REZA MANBACHI, Persian-Canadian musician and composer, has played tar and setar (long necked Persian lutes) since 1989, under the instruction of maestros Dariush Pirniakan and Hamid Motebassem, as well as artists such as Tofigh Iranparvar, and Amir Koushkani. He has studied various renditions of the "radif" (Persian classical repertoire) along with other aspects of music composition.
He established Chakavak Ensemble in 1998 and ever since, has been actively involved in a number of international concerts in Iran and Canada. After immigrating to Canada in 2004, Reza's passion drove him to reach new heights by continuing professional leadership of Chakavak Ensemble in an environment unfamiliar with Iranian Classical music. Aside from that, he was also able to recruit, familiarize, and mentor many non-Persian individuals with various cultures and backgrounds.
His enthusiasm has led him to conduct solo and duet performances with his brother Amir Manbachi, as well as various collaborations with experienced musicians such as maestro Hamid Motebassem, maestro Trichy Sankaran, Babak Amini (Persian guitar virtuoso), Attila Darvas, Daniel Stones, and Anthony Michelli. Reza has been an instructor of Tar and Setar at York University in the past few years. While holding an Electrical Engineering degree from Sharif University and Computer Science from York University, he is currently pursuing his academic research in Software Engineering at University of Toronto Graduate School.
CHAKAVAK is an ensemble of musicians, originated on the basis of love for Persian music and a desire to promote and perform this tradition at a professional level for audiences of various backgrounds. With an extensive diversity in their instrumental palette, Chakavak Ensemble captures the evocative power of the ancient musical traditions of Iran. The artists' enthusiasm to showcase a variety of music styles, results in traditional, folk and classical repertoires being featured in the performances. Chakavak Ensemble was founded by Reza Manbachi in Iran (1998) and was re-established in Toronto (2004) after his immigration to Canada.
Chakavak widely collaborates with artists from various ethnical origins and has given many nation-wide performances and international concerts in Iran and Canada. These appearances include many cultural, humanistic and charitable events over the past decade.
Giving back to the community has always been a top priority for Chakavak. As an instance, Bam memorial concert (Winter 2006) was a sold-out charity event in which its income was donated to Bam Art Garden (1). Another example was a nation-wide tour (Winter 2007), in commemoration of the international year of Rumi, a Persian philosopher and poet, to represent Persian culture and music to audiences from wide backgrounds. And finally, Chakavak's reputable performance in Tirgan Festival (Toronto, Summer 2008) was another successful tribute showcasing Persian art to international audiences. Chakavak continues to aim high in spreading message of Iranian poems and music, i.e. the necessity of love and peace in the lives of humankind.
(*) Chakavak is the name of a singing bird (Warbler) and also the name of a Goushe (motif) in Dastgah-e Homayoun within Persian Classical repertoire (radif).
(1) Bam Art Garden is a cultural/educational complex aimed for improving the needs of less fortunate citizens of demolished historical city of Bam, who suffered from earthquake in 2003. This vast project is led by maestro Mohammad Reza Shajarian, the legendary Persian Classical vocalist.
MEHDI FALLAH, vocalist and Setar player, started his musical journey under the supervision of legendary Iranian singer Mohammad Reza Shajarian in 1976. He has also attended classes of late maestro Abdolali Vaziri, late maestro Dr. Hossein Omoomi, late maestro Ahmad Ebadi, and Zeydollah Tolooie.
His experience of performing on stage extends from national-caliber occasions to international worldwide concerts including the independent countries of Russia, Canada, USA, and UAE for numerous years. To name a few discography records, he has a played key role in the following albums:
Bikaran (Sheyda Ensemble, artistic director, Pashang Kamkar, composer, Majid Derakhshani)
Gavan (artistic director, Jamshid Andalibi)
Bahar-e Delkash (artistic director: Majid Vasefi)
Mehdi Fallah is also well known for his professional calligraphy career, which started under the instructions of legendary Hossein Mirkhani and Gholamhossein Amirkhani, and continued in many national and international exhibitions. He is a member of supreme council of Iran calligraphy congress and manager of Art & Culture Commission of Iran calligraphy congress since 1997.