budapest for the 11th Congress of the CWA in October 2011 for presentations and performances where she presented her most recent lecture-performance on "Persian-Flamenco Fusion on the Santur". She presented this lecture-performance at the University of Memphis School of Music in April 2012.
In 2012 Roya created a new lecture -performance for young audiences "The Persian Nowruz - A Musical Journey" on the occassion of Nowruz (Persian New Year, first of Spring). She presented this at Green Acres School for the whole school assembly of 300 students from preK to 8th graders along with their teachers and administrators and was accompanied by Ricardo Marlow and Steve Bloom, please see reviews for feedback from the head of school.
Check out more details, interviews and reviews on Music & Reviews pages.
Roya Bahrami was born and raised in Iran and moved to the US in 1977. She worked as a telecommunications professional for over 20 years before dedicating herself full-time starting in July of 2004 to what had been a part-time career as a musician. With over 2 decades of experience performing on her Persian santur, she has studied the Persian Classical repertoire (radif) with the leading masters of the art form on santur, setar and tar with Maestros Lotfi, Alizadeh, and Talai. She has studied santur techniques with Shahariar Saleh, Esmail Tehrani and Kazem Davoodian; daf with Esfandiar Shah-Mir; piano with Golnoush Khaleghi; flamenco baile (dance) with Lourdes Elias, Jaime Coronado, cante (chant) with Marija Temo, Jesus Montoya, and palos (harmonies and rhythms) with Richard 'Ricardo' Marlow, and since November 2010, she has been studying Vocal Mastery with Chrissellene Petropoulos.
Roya holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Maryland.