ROYA World Music
"Innovative Fusion, Seductive Sounds"- The Smithsonian

News and Events

April 30, 2017, 7PM  ROYA World Ensemble. Harold J. Kaplan Concert Hall.  Sponsored by Towson University Asian Arts & Culture Center. Tickets

April 26, 2017, 3:15PM Lecture-Demo: Natural Fusion | Music of Ancient Persia and the Spanish Flamenco.  Recital Hall, CA 3066, Center for the Arts, Towson University. Sponsored by Asian Arts & Culture Center.  Free and open to public.

March 19, 2017, 4PM   ROYA Duet performance at the EALS Emerging Arts Leaders Symposium, Katzen Arts Center, American University, Washington DC

December 12, 2016, 10-11:30AM   Lecture-Performance, ROYA Duet. "Understanding Multicultural Identity Through Artistic Expression", Ulrich Recital Hall, Tawes Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD.

October, 2016: Awarded Individual Artist Fellowship grant by the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities.

September 24, 2016, 4:35 PM  GLOBAL STAGE, ROYA Ensemble Persian-flamenco Fusion, Reston Multicultural Festival, Reston, VA

September 18, 2016, 1:10 PM  ROYA Ensemble Persian-flamenco Fusion, Adams County Heritage Festival, Gettysburg, PA

August 8, 2016, 12-1:30PM  ROYA World Ensemble Persian-flamenco-jazz Fusion, LIVE! DC Concert Series on the Plaza, Woodrow Wilson Plaza, Washington, DC.

June 4, 2016 at 4PM  ROYA Trio Persian-flamenco Fusion at Washington Folk Festival,  Chautauqua Stage, Glen Echo Park, MD. .

April, 2016 Achieved Music Studies Certification from Berklee College of Music (4.0 GPA). Concentrations: Music Production, Music Publication, Arrangement, Orchestration.

Novemeber 16, 2014 Solo performance, Damavand Cultural Center, Rockville, MD


August 3, 2014 Voice of America (Persian Service) Live Interview and Report on Moonlight Dance concert!

July 31-August 3, 2014 ROYA Multicultural World Ensemble In Concert! "Moonlight Dance", a poetic blend of Persian music with Flamenco, Tango, and Bossa Nova at the historic Tivoli GALA Hispanic Theatre! Flyer.

May 31, 2014 6PM at Chautauqua Stage, Glen Echo Park, Maryland. Performing at the Washington Folk Festival with Ricardo Marlow and Anna Menendez. Flyer

Awarded 2014 DC Commission on Arts and Humanities City Arts Project grant for “Innovation in World Music and Dance”

Jan-April, 2014 Studied Orchestration at Berklee College of Music.

April 5-6, 2013 Hackbrett-Days in Linz, Austria - Performance, and workshops on Persian music and Fusion music on the santur

February 3, 2013 Unitarian Universalist Church of Sterling, Roya performed inspirational music on Santur.

June 2-3, 2012 Washington Folk Festival, Chautauqua Stage, Glen Echo Park, MD

  • June 2: Hammered Dulcimer Showcase Celtic, Persian, and Chinese presentations.
  • June 3: Roya & Ricardo, The Original Persian-Flamenco Fusion Duet!

April 14, 2012, 4:15-5 p.m. Roya Ensemble at 22nd Annual Multicultural Fair, Dodd Auditorium, George Washington Hall, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA

April 5, 2012, Harris Concert Hall Presentation and Rose Theatre, Roya Ensemble Performance, University of Memphis, Tennessee

April 1, 2012, Unitarian Universalist Church of Sterling, Roya performed inspirational music on Santur.

March 28, 2012, Green Acres School, Rockville, MD, Persian New Year 'Nowruz' Presentation and Performance. Roya Ensemble Trio.

Awarded 2012 Individual Artist Grant, DC Commission on Arts and Humanities, for creating "Cultural Dialogue Through Music"

Studied Music Production at the Berklee College of Music, Jan-March 2012.

Best Group Finalist 2011 International Acoustic Music Awards: "Very creative & artistic... This music group has a lot of potential!"

Reviewed in 2011 by Billboard Discoveries : “Dreamy, ethereal, capitalizing on Roya's novel Persian-Flamenco sound. World music beautifully executed, opulently delivered".

I Am I Am Not album made Top 10 World Charts of Canadian University Radio stations in Calgary, and British Columbia for consecutive weeks in 2011:

October 2011, Budapest, Hungary Cimbalom World Association Conference and performances

June 2011, Glen Echo, Maryland Roya Ensemble at the Washington Folk Festival

April 2011, Bethesda, Maryland Roya Ensemble at The Mansion at Strathmore

March 21, 2011, Washington, DC Live Performance on Voice of America Shabahang Cultural Program

January 2011, Budapest, Hungary Cimbalom World Association New Year Concerts

November 2010, Washington, DC Live Interview on Voice of America (Persian)


June 6, 2010, 5-5:45 PM Persia Meets Flamenco Roya Ensemble at Washington Folk Festival, Glen Echo, MD.

April 24, 2010 Persia Meets Flamenco Roya Ensemble at the Human Rights Art Festival

March 7, 2010, 4:00 PM Honoree at Celebration of Iranian Women in the Arts, University of Maryland

Dec 5, 2009 Concert at VA Tech Iranian Society Yalda Winter Solstice Event Bowman Hall, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Nov 12, 2009 Understanding Multicultural Identity Through Artistic Expression Bell Multicultural High school, Sponsor: DC Commission on Arts & Humanities

Sept 20, 2009 Persia Meets Flamenco Roya Ensemble World Heritage Festival, Sponsor: Interfaith Center for Peace & Justice

July 31, 2009 Washington Film Institute: IRAN, Solo santur, Carnegie Institute, Washington, D.C.

May 27-31, 2009 Conference & Concerts on The Persian Santur, World Cimbalom Congress, Querétaro, Mexico.

April 28, 2009 The Persians, A Musical Journey for Children, Key Elementary School, Washington, D.C.

April 20, 2009 Persia Meets Flamenco Roya Ensemble Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV

Jan 19, 2009 Persia Meets Flamenco Roya Ensemble President Obama's Inauguration, Freer Gallery, Washington, D.C.

November 20, 2008: Class on Classical Music of Persia American University Department of Music

October 8, 2008: American University Katzen Arts Center, Understanding Multi-Cultural Identity through Artistic Expression, Department of Performing Arts Music Program

September 4, 2008 The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Solo Santur

June 12, 2008 Pecha-Kucha at the Artomatic, Washington D.C.

June 1, 2008 Zohra Benhamida Art Exhibit, Rockville, MD Introducing the Album Roya

May 21, June 4, June 5, 2008 The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Solo Santur

April 30, 2008 The Freer Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. Solo Santur

April 9, 2008 University of Mary Washington Department of Classics and The Department of Music, Fredericksburg, VA "Music and Spirituality" featuring The Roya Ensemble

April 2, 2008 Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. Click here for the WebCast 'Classical Music of Persia - The Precious Heritage of Iranians'

March 12 , 2008 Museum of Flamenco Dance, Seville, Spain sponsored by Council on International Educational Exchange 'Persian Legacy In Music & Literature of Andalusia'

February 5, 2008 Rumi Forum , Washington, D.C. "Music & Spirituality" lecture-performance

October 22, 2007 Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV 'Classical Music of Persia - The Precious Heritage of Iranians' lecture-performance

October 17, 2007 George Washington University, Washington, D.C. "Classical Music of Persia" lecture-performance

October 7, 2007 University, Stephens Hall, Baltimore, MD Introducing The Album Roya

October 5, 2007 Olsson's Bookstore, Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. Introducing The Album Roya in collaboration with Nassim Assefi's Book release

September 26, 2007 George Washington University, Washington, D.C. "Traces of Persian Melodies in Andalusia"

August 27, 2007 University of Maryland, College Park, MD Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center

"A Musical Pilgrimage to Iran" featuring The Roya Ensemble

April 29, 2007 Lecture-Recital on “Understanding Multi-Cultural Identity through Artistic Expression.” Third International Conference on the Iranian diaspora, presented by Iranian Alliances Across Borders, New York University, New York, NY.

April 7, 2007,Solo santur and vocal Recital in collaboration with Dr. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak presenting ‘Spring and Nature in Persian Poetry.’ International Society for Iranian Studies, Georgetown University, Washington, DC

January 19, 2007 Lecture-Recital on “Classical Music of Persia.” Sponsored by Department of Classics, Philosophy & Religion and the Fredericksburg Council of the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, University of Mary Washington, Great hall, Fredericksburg, VA.

19 January 2007, Lecture-Recital on “Music and Spirituality”, sponsored by Department of Classics, Philosophy & Religion and The Leidecker Center for Asian Studies, University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, VA

6 December 2006, Persian, Flamenco and Persian-Flamenco concert, Santur with Guitar and Cajon (Ramin Rad), sponsored by Department of Music, McDaniel College, Westminster, MD

8 November 2006, Lecture-Recital on “Classical Music of Persia.” Sponsored by the Music Department, Shepherd University, WV.

3 September 2006, Solo santur and vocal Recital, International Conference of the Women Learning Partnership, Bethesda, MD

7 April 2006, Lecture-Recital on “Classical Music of Persia.” Sponsored by Carroll Community College, Department of Music, Westminster, MD.

6 April 2006, Santur and vocals, Concert of Persian classical, spiritual and Persian-Flamenco fusion with original compositions, accompanied by Jon Seligman on percussion. Sponsored by The Evelyn Mackenzie Performance Series, McDaniel College, Westminster, MD.

3 February 2006, Santur with flamenco guitar of Richard Marlow, cante of Jesus Montoya and dance of Carmela Greco, Intimo Flamenco show, Alden Theatre, McLean, VA

20 October 2005, Santur with flamenco guitar of Richard Marlow, cante of El Yiyi and dance of Carmela Greco, Intimo Flamenco show, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR

8 October 2005, Santur with flamenco guitar of Richard Marlow, cante of Jesus Montoya and dance of Carmela Greco, Intimo Flamenco show, Baltimore, MD

22 April 2005, Solo santur and setar improvisations, ‘Toulouse-Lautrec & Montmartre’ Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts Viewing, Sponsored by National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

30 November 2004, Lecture-Recital on “Classical Music of Persia.” Sponsored by Musical Crossroads series, the Music Department, Shepherd University, WV.

19, 20 November 2004, Santur and Flamenco Dance of Carmela Greco, Intimo show, Washington, DC

10 November 2004, Santur concert accompanied by Jon Seligman on hand drums, ‘Taste of Islam’, McDaniel College, Westminster, MD

27 October 2004, Lecture-Recital on “Classical Music of Persia”, featured artist at ‘Conversations with Extraordinary Artists.’ Sponsored by Arts Club of Washington, Washington, DC.

6 October 2004, Solo Santur and Setar improvisations, ‘Palace & Mosque: Islamic Art’ Patron’s Viewing. Sponsored by National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

23 September 2004, Panelist joining Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah on Pre-Concert Panel Discussion regarding fusion of Middle-Eastern music with Latin and Spanish music. Sponsored by Smithsonian Institute’s Freer Gallery, moderated by Michael Wilpers, Performing Arts Programmer.

14 November 2003 Lecture-Recital on “Classical Music of Persia.” Sponsored by the Music Department, Shepherd University, WV.

7 November 2002, Lecture-Recital on “Classical Music of Persia.” Sponsored by the Music Department, Shepherd University, WV.

26 June 2002, Santur and vocals presenting original compositions accompanied by Barry Dove on percussion, Silk Road Gala, Sponsored by Smithsonian Institutes Freer and Sackler Galleries.

2 June 2001, Santur recital, Benefit Concert for Young Pianist Summer program sponsored by Stephen & Golnoush Khaleghi Ackert, Annandale, VA

15 June 2000, World Music Concert, presenting the album “Probe”, co-produced with Said Amintinat, with Barry Dove (marimba and percussion), Humayun Ferzad (vocals), Debu Nayak (tabla). Sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute, Freer Gallery.

9 April 1999, Santur recital and interview on “Imajinaria” nationally broadcast live TV program, Granada, Spain.

17 October 1998, Santur and vocals presenting original compositions in classical Persian music as well as World fusion with Kaveh Mazhari (daf, tombak), Said Tinat (guitar) and Debu Nayak (tabla), Celebration of Mehregan sponsored by Iranian-American Cultural Association, McLean, VA.

1 July 1998, Benefit concert for Iranian Women’s Studies Foundation. World music fusion of Persian with Western music in a duet of santur and guitar (played by Said Tinat), Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC.

27 September 1997, Benefit concert for “Rights of Passage” conference presented by The Sisterhood Is Global Institute, Santur and vocal recital accompanied by Kaveh Mazhari on daf and zarb, the Iranian hand drums, Kay Spiritual Center, American University, Washington, DC

2 May 1997, Benefit concert for the Palestinian Medical Relief Fund. Santur concert accompanied by Zareen Ardalan on daf, presenting folk and traditional Persian music including original compositions. “From Istanbul to Esfahan – a night of Middle-Eastern music”, Backstage Theatre, Seattle, WA

8 December 1996, Concert presenting traditional Persian music including original compositions. Lead musician playing Santur accompanied by vocalist Reza Peyambari and Afshin Mehrassa on daf & zarb, the Iranian hand drums. Sponsored by University of Washington Ethnic Cultural Center, Seattle, WA

27 February 1994, Lecture-Recital on “Classical Music of Persia”. Sponsored by Iranian-American Cultural Association, Catholic University,

Washington, DC

8 August 1992, Santur recital, The Lyceum, Alexandria, VA

5 May 1991, Benefit concert for the Kurdish Relief Fund. Lead musician playing santur for a concert on Kurdish folk music, Hoff Theater, University of Maryland, College Park.

6 May 1990, Santur player in Rouhollah Khaleghi Orchestra (RKO) concert at The Triplex, Performing Arts Center, New York

3 March 1990, Santur player RKO concert at Lisner Auditorium, George Washington University, Washington D.C.

8 March 1989, Solo Santur recital at the International Day of Women event, sponsored by the Iranian Women’s Studies Foundation, Lisner Auditorium, Washington, DC.

23 May 1989, Solo Santur recital at the Resident Associate Program at the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC in collaboration with the Foundation for Iranian Studies.

25 March 1989, Santur player in RKO concert at TC Williams Theatre, Alexandria, VA

23 September 1989, Santur player RKO concert at The Kathryn Bache Miller Theatre at Columbia University, New York

23 June 1989, Piano Recital at Montgomery College Recital Hall

23 March 1988, Solo Santur recital at the Library of Congress. Sponsored by the Foundation for Iranian Studies. Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

17 May 1987, Santur player in RKO concert at Gaston Hall George Town University, Washington D.C.

21 June 1986, Santur player in RKO concert at Gaston Hall, George Town University, Washington D.C.

8 December 1985, Santur player in RKO concert at Gaston Hall, George Town University, Washington D.C.

Roya World Ensemble
Harold J. Kaplan Concert Hall, Towson Univeristy.
Sunday April 30th, 2017 at 7PM
Tickets and info click on the flyer photo above!

Lecture-Demo: Natural Fusion | Music of Ancient Persia and the Spanish Flamenco -
Recital Hall, Center for the Arts
Wednesday April 26th at 3:15PM
Free and Open to Public