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A world of music: ¡Globalquerque! presents 17 acts from five continents on three stages

Iran’s Sahba Motallebi will be one of the 17 performers at this year’s ¡Globalquerque! at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. (Courtesy of Jack Vartoogian)

Twenty performances.

Seventeen world-class acts from five continents.

All on three stages.

These are the details for the 15th annual ¡Globalquerque!, which will be held on Friday, Sept. 20, and Saturday, Sept. 21, at the National Hispanic Cultural Center.

The event features music from around the world, as well as a free Global Fiesta, with events for the family. The Global Fiesta will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21.

The music begins at 6 p.m.

During the two-day event, there will be performances by Natu Camara, Lucibella, Mdou Moctar, Pamyua, Dat Garcia, 47Soul, Makana and Sahba Motallebi.

Motallebi will perform at 6:40 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 21, in the Albuquerque Journal Theatre.

The Iranian musician is known for her work on the tar and setar, two instruments at the heart of Persian classical music.

“My music is mostly based on improvisation,” Motallebi says. “There are lots of compositions, and you are pulling it all from memory.”

Music has always been at the forefront of Motallebi’s life.

As a teenager in Iran, she pushed against patrimonial restrictions and emerged as a dynamo on her instruments.

At 14, she began her studies at the Tehran Conservatory of Music, and for four years, from 1995 to 1998, she was named best tar player at the Iranian Music Festival.

She also studied abroad, in Russia and Turkey.

While still in school, she co-founded the boundary-breaking female music ensemble Chakaveh.

By 1999, she was invited to join the prestigious Iranian National Orchestra, which initiated her global performance career, and eventually led her to settle outside of Los Angeles, where she’s lived and played for over a decade, and has worked fastidiously to preserve traditional Persian classical music.

“What I bring to the music are the stories behind each piece,” she says. “There’s so much history drenched in each song. It’s the stories that are told through music as well.”

This will be Motallebi’s first time playing in New Mexico, and she’s looking forward to learning more about the culture.

“I’ve heard great things about the area and how spiritual it is,” she says. “I’m interested in learning about the history. I’m sure I’ll hear some amazing stories.”

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