The Dastan Ensemble, founded in 1991, has become one of Iran's most
important musical groups. It has toured the world, produced many award-winning recordings,
and performed and recorded with many of Iran's finest vocalists, including Parissa,
Homayoun Shajarian, Salar Aghili, and Sima Bina.
Hamid Motebassem was born in 1958 in the holy city of Mashhad in
northeastern Iran. Raised in a musical family, he began his studies with his father Ali
Motebassem, who played the tar. His subsequent teachers included masters
Habiballah Salehi, Zeydallah Toloie, Houshang Zarif, Hossein Alizadeh, and Mohammad-Reza
Lotfi. Motebassem studied at the Tehran School of Art and the Conservatory of Persian
Music. He was a member of Iran's prestigious Chavosh Cultural Center, where he taught
music. He was one of the original members of the Aref Ensemble, which was founded by a
group of distinguished musicians in 1977. After emigrating to Germany, he founded the
Dastan Ensemble, as well as the Chakavak, Mezrab, and Pardis ensembles. He is the founder
of the Society of Tar and Setar, and since 1994 has organized annual seminars dedicated to
the two instruments. He has performed on numerous albums of contemporary Iranian composers
and has been recognized for his own compositions.
Hossein Behroozinia was born in 1962 in Tehran. His teachers were masters
Reza Vahdani, Mansour Ebrahimi (Nariman), and Mohammad-Reza Lotfi. He taught extensively at
the Tehran Conservatory of Music and at the Center for the Preservation and Dissemination
of (Persian) Music. He was a member of the celebrated Mowlana and Aref ensembles, and
joined the Dastan Ensemble in 1992. He has established classes in Persian music in
Vancouver, Canada, where he currently resides. He has performed on numerous albums of
prominent Iranian composers and on all the Dastan albums since 1992.
Saeed Farajpoury was born in 1961 in Sanandaj, Kurdistan. His teachers were
masters Hassan Kamkar, Mohammad-Reza Lotfi, and Hossein Alizadeh. He was a member of the
Culture and Art Ensemble of Sanandaj, and has performed with the acclaimed Sheyda, Aref,
Avat, and Puyvar ensembles. He joined the Dastan Ensemble in 2000. He has taught
kamancheh at the Chavosh Cultural Center, the Center for Preservation and
Dissemination of (Persian) Music in Tehran, the Tehran Conservatory of Music, and the
Tehran University School of Music. He has performed on various albums of celebrated Iranian
composers and all the Dastan albums since 2000.
Hamin Honari was born in Zahedan, Iran. He grew up in Canada as part
of a musical family and studied tombak initially with Ramin
Bahrami and later with Pejman Haddadi. Honari has performed as a percussionist in many
different genres of music and toured with various musicians. He currently lives in
Vancouver, Canada, where he teaches and performs regularly.
Arjang Ataollahi was born in 1990 in Tehran, Iran. He began studying
the daf with his father and continued his studies under Maestro Masoud
Habibi's supervision. He is a multi-instrumentalist and plays many different styles of
music. He has performed on Iranian National TV and can be heard on several albums. He has
also been a member of the Kereshmeh Ensemble since 2008.