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Ostad Latif Tahmasebi-zadeh
A legendary Ghaval Player

Peyman Nasehpour © 2002

A recognized master of ghaval (Azerbaijani frame drum), Ostad Latif Tahmasebi-zadeh, was born in the city of Ardebil in province of Azerbaijan in Iran, 1944.

His father, Majid Tahmasebi-zadeh moved to Baku (capital of today Republic of Azerbaijan) in order to find a good job. After moving to Baku he learnt garman (Azerbaijani organ similar to European accordion). Ostad Latif Tahmasebi-zadeh was interested in ghaval and he started learning it at the age of fourteen. He initially learnt ghaval by observing ghaval players and visually studying their techniques during their performances in the wedding ceremonies (toylar). After learning ghaval, he started playing ghaval in wedding ceremonies (toylar) and gradually he became famous.

Then great masters of his time such as Ostad Ali Salimi (famous composer and Azeri tar player), Ostad Safar Ali Javid (Azeri tar player), Ostad Seifi Ebrahimpour (Azeri tar player), Ostad Esma'il Cheshm Azar (Azeri kamancheh player) invited him for artistic collaboration. He performed with them more than 30 years. He has had many concerts and has performed in national Radio and Television.

Great masters of Azerbaijani art music have praised the style of his ghaval playing. He has developed some new playing techniques for ghaval. He is regarded as a preeminent ghaval soloist in Iran and Republic of Azerbaijan. Ghaval was traditionally played by singers as accompanying instrument. Ostad Latif Tahmasebi-zadeh has transformed the role of ghaval into an independent instrument. He is one of few ghaval players who give solo ghaval performances.