Kaykhosro Pournazeri rediscovered the Tanbour, reclaimed this thousands-year-old instrument from historical obscurity, and reintroduced its spiritual sound. Prior to this, the Tanbour had only been known as an enigmatic spiritual instrument safeguarded through the ages and centuries by the Dervishes of Iran.  While preserving the integrity of the Tanboor, Kaykhosro paired it with the other spiritual instrument – the Daf – and added the poetry of Rumi to create the first Tanboor-based troupe, the Shamss Ensemble.


With their memorable creations, the Shamss Ensemble has come to be recognized as the primary source for Tanbour and spiritual music. Their albums are considered the best-selling cd’s in Iran in the last 30 years and continue to top the charts; they have performed on the most respected stages in the East and in the West. In addition to the Tanbour, Pournazeri has composed and performed in the areas of Iranian folk music and Kurdish music as well.


He has been commended by San Francisco’s city hall for his efforts in promoting the music of Iran,  and by the mayor of Beverly Hills as a distinguished figure in Iranian music. Through the Rumi Foundation and the House of Music,Pournazeri is recognized as having played a major part in introducing the poetry of Rumi. He has served on the jury at numerous tribal music festivals in Iran, Kurdistan, Iraq, and Turkey.  His two sons Tahmoures and Sohrab are also well known figures in the Iranian music scene.


As one of the giants of Iranian music, Kaykhosro has strived to liberate and expand Iranian music after the Islamic revolution; the current presence of female singers and musicians on stage is one of his achievements.


Kaykhosro was born to a mother who was the first western-educated Iranian woman; his father Haji Khan Nazeri was one of the masters of his generation. Kaykhosro was introduced to Iranian literature and poetry by his mother; his father taught him to play the Tar and schooled him in music theory.  He studied Civil Engineering, but his love of music drove him to withdraw from that field and begin to work in the Ministry of Art & Culture as a music consultant. At the same time he entered the University of Fine Arts in the area of music. He began to collect and arrange Kurdish music, and upon being introduced to the Tanbour, became so enthralled that he chose the instrument as the primary subject of his musical efforts. Through the Shams Ensemble, he introduced the Tanboor to the international community.


Through the Shams School of Music, which he founded, Kaykhosro has developed numerous students;  he is the first leading Iranian artist who – breaking with tradition – has supported young musicians and shared his stage with them. It is no wonder that all of Iran’s distinguished Tanbour players have come through the Shamss Ensemble.

Written by Administrator
Published: Tuesday, 08 April 2014 10:10
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