Roya Bahrami (Music Director, Composer, Arranger, Lyricist, Santurist, and Vocalist) is a native of Iran who immigrated to the U.S. as a teenager and has spent most of her life in Washington DC, a city with diverse musical culture, that has contributed to the colorful palette in Roya’s musical creations - a poetic blend of Persian, Spanish flamenco, jazz and tango traditions.
She received the Individual Artist Fellowship award from DC Commission on Arts and Humanities (DC Arts) in the ‘composer’ category, for the 5th year in a row, most recently for fiscal year 2021. She is also a proud recipient of DC Arts grants (2009-2014, 2020) for her contributions as a producer of educational and artistic presentations to a multitude of audiences from pre-K to university students, to musicians, and the general public. Her educational programs are focused on “Understanding Multicultural Identity through Artistic Expression. She also offers educational programs on topics: “Traces of Persian Music in Andalusia”, “Music and Spirituality”, and “Persian Art Music – From Traditional to Contemporary Forms.”
Roya’s solo performance credits (2007-present) include the Library of Congress, The National Gallery of Art, The Rumi Forum, Smithsonian Freer Gallery, George Washington University, American University, University of Maryland, Museum of Flamenco Dance in Seville, Spain, Austria School of Music, Congress of the Cimbalom World Association in Mexico, Hungary, and Slovakia.
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. She accompanied the flamenco dancer Carmela Greco on her U. S. tour (2004-2005) and has performed on Spain’s national TV in 1999 as well as at the Museum of Flamenco Dance in Seville in 2008.
She has studied Music Production, Music Publication, Arrangement, and Orchestration at Berklee College of Music. Roya studied Persian classical music with masters such as M.R. Lotfi, Hossein Alizadeh, and Dariush Talai and plays the Persian hammer dulcimer Santur. She has also studied Western classical music on the piano and the Spanish flamenco through dance and theory. All these musical studies and experiences have resulted in a natural blend of these traditions in her compositions.
Roya Multicultural Ensemble’s (formed in 2007) performance credits include: Smithsonian’s celebratory concert for President Barak Obama’s Inauguration, Washington Folk Festival, The Mansion at Strathmore, Amnesty International Arts Festival, Gettysburg World Heritage Festival, Shepherd University, Mary Washington University, University of Maryland, Green Acres School, Bell Multicultural High School, University of Memphis, Summer Live! Concerts at Woodrow Wilson Plaza, Reston Multicultural Festival, American University, Towson University, and a City Arts Project at GALA Theatre.
She co-produced, arranged and recorded the Santur parts in the album Probe in 1999, a multicultural collaboration. She produced the albums “Roya” in 2007 and “I Am I Am Not” in 2010, with all her original compositions, lyrics, and arrangements. Her published and unpublished creations are showcased here.
“I am truly grateful for the legal services as well as educational seminars that WALA has been facilitating in our community. WALA facilitated ‘pro bono’ legal assistance from Paul Hastings law firm to form my 501(c)(3) nonprofit Global Sounds Collaborative, Inc. They also facilitated ‘pro bono’ legal assistance from Law Offices of Mary Ann McGrail who has been helping my organization to prepare licensing agreements to enable our productions in collaboration with composers and copyright owners.
Over the years, I have benefitted from WALA’s year-round educational seminars such as 501(c)(3) Basics, The Creative Entrepreneurs’ Series, and other important webinars that they present in collaboration with the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities such as Business of the Arts series on Legal Issues for Live Streaming, held online during the pandemic.” - Roya Bahrami