“While improvisation is central to the band’s conception, it’s the quality of Sadeghi’s compositions and the opulence of the ensemble sound as much as any soloing that makes the music so enthralling.” – John Shand, SMH ★★★★½
Lead by acclaimed Persian-Australian tar player and composer, Hamed Sadeghi, Eishan Ensemble draws on contemporary and classical music traditions of both East and West. The ensemble’s repertoire consists predominantly of Sadeghi’s original compositions with diverse improvisatory idioms featured heavily. Variously described as “Persian chamber jazz” and “Middle-Eastern jazz fusion”, Eishan Ensemble defies neat labels.
With Hamed Sadeghi on tar, Pedram Layegh on classical guitar, Michael Avgenicos on saxophone, Elsen Price on double bass and Adem Yilmaz on percussion, the layered soundscapes Eishan Ensemble create together are driven by the individual talents of each member as much as by the compositions themselves.
Formed in 2016, Eishan Ensemble have performed internationally in Iran, Malaysia, Singapore, The Phillipines and Taiwan; with local performances across Sydney, including for Vivid Festival and a recent invitation to perform at City Recital Hall’s Extended Play Festival of New Music. Their first album, Nim Dong, was released in late 2018 to critical acclaim.
(Header photo credit: Rhiannon Hopley from RH Photography & Design)
“… casts a spell all its own… astonishing power and convulsive impact…” – John Shand, SMH ★★★★½
“Eishan Ensemble is a rare attempt in fusing contemporary Persian classical music with modern jazz… a flawless combination, as evidenced by the fine compositions on this debut recording.” – Songlines UK ★★★★
“Eishan Ensemble master Middle-Eastern jazz fusion in Nim Dong, with sounds that invigorate and excite the listener.” – Pete Overell, Everything is Noise
“Hamed’s Iranian classical music background and contemporary jazz knowledge come face to face on this album… there is great beauty to behold in there.” – Scott Murphy, Heavy Blog is Heavy
“It’s a rare kind of dignified music. Everything is tightly controlled, stately, intensely evocative. Nim Dong is an elegant suite of Persian chamber jazz.” – Bob Baker Fish, Cyclic Defrost
“Eishan Ensemble exist alongside the likes of Palestine’s Le Trio Joubran, or Iraqi oud player and composer Rahim AlHaj’s Trio, artists keen to highlight their traditions, yet also keep the music vital, moving forward with an ear open to potential influences.” – Bob Baker Fish, Cyclic Defrost
Hamed Sadeghi – tar/setar/oud
With a background in Persian classical music, multi-instrumentalist, Hamed Sadeghi, has established himself as a performer and composer of note since migrating to Australia in 2014. A versatile and adaptable musician, Hamed performs solo and collaborates across genres and art forms regularly. Recent highlights include collaborating on and performing in Belvoir St Theatre’s production of Sami in Paradise, performing in Australia with international maestros Shahrokh Aziz and Shahram Nazeri, as well as recent performances with Eishan Ensemble in Malaysia, Taiwan and The Phillipines.
Pedram Layegh – guitar
Iranian-born, Pedram Layegh, began his musical studies under the guidance of acclaimed Iranian guitar teachers, Farhad Faghihnia and Touraj Dadyan. Following his move to Australia, Pedram continued his studies with Grant Sambells, Tom Ferris and Damian Wright. Pedram performs regularly with local groups and with visiting international artists such as the renowned Kurdish singer, Adnan Karim.
Michael Avgenicos – saxophone
A graduate of The Sydney Conservatorium of Music (Bachelor of Jazz Performance, 2016), Michael Avgenicos was a finalist in the same year at the prestigious National Jazz Awards – Saxophone Competition in Wangarratta, SA. In 2017 he received the Big Brother Movement (BBM) award for excellence in music. 2018 highlights include performing with the Gregg Arthur Quintet to open for Brandon Marsalis at the Melbourne International Jazz Festival; and recording and touring with experimental jazz band, COAST.
Elsen Price – double bass
Elsen Price is an established Sydney-based bass player, composer, band leader and teacher. His career highlights include performances with: Josh Groban, Mike Patton, Lee Ranaldo, Sharam Nazeri, Adnan Karim and Alireza Ghoubani. As a soloist he has released four solo albums and has performed in Europe and at Sydney Festival, Vivid Festival and MONA. His compositions have been published by Recital Music UK. 2018 highlights include performances at Taiwan’s Yilan Festival and Audio Foundation, New Zealand.
Adem Yilmaz – percussion
Born in Istanbul, Adem Yilmaz took to percussion from a very young age commencing his studies under the tutelage of Turkey’s foremost percussionist, Izzet Kizil. Since migrating to Australia in 2014, Adem has established himself as a versatile and sought-after musician, regularly performing with visiting Turkish and Kurdish artists, and collaborating with local ensembles including The Plait Ensemble and The Zela Margossian Quintet, across a range of genres.