Join us for an amazing evening of world music by Dallas-based musician Ehsan Matoori's Borderless Band, featuring the pioneering cello player and composer Mike Block and Jonathan Jones, Ali Montazeri, and Yahya Alkhansa.
About Borderless Band
Last year, three Persian musicians embarked on a journey to bring the music of their home country to North America. Their vision was to take the unique melodies of the Iranian Radif and create new compositions in modern styles that would make the traditional music of Iran approachable to people of all nationalities.
However, when the project was only beginning, two of the musicians, Kourosh Babaei (who lives in Canada) and Homayuon Nasiri (who lives in Iran) were unable to come to the US, due to President Trump’s Travel Ban. Though the band had already planned concerts in San Francisco, Dallas, San Diego, Los Angeles, and New York City, they had to cancel them all. After facing this challenge, the band decided to change the name of their group to the Borderless Band and find a way to release their music so that anyone could listen to it, regardless of their location or nationality. In 2019, live US performances of Borderless Band will feature renowned artists and musicians who come together to celebrate the unity of music in spite of borders and walls.
About Mike Block: Pioneering cello player, singer, composer, and educator, Mike Block, hailed by Yo-Yo Ma as the "ideal musician of the 21st-Century," will accompany the Borderless Band in Berkeley. Mike is member of Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble (SRE), having joined in 2005 while a student at The Juilliard School. Touring extensively throughout the world with SRE, he has been featured as cello and vocal soloist, contributed arrangements and compositions, and earned a Grammy Award in 2017 for their album, Sing Me Home. Mike also served as Music Director for SRE’s acclaimed opening concert of New York City's Central Park SummerStage 2011 season "Night at the Caravanserai: Tales of Wonder."
About Ehsan Matoori: Born in 1979 in Iran, Ehsan Matorri began learning the Santoor based on Maestro Faramarz Payvar’s method at age 9. He studied instrumental and vocal Radif (the Persian musical repertory) with Parviz Meshkatian and Pashang Kamkar and later started teaching Santoor Ehsan took lessons from Ardavan Kamkar, one of the greatest contemporary Santoor players of Iran, known for his distinct playing style and tuning techniques. In addition to playing the Santoor, Ehsan has studied music composition and harmony with Farhad Fakhroaldini and kids’ music with Soudabeh Salem. After moving to the USA in 2013, Ehsan has performed with world music masters including Sandeep Das, Jamal Mohamed, Paul Sriji, Maeve Gilchrist, Matthew Coley, Andrew Bleck, and Taher Khan. He has also been a member of SMU world music ensemble since 2013. Ehsan has been a member of the Silk Road GMW as a faculty assistant and performer since 2016. He is the artistic director of the AramArt world music Young ensemble.
About Jonathan Jones: Jonathan “JON JONEZ” Jones is know as, “A passionate and virtuosic musician responsible for All-out playing,” (The Dallas Morning News, Cantrell). A Dallas Fortworth Native, Jonathan grew up in Duncanville, Texas and attended Southern Methodist University to study clarinet under Paul Garner. Jonathan currently holds positions as Principal Clarinet for the Dallas Chamber Symphony as well as the Las Colinas Symphony. An accomplished competitor, Jonathan won the Gold Medal from the President of the Republic of Italy along with the Grand Prize at the International Music Competition “Citta di Valentino,” Castellaneta, Italy. State side, in Colorado, Jon was the first clarinetist ever in 52 years to win the Grand Prize of the Ft. Collins Symphony International Artist Competition. Aside from his classical roots, Jon has toured the globe playing all kinds of music on clarinet and a plethora of other specialty instruments like the slide didgeridoo, Sumatran saranaui and the Chinese. Jonathan has performed at prominent world music festivals in China, Sumatra, Bali and Java as well as appearances in popular jazz festivals in Italy such as “Jazz in Campo” in Campo di Pietra, Molise. Most recently in 2018 Jonathan was a soloist with the Taipei Chinese Orchestra in Taiwan. He does not stop there as Jon Jonez is an avid music producer, composer and DJ. He has made appearances throughout the states as well as Sumatra and Italy showcasing his ability to DJ while playing clarinet, sax or his Electronic Wind Instrument. His current work includes ‘Apollos Flight,’ Electronic Instrument Duo with Marek Eneti.
About Yahya Alkhansa: Born on Dec 1981 in Tehran, Yahya started playing Tonbak at the age of 9. He played traditional music for 7 years before switching to drum set at the age of 16. He has toured with many Rock and world music bands including 127, Mohsen Namjoo, Kiosk, Abjeez, Ohum, Rana Mansour, Bree and the Whatevers, Varya, Alegba and Friends. Yahya has a bachelor of science from Azad University of Tehran in Metallurgy. He moved to the United States to pursue his education in Music. He studied advanced drum performance in New York City’s Collective School of Music and graduated in March 2013. He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York and is an active Music performer and educator.
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