Art And Culture

All-Female Ensemble to Perform at Vahdat

The group will perform 21 pieces in Persian, English, French, Hindi, Azeri, Kurdish and Lori during the concerts designed exclusively for women
Members of Polaris Band
Members of Polaris Band

Setare-ye Qotbi (Polaris, literally polar star) Music Group, an all-female Iranian pop band, will perform at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on August 25 and 26. Composed of five singers and 11 musicians, the group will perform in five languages including Persian, English, French, Azeri and Hindi during the concerts which will be performed exclusively for women, the music website reported.

The band members are all graduates of music academies in Tehran. The singers include Shaqayeq Tahmasbi and Parisa Delfani who both sing Persian and folk songs, Mahshid Molai who renders Hindi pieces so well that nobody believes she is native, and Kiana Kermanian who performs English pieces. There is also a girl from the Ivory Coast in the band, Mary Ruth Batowa, who sings French songs.

The 11 instrumentalists include band leader Bahareh Ilchi who also plays the piano, Armita Fahimi (electric guitar), Mehrnaz Dabirzadeh (percussion), Pegah Ebrahim (violin), Sara Parsaee (flute), Sepideh Ilchi (bass guitar), Sahar Dezvarei (drums), Parna Kuhgivi (Spanish guitar), Ava Manbari (keyboard), Thamila Tahvildari (saxophone) and Shania Shahriari (trumpet).

As Ilchi claimed, her band is the first all-female Iranian pop group to give live concert performances in the country since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. In Iran, only women are allowed to attend concerts performed by female singers.

Ilchi established the band in 2009. "It took three years for the players to reach an acceptable level and then we began our activities," she explained. "We aim to show that Iranian women are also able to work in the field of music".

  Proceeds for Epilepsy Charity

Last week the ensemble had two performances on August 11 and 12 at Niavaran Cultural Center in northern Tehran and performed 21 pieces. Warmly welcomed by the women fans, the packed hall showed the popularity of the band among the public.

The same pieces will be performed in the upcoming concerts. Mostly Persian pop songs, the repertoire also comprises four Azeri, Kurdish and Lori folk piece, two French and three English songs as well as three Hindi pieces including scores from two famous classic Indian movies Sangam (1964) and Sholay (1975) which are very popular with many Iranian people. All the proceeds will go to the Iranian Epilepsy Association, a non-governmental organization dedicated to increasing public awareness and knowledge about epilepsy to enhance the quality of life for people with epilepsy by changing attitudes toward the chronic disorder.