Founder and Director
A native of Tehran, Iran, Shahyar grew up in a music-loving Azerbaijani family. He received his training in the art of singing and drumming in family circles at an early age. His musical education includes the Tehran Conservatory of Music and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. He has participated in numerous festivals and concerts in Europe and North America. He holds a doctoral degree in Central Eurasian Studies with an emphasis on the cultures and languages of Central Eurasia and the Middle East. He is a research associate at the Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center and a faculty member in the Department of Central Eurasian Studies at Indiana University. Shahyar is one of the co-founders of Bloomington’s Lotus World Music and Dance Festival. He was a founding member of the group Sabá, Breeze of the East. Shahyar launched the Silk Road Ensemble in 1997 and serves as its director and principal vocalist.