Experimental Link: Hamid Motebassem and the George Crotty Trio

Master of traditional Persian music, tar and setar player, conductor and composer, Maestro Hamid Motebassem, joins us from the Netherlands to perform with the George Crotty Trio, including George Crotty on cello, Jonathan Chapman on bass and Dhaivat Jani on percussion as part of the Experimental Link Series. The Toronto-based trio is known for cross-cultural interplay drawing on modal jazz, Indian raga and Arabic maqam. With Hamid Motebassem’s Persian classical compositions offering the point of departure for improvisation, a fascinating musical dialogue with forward-thinking jazz is set to emerge.

Hamid Motebassem returns to Toronto after 10 years for a Canadian tour with his new ensemble, Damsaz, including his talented partner, Samira Golbaz, on tar and setar, and versatile percussionist Ziya Tabassian. With over 40 years of experience, Motebassem has numerous recordings, including an album with Shahram Nazeri and a new solo album Radif-e Afshari – Setar, released this year. Motebassem founded the Society of Tar and Setar, Dastan Ensemble, Ensemble Chakavak, Mezrab and Pardis. A seasoned musician, he has performed extensively worldwide, studying at the Tehran School of Art and the Conservatory of Persian Music early in his career.

Canadian cellist, composer and improviser George Crotty is interested in pushing the boundaries of the cello as a jazz instrument. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, he has immersed himself in New York’s jazz and global music scenes, playing with several ensembles including the Brooklyn Raga Massive and the Detroit-based National Arab Orchestra. George Crotty Trio released Chronotope in 2022, to much praise, and Four String Nomad in 2019. This iteration of the trio features award-winning bassist Jonathan Chapman and percussionist Dhaivat Jani, who are both bandleaders and composers in their own right.

Experimental Link Series contemplates the Persian-Canadian experience by reinvigorating, re-exploring and re-imagining Persian traditional music within contemporary and cosmopolitan Toronto by inviting different musicians from the diaspora to collaborate and perform together. The series will explore connections between identity, culture, and musical creation.

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Experimental Link: Hamid Motebassem and the George Crotty Trio

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