Events Tickets

Wed 18th July at 1.05pm

St. Iberius Church, Wexford

Tickets: €12, €10 (concessions) & €5 students

A recital by students from the Royal Irish Academy of Music


The secret of improvisation

Shahab Coohe: Santoor

Shayan Coohe: Tar, Tombak and Daf


Shahab Coohe (Santoor)

Born into a family of music lovers, Shahab started his music education aged 7, under the direction of Majid Kiani, Pashang Kamrakr, two of the contemporary masters of the santoor (a trapezoid-shaped stringed instrument that pre-dates the Dulcimer and piano). He continued studying Persian classical music alongside Western classical music at the Tehran School of music until he moved to Ireland at the age of 17.  He also plays violin and is currently studying performance at the Royal Irish Academy of Music.

Shayan Coohe (Tar, Tombak)

Shayan started playing the Tombak under the direction of Master Arjang Kamkar at the age of seven and went on to study Tar (a plucked string instrument which pre-dates the lute and guitar). Shayan continued his studies at the Conservatoire of Music in Tehran aged 11. He also plays Daf, Setar and Tanbour and is currently studying Clarinet at the Royal Irish Academy of Music in Dublin.

The brothers have performed in different venues and festivals in Ireland such as Bray Jazz festival, the Silk Road festival, the National Opera House along with Zoe Conway, Kaleidoscope night series, Other Voices, Electric Picnic, Doolin Folk Festival, Éigse -Carlow Arts Festival, Hugh lane Gallery concert series  and many other solo improvisation recitals around the country. The brothers received a Deis recording Grant with the Irish Persian fusion band (Nava) who recently launched their album Tapestry at the National concert hall. This album with Nava has received a number of great reviews in Ireland and the UK and also from Songline magazine.

Some examples of traditional Persian instruments




The name comes from the name Shata- tantric, meaning a Veena of hundred strings. Traditionally, it consists of a hollow box with twenty five bridges, each having four strings resting on it. It is played with the help of two wooden mallets known as mezrabs.



Iranians consider this to be the “sultan of instruments.” Its present form was developed in 18th century and has been the choice of Persian classical masters since. It has a double-bowl body of mulberry or walnut wood with a lambskin face. The fingerboard has 28 frets and the three double strings are played with a plectrum made of brass and honeycomb.



The Tombak, also referred to as Zarb, is a wooden goblet drum, which is the most frequently played percussion instrument in Persian folk music and the classical Persian music of Iran.



Daf is a kind of drum with Persian frame, which can be played in classical and popular music. Hardwood is used to make the frame, and ringlets of metal are attached to it, with goatskin being used for making the membrane surface. This instrument is found mostly in the regions of Iran, Kurdistan, Middle East, Pakistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Tajikistan.