SEFFARINE is a duo formed by singer Lamiae Naki and oud player/flamenco guitarist Nat Hulskamp. Their repertoire varies from classical Arabic and Andalusian music to original compositions influenced by the music of widely varying cultures, such as Spanish flamenco, classical Persian music, and American jazz.
Seffarine takes its name from the ancient metalworking square in Lamiae's home city of Fes, Morocco. Her family is well known in the Seffarine as master metalworkers continuing the tradition today. The square dates back to the 9th century and is famous for the complex rhythms that can be heard from the blacksmiths' hammers.
Lamiae Naki (vocals)
Lamiae was born in the city of Fes, the historic cultural capital of Morocco. Fes’ medina or old walled city is the biggest in the Arab world and is a UNESCO world heritage site. It is the only functioning medieval city and also the home of the oldest continuously running university in the world. As a center for learning in the Arab world, one can hear in Fes classical Arabic music as well as every kind of traditional Moroccan music, Sufi music, Andalusian music, pop, jazz and hip hop. She was drawn to music from a young age and began singing, writing songs, and using every resource to find new music and influences from widely varying cultures. Lamiae studied Andalusian music and other forms of classical Arabic music in Fes, and has continued to creatively apply her expertise in Moroccan and Andalusi music to many other traditions. She has performed in concerts with Shabava Persian ensemble, flamenco dancer Laura Onizuka, Algerian musician Moh Alileche, flamenco guitarist Rafael Vargas, and Seattle jazz quartet Mangus Khan and has performed in the United States, Morocco, Canada and Turkey. Lamiae has also been featured on recordings such as “Hora de Soñar” by Martín Zarzar of the world renowned group Pink Martini and the soundtrack for the film by Alissa Cramer “No Plorar Mai” (USA/Spain/Angola). In 2012 She was awarded a grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council to travel to Istanbul, Turkey to study classical Turkish singing with master singer Aylin Sengun Tasci. Lamiae now resides in Portland, USA.
Nat Hulskamp (flamenco guitar and oud)
Nat was born in Portland, OR. He began studying guitar with guitarist/composer Paul Chasman at age seventeen. He was soon introduced to flamenco guitar by Jose Solano. His interest in the influence of Arabic music on flamenco led him to study oud in Morocco. After returning to the US, he moved to Seattle to study ethnomusicology at the University of Washington. There he worked with the groups Carmona Flamenco, The Rez Quartet and others ranging in style from Hungarian Csardas and Gypsy swing to flamenco. In 2000 he co-founded the Vancouver, BC based Arabic/ flamenco group Aire with ney player and singer Emad Armoush. In 2004 he moved to Portland and formed the group Shabava with kamancheh/sehtar/violinist and singer Bobak Salehi. In 2010 he formed the trio Caminhos Cruzados with master jazz guitarist Dan Balmer and Ghanaian percussion virtuoso Israel Annoh. Nat has studied with the top flamenco guitarists of today including, Diego del Morao, Manuel Parrilla, Pepe del Morao, José Antonio Rodriguez, Jesús Guerrero, Dani de Morón and Antonio Rey. He has recorded in Spain with Diego del Morao, La Macanita, Luís de Perikín, LaBejazz and has performed with José Antonio Rodríguez, Santiago Lara and Antonio Rey during their US tours. He now resides in Portland, composing and performing with Shabava, Caminhos Cruzados and Seffarine. Nat uses SeruniAudio microphones.
Bobak Salehi (kamancheh, sehtar, tar and violin)
Born in Tehran, Iran, Bobak's musical journey began when he was eight years old, under the direction of his father Maestro Hossein Salehi. After completing his classical violin studies with Eileen Dies, he focused his efforts on world music, in particular the folk music of Latin America and Southern Spain. In 1999 the Oregon Historical Society recognized him as master artist. He has studied Kamancheh (Spiked Fiddle) with crossover recording artist Kayhan Kalhor of Yoyo Ma’s
Silk Road Project. Bobak has performed regularly in various festivals in the United States and Canada. Most recently, he joined the Hamsaz Ensemble in Seattle, for the North America debut of the historic works of Abdul-Qadir Maraqi, alongside renowned composer and multi-instrumentalist Ali Samadpour. Bobak has performed with many touring artists, including Faramarz Aslani, Dariush (Eghbali), Anoushirvan Rohani, Hamed Nikpay, Fared Shanury, Nat Hulskamp and Seffarine, Al-Andalus, Portland Youth Philharmonic, Oregon Symphony and Pink Martini.
Damian Erskine (bass)
Damian is known for his ability to fit into any musical situation, extraordinary reading and improvising skills as well as being an educator and columnist. He has played in the studio or on the stage with the likes of, Peter Erskine, Gino Vannelli, The Jaco Pastorius Big Band, Les McCann & Javon Jackson, Jeff Lorber, George Colligan, Vardan Ovsepian, Charmaine Neville, Tony Furtado and many others as well as being featured on the GospelChops.com "Shed Sessionz Vol. 1" DVD. Seffarine was happy to have Damian with them on their recording sessions in Jerez, Spain.
Manavihare Fiaindratovo (percussion)
A native of Madagascar, Fiaindratovo (Mimy) Manavihare is a hand percussionist, singer, composer and arranger. Mimy started his musical career with several Malagasy music projects, playing both traditional and modern Malagasy music. Mimy graduated from Berklee College of Music in Boston in 2003, and was awarded the Roy Haynes Award from the Zildian Company. He led his band Fikira in 2007 on a tour of Madagascar after receiving an alumni grant from Berklee to help promote the importance of music education for both professional and young musicians in Madagascar. In addition to playing his own compositions, Mimy has also performed with a wide range of musicians in the US, including composer Chie Imaizumi, trumpeter Tiger Okoshi, composer Osvaldo Golijov, and the Boston Landmarks Orchestra.
Manuel Gutierrez (flamenco dance)
Manuel Gutierrez Cabello was born in Montpellier, France after his parents had migrated to South of France from Cordoba, Spain. From a young age he had shown a talent for dance, winning his first flamenco award at only 8 years old. He began to develop his unique style under the direction of Lita Peiro, José Galván and later with Joaquin Grilo and Javier Latorre.
By age twenty, Gutierrez began producing works and dancing across Europe with legendary artists including Duquende, Chicuelo, Juan Carmona and Chispa Negra. He also began to collaborate with top French choreographers Redha, Marjorie Ascione, and Gerome Zerbie. In 2008, Manuel was invited to choreograph the production “Flamenco Flamen’ka” which sold out the Lyric Theatre in London and and ran for five years in Great Britain and France. Guiterrez’s fame as a choreographer and producer was growing. The Telegraph in London called his work “Fiery.” Danse Magazine nicknamed him, “The Young Flamenco Prince.” Figarro Newspaper raved “The dance is strong, voluptuous, and spectacular... a profound type of Flamenco and incredibly explosive.”
Manuel was invited to teach at the top studios in Europe including L’Opéra de Paris. During this period, he worked on television and stage productions as choreographer/dancer, such as “Romancero Gitano,” “El Emigrante” and many others. Since 2011, Manuel has contributed his time as Artistic Director for Global Gift Foundation for the charitable initiative “The Global Gift Gala" which works alongside actress, producer and philanthropist Eva Longoria as Honorary Chair in benefit of Eva Longoria Foundation, Ricky Martin Foundation, Global Gift Foundation and many more. Manuel continues to work alongside Longoria and has produced charitable events in Los Angeles, London, Paris, Cannes, Mexico and Dubai.
Manuel concurrently has continued to dance and choreograph around the world with artists like Louis Winsberg, Souad Massi and San Francisco-based dance company “Caminos Flamencos.” In 2012, he helped create the production “Juncal Street” with Fanny Ara and his choreography was nominated for an Isadora Duncan Dance Award. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Manuel is establishing himself as a very prolific performer and choreographer throughout the U.S., having created his first U.S production, “KOMPAZ”, performing with the LA Opera and continuing his collaborations with musicians of different genres in his quest to define himself as an explorer of dance in general and flamenco in particular.