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The New York Times calls Amir Vahab the “ambassador for a silenced music.”

ALBANY (August 31, 2015) — The New York Times calls Amir Vahab the “ambassador for a silenced music.”

Premiere Performances kicks off its 2015-16 series with a unique concert of Turkish Sufi and folk music by the Amir Vahab Ensemble and a traditional Whirling Dervish.

This fascinating evening of music and movement will take place Friday, September 25, at 7:30 p.m. in the Kathleen McManus Picotte Recital Hall, Massry Center for the Arts, 1002 Madison Ave., Albany, New York.

This concert is presented in collaboration with the Turkish Cultural Center Albany.

Tickets are $20 general, $10 for students and are on sale now at For concert and ticket information, contact the Massry Center ticket office at 518-337-4871 or e-mail

Honored as a peacemaker and virtuoso, Amir Alan Vahab is one of New York’s most celebrated and distinguished composer-vocalists of Sufi and folk music. He sings in many different languages with a unique mystical style. The virtuosos of Vahab weave fiery instrumentals and songs of the Ancient Land of the Middle East that include Persian, Turkish, Azeri and beyond. As an instrumentalist, Vahab plays and teaches the tar, setar, tanbour, saz, oud, ney, daf and zarb.

Vahab has played before audiences ranging from select private shows to crowds of 6,000. In addition, he has composed eclectic music for theater and film and has performed for several U.S. television and radio stations. His performances have inspired many music students to appreciate the classical delicacy of the unique sounds created by the mystical instruments that he has mastered. Vahab has released seven albums.

Whirling Dervishes originated in the 13th century as followers of Rumi, the poet and Muslim mystic. Their dance is a traditional form of Sufi worship. The whirling becomes a meditation, a continuous twirling with one hand pointed upward reaching for the divine and the other hand pointed toward the ground. It is not a performance; rather, it is a spiritual offering.

Opened in 2008, the critically acclaimed Massry Center for the Arts features the 400-seat Kathleen McManus Picotte Recital Hall, Esther Massry Gallery, choral and instrument rehearsal rooms, teaching studios, piano labs and classrooms. Past performing artists have included B.B. King, Chick Corea, Dave Brubeck, Toad the Wet Sprocket, Doc Severinson, Ramsey Lewis, Maceo Parker, Mary Lambert, Tim Reynolds, Stefon Harris, John Pizzarelli, the Boston Symphony Orchestra Strings, Yuja Wang, Paula Cole and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. The 46,000 square-foot gem is certified LEED Gold, ranking it among the Capital Region’s most energy-efficient and Earth-friendly buildings.

The College of Saint Rose ( is a dynamic, progressive college in the heart of New York’s capital city where teaching is the first priority. With 59 undergraduate programs, nine undergraduate certificates, 37 master’s degrees and 26 graduate certificates, and a mission of service to the urban community, the Saint Rose experience empowers students to improve themselves and the world around them.