Seyed Ali Jaberi and the Hamdel Ensemble, 2018 – 2019 Artists-in-Residence

In 2018 - 2019, CAN supported the leading Iranian composer and maestro of the tanbour, Seyed Ali Jaberi and the Hamdel Ensemble.

12 Nov 2020

All About Love celebrated the life, poetry and spiritual beliefs of the 13th-century Persian poet Rumi and was grounded in Sufi culture. The performance connected audiences to the rich cultural traditions of Sufism through music and whirling dervish dance. All About Love pushed the boundaries of Sufi art through a unique combination of traditional Persian and Western instruments.


CAN supported Seyed Ali Jaberi and the Hamdel Ensemble to develop their creative-producing skills, to grow their profile, and to build new, significant partnerships which resulted in a national tour to HOME, Manchester, Birmingham Symphony Hall, Sage Gateshead, St George’s Hall, Bristol, the Migration Matters Festival, Sheffield and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Spring/Summer 2019 as well as performance in Glasgow. With few opportunities to see Sufi music in the UK, the tour had a large Persian audience.

“By working alongside CAN, we now have first-hand experience of producing and managing our own concert tour from liaising with venues, to managing tour logistics, to leading a marketing campaign, to performance and evaluation.”

Seyed Ali Jaberi 

Some of the original compositions were translated from their original Persian into English. This, together with well-attended post-show discussions, gave audiences a unique insight into Rumi and the rich traditions of Sufism.

Audiences were unanimous in their praise of All About Love:

“So beautiful. Made me cry. Loved the music, the whirling and the drum.”

“Hypnotic, multi-layered, dramatic, utterly joyful. The introduction giving background to Sufism and the Divine spark was enlightening.”

“Captivating and spell binding. Brimming with a powerful intensity.”

The tour was supported by a PR specialist which resulted in previews in Songlines and Asian World as well as excellent reviews.

“The vocals throughout the performance are haunting and hypnotic; the fact that most of the audience cannot understand the language doesn’t matter, the intonation clearly communicates the meaning and emotional depth with beautiful layering of male and female voices.”

Bebop Spoken Here

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