Mohammad Reza Mortazavi

Mohammad Reza Mortazavi

Mohammad Reza Mortazavi is a solo performer in polyphonic percussion music from Iran.

Playing the traditional Persian hand-drums, tonbak and daf, in his own unique way, he crafts a network of danceable rhythms, up-tempo beats and trance-like textures with great virtuosity. Melodies and polyphonies entwine in seemingly endless rhythmic variations, creating truly hypnotic worlds of sound. Mortazavi’s amazing musical range span from soft and slow to swift, dynamic and diverse. As a solo artist, Mortazavi produces sounds of orchestral proportions merely by the dexterity of his two hands. His playing techniques, coupled with the broad spectrum of overtones, allow for the simultaneous playing of polyrhythmic beats, sophisticated melodies, and polyphonic compositions.

Highlights of his performances include the Shanghai World Music Festival, WOMAD Festival UK, Roskilde Festival, WOMEX-Showcase 2011, 5 Continents – Martigny, Rio Loco – Toulouse, Morgenland Festival, and more recently, performances at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, the Pierre Boulez Saal in Berlin, and the Kölner Philharmonie in Cologne, Germany.

The Persian musician and composer has come a long way since winning Tonbak competitions in his country at age nine, to giving concerts, staging productions and creating successes the world over. From playing in major festivals like Roskilde in front of thousands of dancing people, to giving solo recitals at the Berliner Philharmonie as well as performing in dance / theatre productions all over the world, Mohammad Reza Mortazavi has been acclaimed by audiences, critics and the media as a musical wonder that can offer a truly unique live experience!

Last solo album: Transformation (flowfish / Broken Silence)