Pezhham Akhavass (second from the right) performs at his concert with his students; 2023 apprentice Tiyam Fereydouni is in the ensemble. Photo: Nasib Elahimehr.

Pezhham Akhavass



This traditional art form plays the most important part in my life, which is my identity, and shows the beauty of my ancient culture.” – Pezhham Akhavass

Pezhham Akhavass at the Duke Ellington Concert Hall, Washington DC, April 2019. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Pezhham Akhavass was born in Shiraz, Iran, and raised in Tehran, Iran. When he was four years old, he began studying music with Mr. Naser Nazar, while learning tombak from Master Naser Farhangfar. At the age of eight, he officially continued to study tombak with Ostad Saeid Roudbari, a renowned tombak mentor who was taught by Ostad Morteza Ayan. Since 2000, Akhavass has performed, toured, and recorded with Master Shahram Nazeri, Hossein Alizadeh, and many other master musicians from Iran and around the world. Akhavass has been taking tabla lessons with Ustad Zakir Hussain since 2010; he has also studied Iranian Radif with setar and oud in Iran.


Pezhham Akhavass’ concert for his Tombak Students Ensemble, August 27, 2022.


Apprenticeship Program


with apprentice Tiyam Fereydouni

Pezhham Akhavass (right) teaching Tiyam Fereydouni (left) how to play tombak. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

During the apprenticeship, Akhavass will teach Tiyam Fereydouni intermediate and advanced techniques in tombak, including singing and playing in Farsi (such as reciting Tasnif, a form of Persian music where the melody includes lyrics accompanied by tombak). The pair will also practice slow, medium, and fast pieces from the Iranian Radif. Fereydouni will learn to perform solo and with other musicians.


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