Rahim AlHaj + Sahba Motallebi
247 W. Lovell
Kalamazoo, MI 49007 (269) 382-2910
Contact: Betsy Start
Phone: (269) 382-2910
Two masters of traditional stringed instruments – Iraqi oud master Rahim AlHaj and Iranian tar virtuosa Sahba Motallebi – will perform together in this extraordinary event.
“One of the top oud players in the world” (San Francisco Chronicle), Rahim AlHaj was born in Baghdad, Iraq, and began playing the oud – the grandfather of all stringed instruments – at age nine. In his nearly forty-year career, he has won many accolades and awards, including two Grammy nominations in 2008 and 2010.
In 1991, Rahim was forced to leave Iraq due to his activism against the Saddam Hussein regime. He moved to the United States in 2000 as a political refugee, and he has resided in Albuquerque, NM, ever since. In 2015, Rahim was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship, the highest honor for traditional arts in the United States.
Sahba Motallebi is a virtuosa on both the tar and setar, two related lutes at the heart of Persian classical music. As a teenager in her native Iran, she pushed against patrimonial restrictions and emerged as a dynamo on her instruments; when she was only fourteen, she began her studies at the Tehran Conservatory of Music, and between the years 1995 and 1998, she was a four-time winner as best tar player at the Iranian Music Festival.
In 1999 she was invited to join the prestigious Iranian National Orchestra, which initiated her global performance career. For the past decade, Sahba has lived near Los Angeles, continues to perform worldwide, and has released a series of noted books and ten recordings.
Running October 18 - December 1, 2019, the Connecting Chords Music Festival events center around the common convictions and threads that draw our community together – the importance of cultural traditions, human dignity, and the increased understanding of various faith traditions.
Learn more about the Michigan Festival of Sacred Music at www.mfsm.us.