Song of the Week 44 with special guest Navid Ardakani

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This is an excerpt from a session I had with Navid Ardakani, one of Los Angeles’ finest Santur players. He is the husband of our families’ dear friend Faye. The Santur has 18 sets of strings, strung in groups of four. Half of them are bronze, the other half are steel. It is fascinating to watch Navid play and to learn from him. This particular piece is a meditation in Bb.

While I am posting this many month after it was initially recorded, I had the wonderful opportunity to play with Navid out at the Free Hands Academy Stick Night Bel-Air on Saturday, August 24. We performed a piece similar to this one and then did a version of Peter Gabriel’s “Mercy Street”.

Gene and Navid performing Mercy Street
Gene Perry on Chapman Stick and Navid Ardakani on Santur performing Peter Gabriel’s Mercy Street.

I am not aware of any video of this performance, I will say it was a wonderful performance – and unbeknownst to me – his first public performance! He was cool and collected, something I really needed after such a nervous outing for my first solo set. I had the opportunity to play music with him this last weekend and each time is better than the last, I can’t wait to play again!

One Response

  1. Gene (and Navid)!!

    What’s the haps?!? FINALLY got to the blog site to get the latest scoop; I had completely forgotten that Wes told me that, in addition to being an all-around groovy cat, Navid also plays a mean santur…you guys are really making me miss hanging out with you’ns on the Left Coast!!

    Keep on doing what you do!

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