Find Out About TabestoonFest Guests and Artists:




Touraj Daryaee

Touraj Daryaee is a Professor of Iranian History and the Director of the Center for Persian Studies at the University of California, Irvine. He is the editor of The International Journal of Ancient Iranian Studies, the author of Cyrus the Great An Ancient Iranian King, and the creator of Sasanika: The Late Antique Near East Project. He has studied several ancient Iranian languages including Avestan, Old Persian, Middle Persian, and Parthian and specializes in history of late antiquity and medieval periods as well as Indo-Iranian Languages and Culture. More about Touraj

Ali Azimi

Ali Azimi is an Iranian singer and song writer based in London, UK but originally from Tehran. His previous work with Iranian rock band "Radio Tehran" as the band's leader, principal singer, song writer and lyricist has defined a fresh sound and vibe within Iranian alternative music scene. Ali's new album "Mr Mean" was released in Oct 2013. More about Ali

Ajam Band

Ajam is a London based band that formed in early 2010. Ajam's music tries to bring the epic and soulful spirit of the native music of Iran to a new generation. The band's repertoire comprises of original pieces that are set to a post-modern soundscape of traditional, rural and tribal instruments fused with urban and rock beats and bass lines and production sensibilities. Ajam's performance style is inspired by different elements of Iranian 'people's' music such as street and market place performances, music related to traditional sports and competitions, religious passion-plays and ritualistic performances and recitals. Ajam is a cultural experience of Iranian Roots Music

 More about Ajam

Benedikt Fuhrmann

Benedikt Fuhrmann is the head of his own agency for audiovisual communication and works as photographer and filmmaker currently in Munich, Germany. Above all you can explore his passion in his own independent art projects. His motivation for the last international exhibition called ‚Ein Blick Iran’ is the deep desire to open new ways to increase the awareness and communication between the people of Iran and the western world. More about the agency of Benedikt Fuhrmann and his independent art project Ein Blick Iran

Mehrdad Ariannejad

Holding a Masters degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto and a full time employee of IBM Canada since 1998, Mehrdad has been actively involved in preserving and reviving Iranian culture, a subject that is close to his heart. Over the course of years of volunteer work, he has served as chair and board member for many organizations devoted to promotion of Iranian culture and intellectual heritage within academia, Iranian community and Canadian society. He is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Tirgan cultural festival, the largest of its kind, held in Toronto since 2006. Mehrdad is the recipient of many awards for humanitarian and community service and promoting culture and social justice, including the National Ethnic Press And Media Council of Canada award and Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal.

Marjan Eggermont

Marjan Eggermont is the Associate Dean (Student Affairs) and a senior instructor in The Schulich School of Engineering at the University of Calgary, teaching in the area of engineering design, technology and society. She is also an artist who exhibits nationally and internationally. Marjan teaches visualization, drawing, communication, design history, biomimicry, and green engineering topics.

Tom Mirhady

Cellist Tom Mirhady grew up in Vancouver and started playing cello at age 9. Before coming to Calgary he attended the University of British Columbia and Musikhochschule Köln in Cologne, Germany and received a B.Mus. from McGill University and M.Mus. from New York’s Juilliard School.  Previously a member of the Edmonton Symphony, he played with the Vancouver Symphony, and has been a member of the Calgary Philharmonic since 1979. He teaches cello at home, Mount Royal University Conservatory and the Amici Strings program. He enjoys playing chamber music and gardening at the Rosemont home he shares with his family.  Tom’s father Fereidoun, originally from Iran, immigrated to Canada in 1951 and, though he has never been there, Tom is interested in all things Persian, including the music, food, and his many relatives, both inside Iran and out.

Saba Ensemble

Formed in 2008, Saba Ensemble of Calgary is dedicated to Persian Classical and folk Music, from medieval to contemporary scripts. In the current performance Saba Ensemble includes: Shermin Negari (Tar), Mehdi Pouragha (Oud), Neda Ighani (Vocal), and Mohamad Mojarab (Daf) . Over the years, the ensemble has been privileged to work with other local musicians and present Persian music at many Iranian and multicultural events. The two recent concerts presented by Saba ensemble were Desire (2011), and Words of Beloved (2012), both performed in Calgary. More about Saba



Nirvana Nirvan

Nirvana Nirvan holds a BFA degree in violin performance from Concordia University, Montreal-QC. She has performed recitals, chamber music, and has been a member of the Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra (MWSO) for several years in Montreal until she moved to Calgary in 2013. Ms. Nirvan is also a singer and songwriter, and she has released the album of her own original songs in 2011. --- She has also founded an online platform to facilitate distance music education.

Bijan Maysami

He started music when he was 6 years old with his uncle Master Hossein Meysami. (head of  department of music at Tehran Art University) and after 4 years went to Master Majid Kiani classes and had been his student for 16 years. Bijan was winner of Iranian student music festival (2002 at Amir Kabir Univesity and has formed Hoorami music band. Since 2006, he has been living in Calgary Canada and had numbers of performances in multi-cultural events and festivals such as TEDxCalgary, Silk Road, Global Festival and road cross festival. He is recently working on fusion music with Iranian and non-Iranian musicians.



Majnoon Dance Academy

Majnoon Dance Academy is Calgary's first and only Persian school of dance. Majnoon is proud to be the premier leader in exhibiting the Persian dance form and passing on the fluidity and beauty of Persian dance to generations. Founded in 1999 by Manzar Javaheri, Majnoon specializes in traditional, folk, pop, and mystical Persian dance classes as well as Afghani, Indian, Turkish and Uzbek dance classes. All levels of dance experience are accepted and classes are unique and enjoyable!

 More about Majnoon Academy

Mahdiar Ghaffarian

Mahdiar Ghaffarian is an architect and artist with more than 12 years of experience in architectural design, visual arts, painting and graphics. He received his BArch from Faculty of Fine Arts at University of Tehran and MArch from EVDS at University of Calgary. He is currently continuing his research progression towards his Ph.D study while practicing as a graduate architect and designer in Calgary. Having 10 years of experience in music, he started playing traditional Iranian music by playing Tanbour as one of the greatest ancient Iranian instruments played since 1500 BC in Persia. Tanbour is believed to be a sacred instrument which has been used in rituals for a considerable time among different mystic and sufi cults.

Niusha Shirvani

Niusha Shirvani is Persian traditional music Tar & Setar player, improviser, composer and teacher. He played Tar in several live concerts both as solo artist and band leader. Niusha’s style of playing Tar & Setar has definitely been influenced by such leading musicians as: Hossein Alizadeh and Mohammad Reza Lotfi with whom he advanced his training. Currently, He works toward his music degree at university of Calgary while composes music and teaches Tar & Setar in his home studio.

 More about Niusha

Ana Daniali

Ana Daniali is an architect and artist. She received her Master's degree in Environmental Design from University of Calgary. Throughout her time with "Raha Theatre Group", she performed in a number of lead roles on stage, as well as a few professional productions.  As part of her education in voice, acting, and screen writing, she had the chance to work with well known Iranian director "Mohammad Rahmanian" and famous actress "Mahtab Nasirpour" during a workshop in Calgary.

Goli Jalilian

Born and raised in Iran, Goli Jalilian's passion for music and singing was evident from an early age. Goli started her first music lessons in Orff with Vafa Adib in her elementary years. She then continued with taking piano lessons in Tehran. She joined the choir of Tehran University of Art in 2001 and took Solfege lessons from various teachers. In 2006, Goli received her Bachelor of Music in Elementary Education with distinction from the University of Calgary. She took classical vocal training during her undergraduate years and performed as a solo and choir member in various large and small ensembles at the University of Calgary. Goli is on a journey to develop her own style of singing, which combines traditional Iranian musical elements with western vocal techniques.

Soroush Rezvani

Soroush has been playing both acoustic and electric guitar since for the past 10 years, and he  has performed  for charity events inside Iran both as a solo artist and also in his own band.  He has been a resident of Calgary for four years and  during this time, he has been playing with Bijam Maysami focusing mainly on fusion music . They have performed multiple times together on different venues since.

Foad Haeri

Foad Haeri is pursing a PhD degree in petroleum engineering in the US. Through his life, his passion for responsible art has given him the chance to perform in a wide variety of areas, such as directing plays, acting, screen-writting, singing, playing different musical instruments. Recently, he has created his own new way of communicating with people through making rhythmic speeches about Iranian cultural challenges. He believes that change for the whole comes only after change in each individual. What he focuses on in his works is finding practical ways of discovering the world inside and spreading the awarness with the hope of turning the world outside into a better place to live.  More about Foad

Nazy Kaviani

Nazy Kaviani, founder of Diaspora Arts Connection, is an arts and cultural community leader in the San Francisco Bay Area. Nazy has helped many musicians and other artists to find stages for performance or exhibition in the US for the first time, while bringing a rich series of events to her community in Northern california. She is also a writer who has blogged for and in Farsi and in English. Her writings, poetry, and translations have also appeared in books.

Arshan Naji

Arshan Naji, an Almuni of University of Calgary graduated in 2013, started playing the violin at the age of 15. He studied classical music at the Conservatory of Tehran. Before moving to Toronto he

served as a violin instructor in Calgary Long & McQuade. Although currently working as an R&D engineer, he simultaneously maintained his passion for classical music and is actively involved in music education and performance.



© 2014 Ali Karami

TabestoonFest is organized by a not-for-profit, non-partisan and non- religious organization, registered in Alberta, Canada to showcase, celebrate and embrace diversity and development of Contemporary Iranian Arts in Canadian community.