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

ROYA Multicultural World Ensemble

From Left: Jon Seligman, Anna Menendez, Ricardo Marlow, Roya Bahrami, Emmanuel Trifilio, Denis Malloy

 

 

Roya Bahrami: Founder of Roya Multicultural Ensemble, Music Director, Composer, Arranger, Lyricist, Santur, 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 solo and educational performance credits include National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, American University, Maryland University, World Cimbalom Congress: 2009 in Mexico, 2011 in Hungary, 2017 in Slovakia, Hackbrett Festival in Austria (2013). 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 her 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.  Since then, the ensemble has grown organically along with the multicultural elements growing naturally into Roya’s compositions to include influences of jazz and tango traditions. Her ensemble includes master musicians in each of these traditions: flamenco guitarist Ricardo Marlow, jazz bass clarinetist Denis Malloy, Argentinean bandoneonist Emmanuel Trifilio, world percussionist Jon Seligman as well as flamenco dancer choreographer Anna Menendez. Roya Ensemble performance credits include: President Obama’s Inaugural celebratory concerts at the Smithsonian Institution, and various performances at 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, University of Mary Washington, DC LIVE! Summer Series,  Reston Multicultural Festival, DC Green Festival, American University, Towson University.


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

 

Percussionist/composer 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 of 2012.

 


Emmanuel 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.


Previous collaborators:


Harry Appelman: 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)