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Biography

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Mehrdad Arabi, an internationally acclaimed Master of Persian music, has received numerous awards for his work from the likes of Daytona Symphony Society, University of Borneo, the City of Madrid and the City of Nicosia in Cypress. He was recently awarded the prestigious Master Musician Fellowship from the Durfee Foundation in Los Angeles.

Arabi's signature style of Tombak playing is clear and crisp. He is one of a handful of musicians who has studied both the traditional and the contemporary approaches to the Tombak and utilizes both in his compositions as a soloist as well as an accompanist.

Arabi has participated in more than 20 recordings as a performer, composer and arranger. Some of these works include Mehmaan-e To, Beyaad-e Gozashte, Majnoon, Narges-e Mast, Bahar-e Shiraz, Concert-e Talar and Nassim-e Bahar. The highlights of this collection are his recordings with two of the legends of Persian music, Hassan Kasaie and Jalil Shahnaz, with whom he has also appeared in concert. Arabi has also recorded sound-tracks for Hollywood films including The Passion of Christ, Hidalgo and Helen of Troy. He has composed the score and played a full orchestra for the first Iranian American cartoon in the United States, Babak's First Norooz.

Mehrdad Arabi has performed in numerous venues worldwide some of which include the Hollywood Bowl, the Armand Hammer Museum, the California Plaza, the Electric Lodge as part of the World Percussion Masters Concert, and in the Festival of Sacred Music at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles. He has also performed at the Kennedy Center and at the Smithsonian Institute as part of The National Endowment for The Arts Award Ceremony in Washington, DC.

Arabi began studying Tombak as a teenager with the highly acclaimed Morteza Ayan. His enthusiasm and unrelenting discipline quickly placed him at the top of his class and upon the discretion of his teacher he took up the instruction of other students alongside his own training. Upon Mr. Ayan's departure, the training of all the students were placed in Arabi's hands. In addition to teaching, he compiled and edited three volumes of books which include Ayan's technique in Tombak playing as well as Arabi's own innovations in rhythm.

In addition to Tombak and Daf, Arabi is proficient in the Kemanche and Violin, which he began studying as a teenager with Mohammad Moghadassi, and later with Reza Rahimi Jafari. He studied the Radif of Saba with Moghadassi and the traditional Radif with Dovoud Ganjeie. He took up classical violin with Rubin Tomassian and music essentials with Mehdi Javanfar. He is currently completing his training in Western Classical violin with a professor at Julliard School of Music, Master Ovsep ketendjian.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Ramin

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