Iranian-born Kiu Haghighi is a veteran master of the native Persian instrument known as the santour, the Persian box zither that has a set of strings laid out within a wooden case which is then struck by mezrab, or leather-tipped mallets. Having performed for more than half-a-century since the age of 10 and having been a mainstay of Iranian radio until he came to the West in 1965, Haghighi has redefined the technical possibilities of the instrument with his dazzling mezrab technique and his expanding traditional use of the instrument beyond the classical dasgahs and radifs of traditional Middle Eastern music, often incorporating elaborate ornamentation and spicy dissonances. The Evanston resident and his ensemble—which includes two accompanying percussionists on the tombak and the daf —will combine traditional and contemporary Iranian music in a program presented in collaboration with Iran House of Greater Chicago and presented as part of Journeys Along the Silk Road Chicago 2006. (Dennis Polkow)
August 18 at Wrigley Square.