ROYA Multicultural World EnsembleFrom Left: Jon Seligman, Anna Menendez, Ricardo Marlow, Roya Bahrami, Emmanuel Trifilio, Denis Malloy
Roya Bahrami: Founder, Music Director, Composer, Arranger, Lyricist, Santurs, Vocals
2016 recipient of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities' (DC Arts) Artist Fellowship grant; 2014 recipient of the DC Arts' City Arts Project grant for "Innovation in World Music & Dance"; 2012 recipient of the DC Arts' Individual Artist grant for creating "Cultural Dialogue through Music"; and 2009 recipient of DC Arts' Folk Arts grant for creating and presenting "Understanding Multicultural Identity through Artistic Expression."
Roya Bahrami, a native of Iran who migrated to the U.S. as a teenager, holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Maryland and worked as a telecommunications professional for many years before dedicating herself full-time starting in July of 2004 to what had been a part-time career in music. Roya has studied Persian classical music with such masters as M.R. Lotfi, Hossein Alizadeh, and Dariush Talai. She has also studied Western classical music and Spanish flamenco resulting in a natural blend of these traditions in her compositions. She has completed a certification program at Berklee College of Music with concentration on Music Production, Music Publication, Arrangement, and Orchestration.
Roya has developed and offers lecture-performance programs on topics such as: “Music and Spirituality,” and “Traces of Persian Music in Andalusia”. Her performance credits include National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, American University, Maryland University, 2009 World Cimbalom Congress in Mexico, 2011 World Cimbalom Congress in Hungary. She accompanied the flamenco dancer Carmela Greco on her U. S. tour and has performed on Spain’s national TV as well as at the Museum of Flamenco Dance in Seville. Roya has been interviewed and her music has been featured on Voice Of America and BBC in several broadcasts to millions of Persian speaking viewers and listeners in Iran and all over the world.
In 2007, Roya formed a multicultural ensemble in order to realize her original compositions in which the mysticism of Persian melodies and poetry blend with Spanish flamenco, resulting in an 'innovative fusion with seductive sounds' as dubbed by The Smithsonian Institutes. Her latest CD: I Am I Am Not, inspired by 'the incredible closeness of beings’ and the ancient Persian sufi notion of selflessness, was recorded with the ensemble in an acoustic setting featuring Roya on santurs and vocals, Ricardo Marlow on flamenco guitar, Denis Malloy on sax and clarinets, Steve Bloom and Jon Seligman on a variety of world percussion instruments.
Roya Bahrami & Ensemble (aka ROYA Multicultural World Ensemble) performance credits include: President Obama’s Inaugural celebratory concerts at the Smithsonian Institution, GALA Theatre, The Mansion at Strathmore, Gettysburg World Heritage Festival, Shepherd University, Amnesty International’s Human Rights Arts Festival, Washington Folk Festival, University of Memphis, University of Maryland, and University of Mary Washington.
Since its inception, ROYA Multicultural World Ensemble has consisted of a roster of professional musicians in the greater Washington D.C. area as listed below with a brief bio. Roya aspires to the continued organic growth of her repertoire and the ensemble.
Current Collaborators (in alphabetical order):
Denis Malloy: Bass Clarinet
Denis Malloy is a versatile musician and composer happily making diverse music in the Washington D.C. and Baltimore metropolitan area. Denis has performed with the Summer Opera Company in Washington, D.C., the AIMS Symphonie Orchester in Graz Austria, and the Concerto Soloists of Philadelphia and is currently a member of The Georgetown Quintet. He has performed with his own jazz duo, trio and quartet at venues including the Library of Congress, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Peabody Library. He has composed music for several Silent Era films. He has performed live accompaniment to silent film at the Kennedy Center, American Film Institute, Baltimore Museum of Art, Walters Art Museum, and the Virginia Film Festival, among others. Denis appears on more than a dozen CDs, including recordings by Boister produced by respected producer Jim Dickinson, Persian Flamenco group The Roya Ensemble, and his independent project TreeHouse Quartet. He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University. Denis teaches clarinet with the Washington D.C. Youth Orchestra Program and clarinet and saxophone at International School of Music and his private studio in the D.C. area. Denis’ jazz duo with guitarist / vocalist Stanley “Z” Ng appears twice monthly at Terasol Bistro in Washington DC.
Richard 'Ricardo' Marlow: Flamenco & Rhythm Guitar
Winner of the 2013, 2010, and 2008 Maryland Individual Artist Award, Ricardo Marlow
released his debut solo flamenco guitar album ‘Madera Sonora’ in 2008.
The most sought-after flamenco guitarist in the greater
Washington-Baltimore metro area, he has appeared at The Kennedy Center’s
Millennium Stage, The Baltimore Museum of Art, the Kennedy Center
Concert Hall for the 20th Mayor’s Art’s Awards. Since 2003 Mr. Marlow has continued to fulfill an essential role in Edwin Aparicio’s productions such as “Dos Mundos”,“Bailes Inéditos”, “Encuentros”, “Intimo”, "Entresueños",
“Flamenco/Flamenca”, “Flamenco Men”, “Al Andalus”, “One plus One”, and
“Camino al Flamenco”, where he shared stages with “La Tati”, Jose Jimenez “El Bocadillo”, Antonio
Jimenez “El Porras”, and Basillio Garcia Clavero, Jesús Montoya, Alfonso
Cid, Roberto Castellón, Pedro Cortes Jr.,
“La Truco”, Nelida Tirado, Carmela Greco, Sergio Aranda, Norberto
Chamizo, Carlos Menchaca Juan Orozco “El Yiyi” and Amparo Heredia. As
a young child, Ricardo (Richard) Marlow was introduced to the guitar
by his father, the eminent classical guitarist John E. Marlow. He went
on to receive a degree from the James Madison University School of Music
in 1997. Mr. Marlow subsequently followed his passion to specialize in
the flamenco guitar. Mr. Marlow has mastered his art under the tutelage
of the master flamenco guitarist Gerardo Nuñez in Sanlucar de Barrameda,
Spain since 1999.
Anna Menendez: Flamenco Fusion Dancer, Choreographer
Anna Menendez, originally
from Baltimore, Maryland is a Flamenco Dancer based in Washington,
D.C. She has danced on many local and national stages. Anna has
appeared in Edwin Aparicio’s productions of “Bailes Ineditos”,
“Encuentros”, “Camino al Flamenco”,“Entresuenos” and “Intimo” with
Carmela Greco. Anna has performed in over 50 children’s concerts with
the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra (BSO). In 2003, ’04 and ’05 the BSO
contracted her to perform in their prime time “Symphony with a Twist”
series. In 2003 and 2004 she performed with renowned classical guitarist
Manuel Barrueco and in ’05 choreographed Falla’s “El Amor Brujo” which
she presented with a company of dancers with the BSO for sold out
performances at the Strathmore and the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. In
October of 2011 Anna and her company “Pastora” performed as a part of
Velocity at the Sydney Harman Hall in Washington DC. A review by the
Washington Post described her performance as “virtuosic”. Anna is a
2003 recipient of the Artistic Fellowship award from the D.C. council
for the Arts and Humanities for excellence in Flamenco dance. Anna
currently teaches at the American Embassy of Dance in Washington, DC.
Jonathan Seligman: World Percussion: Cajon, Bodhran, Riqq, Colors
Jon Seligman teaches percussion and world music at three colleges in Maryland:
Towson University, McDaniel College and Carroll Community College. His
performing and recording credits include Barrio Andalusi, Carey Creed, the
Christopher James Band, Gringo Jingo [Santana tribute band], the Drew Gress
Quartet, Furia Flamenca, Mahbood Len Seligman, Paul Austerlitz, Roya Ensemble,
Todd Marcus Quartet/Nonet and 3 Trees [with Tom Chess and Pitz Quattrone]. Mr. Seligman has received three Maryland State
Arts Council Grants: in World Music Performance in 2014 and 2011 and Jazz
Composition in 2003. His original music
CD, Quintet Music (2010), features Dave Ballou, Bruce Swaim, Harry
Appelman and Jeff Reed. 3 Trees first
CD, titled 3 Trees, received a Washington Area Music Association Wammie nomination as best world music recording
Emmauel Trifilio: Bandoneón
International bandoneonist and prolific tango composer, Argentinian Emmanuel Trifilio
brings a fresh perspective to the traditional tango sound, both in
performance and composition. After touring across South America and
Europe, Sr. Trifilio is now based in Washington, D.C. He has performed
as soloist on the main stages of Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, and
Lincoln Center, as well as across the U.S. and British Columbia. Sr.
Trifilio regularly works with Otros Aires and Quintango, and has
appeared with National Philharmonic Orchestra, Choral Arts Society of
Washington, and Octavio Brunetti Tango Orchestra. In 2017, Sr. Trifilio
will perform in Cuba for the first time; he will also perform
Piazzolla’s Concerto for Bandoneon with South Carolina Philharmonic. Sr.
Trifilio’s primary project, Trifilio Tango Trio, presents virtuosic
performances of Sr. Trifilio’s new and original tango compositions.
Their recent appearances include sold out shows at D.C.’s Embassy of
Argentina, Embassy of Uruguay, and venues in Buenos Aires. “Milonga de
la Ausencia,” from their first album, Original (2016), was nominated for
Best Original Score at MOFF Film Festival in Milan 2016. Trifilio Tango
Trio’s new album, Estaciones, was released in January 2017.
Harry Appelmann: Keyboards, Piano
Jazz pianist and educator Harry Appelman has performed on concert stages on five continents. He has been chosen three times to participate in U.S. State Department music tours overseas -- to South and Central America, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Cyprus, and South Asia. Appelman leads the latin jazz group Duende Quartet, and has played frequently with Palmetto recording artists Rumba Club. He has performed in concert with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Darren Atwater, and the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra with guest soloist Branford Marsalis. He has also resided and performed in Boston and New York City -- where he played with numerous creative and respected groups, ranging from trumpeter Scott Wendholt's quartet to vocalist Dakota Staton's trio. He has a Master of Music degree with Distinction from the New England Conservatory.
Steve Bloom: World Percussion: daf, tombak, congas, cajon, ashiko, bata, shakers
The Washington Post wrote that… "Steve Bloom has never met a rhythm he couldn’t master.” Bloom has gained a command of Cuban, Senegalese, and Nigerian drumming and song in three decades of apprenticing and performing with masters of these traditions, and Sufi practice and drumming with masters Adnan Sarhan of Baghdad, and Dr. Ali Analouei, from Esfahan, Iran. He has toured and performed extensively in the Irish and Early Music genres. Bloom has performed and/or recorded with many wonderful artists, including Tito Puente, King Sunny Ade', Dennis Cahill, Gregg Karukas,Jon Faddis, Paul Horn, Nestor Torres, Andy Gonzales, Michael Manring,and drumming patriarch Babatunde Olatunji. Based in the Washington, DC area, he has designed workshops and clinics for all levels to accelerate participants’ mastery of musical skills. In 1980, he co-founded the Dance Place, a theater and premier studio for Music and Dance in DC.
From Left: Ricardo Marlow, Roya Bahrami, Steve Bloom, Denis Malloy (2011)