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Tango Diva to Support Shams Ensemble at Symphony

Tango Diva to Support Shams Ensemble at Symphony

nancy pelosi, teresa williamson
Nancy Pelosi with Teresa Williamson

Teresa Williamson, founder of, announced this week that she is helping bring the Shams Ensemble, an Iranian musical troupe, to Davis Symphony Hall later this month.

With Iranian President Ahmadinejad`s arrival into New York planned for September 23, protest rallies are being organized by local groups. In San Francisco, instead of protests, Shams Ensemble, a band coming from Iran, will be performing at Davies Symphony Hall on Sunday, September 27. This is their first overseas performance since the current uprising in Iran.

Shams Ensemble, a musical troupe formed in Tehran has become a rallying point of overseas support for the Green Revolution in Iran. Their San Francisco concert is a fundraiser for Amnesty International.

The ensemble produced a song for Iran`s Green Revolution loosely translated from Farsi as “The Cry for Change,” and it became the anthem for action and involvement. The song became an underground sensation and over a million copies were distributed to Green Revolution supporters. You can watch the video here.

The ensemble draws its inspiration from traditional Kurdish, Sufi and classical Iranian music and incorporates the poems of Rumi, a famed 13th Century poet and mystic. The nine-member group creates its mesmerizing music with the help of the tanbur, a traditional Kurdish lute, the daf, a framed drum, as well as Brazilian musical instruments.

Since Shams inception, founded and directed by Kaykhosro Pournazeri, nearly three decades ago, the group has struggled to obtain permission to perform in Iran from the country’s fundamentalist Islamic authorities.

But after entertaining troops in the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s, the ensemble was able to secure permission to perform in public once. Now, due to the uprising during the elections, all permits have been cancelled. Shams Ensemble does not know when and if they will ever be allowed to perform in their country

Teresa Williamson, blogger for the Huffington Post and founder of, a social network that empowers women to travel the world, is thrilled to be supporting the concerts. “I`m so excited that audiences in the US have an opportunity to experience Shams Ensemble. A profound shift is taking place in Iran and as global citizens we`re responsible for promoting peace and fostering unity with our fellow mankind. Their commitment to change is evident in their partnership with Amnesty International.”

For information on dates and venues, please visit

Photo: Mona Brooks

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