Contemporary Middle Eastern band Niyaz headed to Whitefish

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NIYAZ WILL perform at the O’Shaughnessy Center Friday, March 10. (Photo courtesy of Six Degrees Records)

The Whitefish Theatre Co. will host Niyaz, a quintet known for its fusion of traditional and contemporary Middle Eastern music, Friday, March 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the O’Shaughnessy Center.

The concert is appropriate for all ages and reserved tickets are on sale now at $30 for adults and $20 for students. Tickets can be purchased online at www.whitefishtheatreco.org, by calling 406-862-5371 and at the O’Shaughnessy Center box office between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

NIYAZ HAS been described by the Huffington Post as “an evolutionary force in contemporary Middle Eastern Music.” The band blends medieval Sufi poetry and folk songs from Turkey, India and their native Iran with rich acoustic instrumentation and modern electric rhythms. The result is folk-tronica, a modern global trance sound that crosses stylistic and cultural boundaries. As part of the performance, Niyaz — which means “yearning” in both Farsi and Udu — will be joined by a classically trained whirling dervish dancer (Tanya Evanson).

The group was founded in 2004 by vocalist Azam Ali and multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian. Ali is an Iranian-born, Indian-raised singer and composer whose vocals have been featured in Hollywood films and television soundtracks. Iranian-born Torkian is a composer who adapts the Persian classical repertoire to his own modern compositions, and plays the Turkish saz, kaman, guitarviol, lafta, guitar and djura during performances. The band also features Gabriel Ethier on keyboards, Vaneet Vyas on tabla and Didem Basar on kanun.

Niyaz has produced three albums and been featured on National Public Radio and Public Radio International.

THE CONCERT is supported, in part, by funds from the Western States Arts Federation and National Endowment for the Arts. A free outreach concert for at-risk youth will also be performed.

For more information, visit www.whitefishtheatreco.org or niyazmusic.com.

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