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: Producer/Music Director, Composer, Arranger, Lyricist, Santur Player, Vocalist


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. In April 2016 she successfully completed certification program at Berklee College of Music (GPA 4.0) 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, 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.


Anna Menendez: Flamenco 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.

Richard 'Ricardo' Marlow: Flamenco 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. (2004-9) Mr. Marlow was a key member in the Edwin Aparicio productions of "Dos Mundos", “Bailes Ineditos”, “Encuentros”, “Intimo”, and "Entresuenos", with guest artists La Tati, Jesus Montoya, Eli “La Truco”, Carmela Greco, Roberto Castellon, and Pedro Cortes jr. He graduated from the James Madison School of Music and subsequently followed his passion in specializing 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.


Emmauel Trifilio: Bandoneón

Emmanuel Trifilio was born in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, where he privately studied bandoneon, eventually joining the Los Immigrantes Tango Orchestra.  After winning the annual tango orchestra contest in Buenos Aires, he was invited to tour Chile with Maestro Tato Finocci.  He performed for several years at the legendary Café Tortoni in Buenos Aires.  In 2009 he came to the United States to perform in the Helen Hayes award-winning show, "Mummy in the Closet" at GALA Hispanic Theatre.  After several extended residencies in Europe where he played in many countries such as Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, etc., he returned to the U.S., where he has performed as soloist with the Octavio Brunetti Orchestra, QuinTango, the National Philharmonic Orchestra, Pan American Symphony Orchestra, and Choral Arts Society of Washington.  In 2014 he also performed as soloist at Kennedy Center Concert Hall and at Lincoln Center with the Octavio Brunetti Tango Orchestra. In 2015 Emmanuel Trifilio performed as soloist at Carnegie Hall's Stern Auditorium in NYC. He can be heard with French cellist Gautier Capuçon on the soundtrack of the recently released film Le Petit Nuage. Sr. Trifilio recently collaborated as arranger on a recording project with QuinTango, released in 2014. In addition to solo performing and arranging, Sr. Trifilio composes and presents original tangos with various ensembles across the DC and NYC metro areas. The world premiere of his Tango Suite No. 1: Five movements for Bandoneon, Cello, and Guitar, will be featured at the Embassy of Argentina as part of Pan American Symphony Orchestra's annual Tango Festival in 2015. Also in 2015, Emmanuel Trifilio will perform world premieres of several of his works with New York Tango Sextet in their debut concert performance.

Denis Malloy: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone


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.  In the non-classical vein, he has performed with his own jazz duo, trio and quartet for various events and functions at venues including the Library of Congress, the Baltimore Museum of Art and the Peabody Library.  As a composer and improviser, he has composed music for several Silent Era films, both as an individual and in collaboration with the band Boister. He has performed live accompaniment to silent film at the Kennedy Center, American Film Institute (Silver Spring, MD), Charles Theatre (Baltimore, MD), Patterson Theater (Baltimore), Avalon Theater (Easton, MD), Baltimore Museum of Art, Walters Art Museum (Baltimore), and the Virginia Film Festival, among others.  Denis appears on more than a dozen CDs, including two with Boister produced by respected producer Jim Dickinson and his independent project TreeHouse Quartet.   He is a graduate of the Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University.



Jonathan Seligman: World Percussion: cajon, bodhran, riqq, colors


Percussionist/composer Jon Seligman is active in the Baltimore/Washington area in both world music and jazz. His world music performing and recording credits include Ana Masri, Barrio Andalusi, Furia Flamenca, Roya Multi-Cultural Ensemble and 3 Trees [with Tom Chess and Pitz Quattrone]. Jon has received three Maryland State Arts Council Grants: World Music Performance in 2014 and 2011 and Jazz Composition in 2003. 3 Trees first CD, titled 3 Trees, received a Washington Area Music Association Wammie nomination as Best World Music Recording of 2012. Jon teaches frame drumming and directs the World Music Ensemble at Towson University and also teaches percussion and world music at McDaniel College, where he has earned two faculty creativity awards.


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)