Shalizar Ensemble performs traditional Persian music from several regions and ethnic groups within Iran, along with music from Afghanistan and Central Asia. The ensemble was started in 2014 by members of the Middle East Music Ensemble at the University of Chicago, and includes a mix of Middle Eastern and American musicians performing on traditional percussion and stringed instruments from the Middle East and Central Asia, violins, and vocals in Farsi and other languages and dialects.
Shalizar is Farsi for marshy meadow, and is used to describe the landscapes in Iran where rice is commonly grown. The ensemble chose this name in homage to the marshy landscape of the Chicago region, and as a reflection of the interests of many of its members in environmental science and conservation.
This program will feature Persian, Azeri, Arabic, Uzbek-Tajik and Afghan music, and will also include folkloric dances of Central Asia. The Shalizar Ensemble is Ramin Takloo-Bighash, tombak and voice; Phaedra Darwish, flute and voice; Sam Hyson, violin and kamanche; Kathleen Cantone, daff and daira; Eli Suzukovich III, oud, dutar, and setar; and Negin Almassi, kamanche, violin, and voice.