1001 Nights Orchestra (Austin, TX)


1001 Nights Orchestra is Austin's longest-running Middle Eastern ensemble. It was founded by Iranian musician Kamran Hooshmand in the late 1980s and has gone through many transformations since then to encompass international folk, traditional, dance and pop music from the greater Middle East, the Balkans, Southwest Asia and the Caucasus. The collective's sound is happy, energetic, danceable and includes lots of improvisational solos which add to the spontaneous almost jazzy quality of the sound. The instrumentation varies but is always a mix of Western and Eastern instruments such as violin, clarinet, accordion, bass, oud, qanun, frame drums, etc. The band has two recordings with the current configuration under its belt. The 2002 release received praise from local press as an instrumental international folk album and topped local world music charts. The 2015 release is a live recording that was produced in collaboration with Austin International Folk Dancers funded by the City of Austin. Nick-named The "Beats Class", the CD includes folk dance songs with beat-cycles from 2 to 18 with one regional song representing each beat. It also includes vocals on the Persian and Southwest Asian materials. They just completed 3 studio songs, two Armenian and one Greek that will be released along with a video for SXSW 2016.1001 Nights Orchestra has a fun danceable sound and will leave you in an ecstatic mood.