Kurdish Rhythm & Free Improvisation

An evening of free improvisations based on Kurdish rhythms featuring percussion virtuoso Ahmad Yousefbeigi joined by Arrington de Dionyso and Amy Denio.

Ahmad Yousefbeigi is an inspired and sought-after Kurdish Iranian percussionist. Born in Kurdistan-Roj Halat, Sanandaj (Iran), his passion for rhythm was fostered by the musical nature of Kurdish community life and his brother’s guidance. At the age of twelve, he began the formal study of Tonbak and Daf. Since moving to Seattle in 1998, Ahmad has captivated audiences in the Pacific Northwest, singing and drumming to the energetic, nomadic folk songs of his native Kurdistan. Ahmad’s versatility, love of cultural exchange and collaboration has led him to perform with many musicians and bands outside of traditional Kurdish and Iranian music. His most recent acoustic, ambient, improvisational collaboration, YESOD, began in September 2010 with composer Bill Wolford.

Arrington de Dionyso (Old Time Relijun, Malaikat dan Singa, This Saxophone Kills Fascists) integrates ancient soundmaking techniques with trans-modernist inquiries into the nature of consciousness. His propulsive improvisations utilize voice and reeds (primarily bass clarinets and his invention the Bromiophone) as multiphonic tools in the navigation of liminal spaces between shamanic seance and rock and roll ecstasy. While deeply rooted in the punk inclination to tear down musical standards in an effort for liberation, Arrington’s music weds no-wave iconoclasm with the spiritual searching of Albert Ayler era free jazz along with more indigenous approaches to improvisation, reaching for an unveiling of primordially potent universalities to evoke an “Ancient Future”, sometimes shocking and hallucinatory, always aiming to channel Spirit.

Multi-instrumentalist/vocalist Amy Denio has produced over 50 recordings solo and in collaboration with artists worldwide. She has played concerts and taught musical workshops in festivals, clubs, squats, prisons, churches, sanctuaries, subways, and abandoned buildings on 6 continents. A commissioned composer for modern dance, film and theater, Denio’s music has been heard at Carnegie Hall, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and by 40,000 people on New Year’s Eve in Piazza del Plebescito in Naples, Italy. She co-founded Tone Dogs, The Entropics, all-women sax quartet The Tiptons (1988-present), joined Bosnian folk metal band Kultur Shock in 1999, and has been playing with Abel Rocha and Madeleine Sosin in Correo Aereo/Ama Trio since 2003.