Hajar Zahawy | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

Hajar Zahawy

2-Day Music Event: Concert & Workshop

AUIS will be hosting a 2-day musical event to celebrate and learn more about traditional Kurdish musical instruments with internationally acclaimed Kurdish musicians on April 6-7, 2016.  Music Workshop: Introduction to the Main Kurdish Music Instruments April 6th, 4pm - 6:30pm With Hajar Zahawy, Sohrab Pournazeri and Ertan Takin     The workshop will be focusing on specific Kurdish music instruments like Daf, Dohol, Balaban, Mey, Zorna, Tambur, Kamancheh.   Hajar Zahawy, Sohrab Pournazeri and Ertan Takin, from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, Iran and Turkey respectively, will conduct a workshop on how each instrument is played, focusing on important techniques and specific music repertoire related to the use of the instrument in different parts of Kurdistan.    Hajar Zahway is an internationally known percussionist. Zahawy, born in Khaniqin in 1980, moved to London in 1990 where he became a self-taught master of the Daf. He began his professional career as a daf player in 1996, at the young age of 16 in Belgium's MED TV studio, where musicians from all over Kurdistan gathered. He was a member of Nishtiman, a seven member group of musicians who preformed at the Bimhuis at the Holland Festival in 2013. He led the artistic direction of the group with the aim to promote diversity and transcend geographical borders in Kurdish music and raise awareness about its tradition.    Ertan Tekin is a masterful musician of woodwind instruments, most especially of the Zorna, Balban, and the Duduck, traditional instruments in Kurdish music. He has participated in hundreds of musical projects. He was a member of the Nishtiman ensemble.     Sohrab Pournazeri is a musician, virtuoso and composer. He was born in 1982 in Kermanshah and has a musical upbringing. His father was a well-known musician and he began studying the Tanbour and Daf at an early age, and later the Tar and Setar before finding his true calling by taking up the Kamancheh. His style is rooted in both Persian classical music as well as folk and the sacred musical culture of Ahl-e Haqq in Kermanshah. He is an incredible vituoso soloist and was also a member of Nishtiman.    The audience will have a chance at the end of the workshop for further discussion and a Q&A session with the artists.    Open to AUIS community only. Music Concert : Art of Improvisation in Kurdish Music  April 7th, 5:30 PM A concert of virtuosic performance performed by 3 internationally accomplished Kurdish musicians Ertan Takin, from the Kurdistan region of Turkey, Hajar Zahawy, from the Kurdistan region of Iraq, and Sohrab pournazeri from the Kurdistan region of Iran.    The concert is open to the AUIS community, and by invitation for guests only.    The registration is now closed for students' guests. All AUIS students are welcome to attend without registering but they CANNOT bring any guests that have not already been registered.  

The Kurdish Daf: A Workshop by Hajar Zahawy

Renowned Kurdish Daf (frame drum) player, Hajar Zahawy, gave a workshop on the history and techniques of daf and performed to a packed audience at AUIS on April 9, 2015.  His presentation was titled, “The Kurdish Daf: From Traditional to Global Instrument.” Zahawy began his presentation by explaining the history of Daf. He explained that the instrument has pre-Islamic origins and belongs to the drum family of instruments. He then talked about the history of the Kurdish daf, which was born from a religious ritual practiced by the Sufis, and demonstrated it by playing some Sufi music. After that, he explained the rhythms of the daf. He indicated that the music is sometimes called “Daem” which means continuous. This type of music forms a deep and spiritual connection between the musician and daf. He also performed some of the rhythms like Hai Allah, Haddadi, Saqqazi, and Garyan. He also explained to the audience that the daf can be used in different types of music. Consequently, he allowed the audience to listen to the theme of "Kingdom of Heaven” that included the daf. Zahawy also gave a mesmerizing solo performance on the daf at the end of his presentation, much to the delight of the audience. At the end of the event, Zahawy took some questions from the audience. One student asked him if he would ever consider coming back to Kurdistan to teach playing the daf ,to which the musician replied that he would be ready to teach but lamented the fact that there are no conservatories to support professional and aspiring musicians. Most comments however touched on how such instruments are not properly appreciated and valued. Zahawy agreed and said, “We have the potential to make the daf our national instrument.” He thanked the University for hosting him and he was glad he had the opportunity to finally visit Kurdistan. “I am grateful AUIS provided me with this opportunity to demonstrate the workshop. I’ve always wanted to visit the University, now that I have, I would like to further the relationship to have more workshops in the future.” Before leaving campus, Zahawy had the chance to hear AUIS student Botan Muhammad Husein singing a Kurdish song and playing music along with other students and friends. This news story has been published with contribution from AUIS student and communications volunteer Rawan Barzan.

Hajar Zahawy: The Kurdish Daf - from Traditional to Global Instrument

This performance presentation will cover all the different aspects of the Kurdish Daf, from its playing technique to its history, its roll in Kurdish music and culture, its function in Kurdish music, and its role as a global international instrument in modern and Fusion projects. There will be a solo performance by Hajar Zahawy and an opportunity for the audience to ask questions at the end. 
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