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In Kurdish, 'Hawniyaz' means something like: “Everybody needs everybody else, each of us is there for the other.” The name is thus a perfect fit for the four extraordinary musicians of this ensemble, who came together, somewhat by chance, at the Morgenland Festival in Osnabrück: the Iranian virtuoso of the kamancheh (spike fiddle), Kayhan Kalhor, had played with leading Turkish Kurd singer Aynur in Yo-Yo Ma's Silk Road Ensemble.
They are joined by tenbur (lute) player Cemîl Qoçgîrî, a German-born Kurd, and the noted Azerbaijani classical/jazz pianist Salman Gambarov.
By marrying their sensibilities, and each member’s personal sound, they have created a universe which unites the Kurdish and Persian music traditions, with just a touch of the West. This magical osmosis reminds us how enriching the influence of migrating peoples can be for all the world’s cultures.