Asuwa is a Persian "Blues-Traditional Persian-Rock" fusion band formed in 2005, consisting of Ashkan Shafiei (Vocal, Melodika, Saxophone and Guitar), Farid M. Kamel (Percussion, Setar and Guitar), Jamshid Ghiasi (Santur), Nariman Dastpak (Bass, Guitar), Saeid Bakhtiari (Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar) and Sohrab Mostaghim (Percussion). All players are students and graduates of Faculty of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran. Their music features elements from classical, Rock, Blues and Traditional Persian music. They have played in many live performances and have published one album.
S. Bakhtiari and N. Dastpak met each other as they entered the university, so their friendship established. In winter 2005 they appeared on stage for the first time in the university with some Gipsy kings covers, both playing guitar.
Although both Nariman and Saeid used to play guitar from childhood, during university studies, they pursued their musical educations. In summer of 2006 Saeid started taking chord theory, music theory, pop songs, jazz & blues music and techniques at Kambiz Zamani’s school and in summer of 2006 Nariman started taking flamenco guitar lessons with Bahram Aghakhan. His former music studies were limited to some private lessons in classical and pop guitar.
Due to Nariman’s keen interest to bass and lack of a bass player, he switched to bass and played it with Asuwa as well as other fusion bands in fall & winter 2006 and he appeared two times on stage. Nariman is now taking private blues bass lessons with Navid Naeima, student and close friend of Kasra Saboktakin.
In spring 2007 they changed their musical approach to play rock music. They started training for some Metallica, Pink Floyd, Guns’n Roses and Opeth covers for music contest in university of Tehran with a new line-up, consisted of Sohrab Soleimanzadeh (Electric Guitar) & Pooya Tabibzadeh (Electric Guitar), the new band line-up didn’t lasts much as Sohrab & Pooya had to leave Iran to pursue their educations.
In summer of 2007 the band was offered to perform with other bands in Sangfarsh e Fanni concert. During the training for the performance they met Shirin Kaboli (Piano), Peyman Mellat (Guitar) and Sepehr Mohaddes (Flute, Saxophone). The band rearranged a Persian pop music (Ali Kuchulu) and some other pop songs with new line-up, which gathered great success for it. Shortly after, Shirin left Iran to continue her educations in master’s degree. New members, Sepehr with great ability to improvise and perform, nice and clean guitar rhythms of Peyman, made the band enthusiastic to appear again on stage, which happened many times in Tehran & Sharif University.
In winter of 2007 Sohrab Mostaghim (Percussion) joined the band and he started taking private lessons with Homayoun Nassiri, thus due to wide range of instruments and dominant players the band was able to make experiment on fusion and experimental music genres. During this time the band appeared two times on stage and played with some guest players, Arash Ghourchian (Electric Guitar), Asghar Mohammadi (Guitar), Ali Hadian (Guitar) and Mohsen Ariankish (Drums) and later in fall of 2008 they recorded almost all of their instrumental tracks in Navid Arbabian & Abdi Behravanfar’s studio. The results were some rearranged tracks, which featured an experimental sound. Rearranged Pink Panther was one of these successful and interesting tracks, which gathered a lot of attention.
In summer of 2009 the band accustomed with Ashkan Shafiei (Vocal, Guitar, Melodica and Saxophone) and Jamshid Ghiasinezhad (Santur). Later, they joined the band as permanent members. Ashkan used to play guitar from childhood, he also could play melodica and saxophone. He also used to sing and write romantic poems.
Jamshid was musically inclined from childhood and he was interested in almost all of the instruments and genres in the world. He chose Santur as his favorite instrument and learned it from Siamak Aghaei, Ardavan Kamkar’s mate. Jamshid was always interested in rock and classical music. He played some rock and metal songs and classic suites with Santur with his former band, called BARBAD.
During a performance in fall of 2009 Farid M. Kamel played with the band as a guest player on percussion and later played Setar as a permanent member. Farid was always interested in rock music and guitar, but the first instrument he started to learn and play was Setar, which he learned from Ali Ghourchian in Zolfonun genre. Lately, after being acquainted with Asuwa he started his favorite instrument, guitar, and now he is taking private lessons with Saeid Habibi.
This recent line-up of the band with many potent members provided it with huge amount of energy to compose songs and write professional melody lines. Consequently, they started working on their new album. In fall and winter of 2009 the band had three performances in a quite different genre. They composed many fusion songs and rearranged some of ashkan’s own songs, which were mostly in a Jazz & Blues genre. Moreover, they used some poems of Forghani, Hafez, Baba Taher and some of ashkan’s sonnets in their songs. Lyrics of a song, called “This will pass”, were taken from one of Forghani’s poems.
Although they recorded some of their songs and instrumental tracks like Ecstasy, Dance in Asturias, Asuwa and This will pass in Theme studio, Yousef Abad, Tehran., some of these tracks like “this will pass” never published. Asuwa is now recording its new album in a private studio and is also negotiating with some music publishing companies to release their album, called "ESCAPE", consisting of about 12 tracks. Hopefully, it will be published someday in 2010 or 2011.