Bird Dance with Farnaz Ohadi and the Mashregh Ensemble
at the Toronto Centre for the Arts


Bird Dance with Farnaz Ohadi and the Mashregh Ensemble
at the Toronto Centre for the Arts

Date: Sun, Mar 10, 2019 06:00PM
Price: For tickets visit:

Celebrate Nowruz, the Persian New Year, with Farnaz Ohadi and her Mashregh Ensemble at the Lyric Theatre, Toronto Centre for the Arts. Weaving the lyricism of Persian poetry with the vibrant rhythms and melodies of flamenco and Latin percussion, Ohadi’s unique sound won her a nomination for World Solo Artist from the Canadian Folk Music Awards.


Ohadi takes the stage during Toronto’s Nowruz Festival, accompanied by Mashregh Ensemble’s world-renowned musicians on the flamenco guitar, santur, cajon, and bass, along with legendary flamenco dancer Carmen Romero. Performing from her acclaimed album Bird Dance, Ohadi’s powerful, sultry vocals honour her journey to liberty from Iran to Canada and her beloved cultural roots.


Presented in partnership with the Toronto Centre for the Arts, this performance is part of our 2018/19 Performing Arts season, The Other Side of Fear, featuring acclaimed artists who have transcended fear through music, dance, and spoken word.


For more information about the Nowruz Festival and for details on ticket discounts visit Tirgan.



Farnaz Ohadi is an Iranian singer/songwriter based in Vancouver, and founder of the Persian-Flamenco project, Mashregh Ensemble. She began her musical career early, and in Iran she could be heard at noon calling worshipers to prayer, a role which is still predominantly reserved for men. Ohadi has extensive training in Persian classical and folk vocal traditions, and upon her arrival to Canada she also began training in opera and flamenco dance. Recently, she released her debut album, Bird Dance, a 2017 Canadian Folk Music Award nominee.


Amir Amiri was born in Tehran, Iran, where he studied the santur. He has also trained in Indian classical music with masters such as Ravi Shankar and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Amiri works as a percussionist, composer, musical director, and consultant for several Canadian dance and theatre companies. In 2003, he won Artist of the Year from CBC Galaxie Rising Stars, and in 2008 the won the award for Outstanding Sound Design at the Betty Mitchell Awards for the production of “Helen’s Necklace.”


Dennis Duffin (Musical Director, flamenco guitar) began playing guitar at an early age and was taught flamenco by his father. He is a regular in the Canadian flamenco scene, playing for renowned artists in Spain and Canada. He has also performed in several groups, including Ventanas and the Lemon Bucket Orkestra. He has pursued musical training in both Canada and Spain with maestros like Manuel Parilla and Jesus Guerrero. Duffin also holds a Ph.D. in astrophysics from McMaster University.


Michael Rush is a double bassist and composer/arranger who has played on dozens of internationally acclaimed albums, and performed across Europe, the U.S., and Canada. Since studying in New York with bassists Joe Martin and Scott Colley, he has played with an impressive cast of local and international musicians, including Dan Brubeck, Jesse Cook, and with his own projects such as Queso Blanco, which was nominated for a CBC Galaxie Rising Star Award in 2009.


Hanser Santos Gómez is a Cuban-born percussionist based in Montreal. At the age of sixteen he was already playing as a professional timpanist for the Sinfónica Juvenil of Amadeo Roldán Conservatory. He has collaborated with top Cuban and international artists, including Lisa Nordström and La Fura dels Baus. He has also toured Cuba, Canada, and the U.S. with the Opera de la Calle, and performed in the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Just for Laughs, Pop Montreal, Nuits d’Afrique, and the Festival de Flamenco de Montreal.


Carmen Romero is the Artistic Director and principal dancer of Toronto’s Compañia Carmen Romero. She teaches and directs at The School of Flamenco Dance Arts, and at international workshops, lectures, and demonstrations. Romero has served as an adjudicator for the Canada Arts Council, and has received many awards, including the Chalmers Award and the K.M. Hunter Emerging Artist Award for artists who in the development stage of their careers have made an impact on dance in Canada.


Bird Dance with Farnaz Ohadi and Mashregh Ensemble

March 9, 2019, 6 pm

Of Blossoms and Rabbits

March 21, 2019, 1 pm

Bijan and Manijeh: A Love Story

March 17, 2019, 3 pm


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