Sahab Motallebi began playing the tar (a six-stringed plucked instrument) as a child and attended the National Iranian Music Conservatory in Tehran, the Saint Petersburg Conservatory in Russia, and RGS University in Turkey.   Mehrdad Jahangiri studied the Persian tar with master artist Sahab Motallebi in 2007 as part of …
G.S. Sachdev studied North Indian classical bansuri (bamboo flute)  with Vijay Raghav Rao for twelve years in Delhi, India and with Pandit Ravi Shankar for eight years in Bombay, India.  In 2007, Sachdev taught apprentice, Sheela Bringi as part of ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program.
Cher Ker Thao (Fresno) will study traditional Hmong bamboo flute with master artist Pao Xiong (Fresno). Xiong learned to play the flute from his father when he was growing up in Laos. He has been playing for over thirty years and performs regularly at community celebrations and for the local…
South Indian Classical Carnatic music is one of the oldest systems of music in the world. The violin found position in the Carnatic form within the last 300 years. The Lalgudi system of playing the violin is very advanced and is popular for its ability to mimic vocal music. Largely…
African and African diaspora Arts and Culture
Musician and ethnographic researcher, Zina Bozzay founded the Hungarian Folk Singing Circle (‘Népdalkör’ in Hungarian) in 2010. An avid practitioner, she is dedicated to keeping the oral tradition alive. The Hungarian American communities in the Bay Area are active in an annual…
Mohammad Nejad, a Persian-born master multi-instrumentalist, was born to a musical family in Tehran, Iran. As a young child, Persian classical music was passed down to him from his father. In Tehran he attended a special high school for musicians, later graduating from Fine Arts Academy in 1976, and in…
Houman Pourmehdi is a master percussionist, well known for his diverse abilities as a musician, composer, and multi-instrumentalist, performing and recording in numerous ensembles and at a variety of venues. He was introduced to Persian music by his father, and received his first Tonbak at the age of three from…
Gardena-based master kutuu player Katsuko Teruya Arakawa served as a master artist in ACTA’s Apprenticeship Program in 2008 with apprentice Pamela Joy Afuso of Los Angeles. The Okinawan kutuu, more commonly known elsewhere in Japan as the koto, is a thirteen-stringed Paulownia wood zither played by…
Djivan Gasparyan (1928-2021) was an Armenian musician and composer based in Sherman Oaks, CA. He played the duduk, a double reed woodwind instrument related to the orchestral oboe. Born in Solak, Armenia to parents from Mush, Gasparyan started to play duduk when he was six. In 1948 he became a…