|(Photo - Darren Setlow)|
Shamou's music career began at an early age in his native Iran where he also studied and performed with the Iranian National Ballet as a dancer. He began his formal music training in Tehran, studied with teachers from the Royal College of Music in London and completed his training at Berklee College of Music in Boston earning a Bachelors Degree in Music.
A well-known figure in the Boston music scene in the mid-90's, Shamou was the lead singer and percussionist with several award-winning world music ensembles performing at venues such as Hard Rock Café, Sanders Theater, Middle East Café and Ryles, among others. From 1998 to 2001 he performed extensively at major venues such as Fillmore West, Great American Music Hall and Bill Graham Auditorium in San Francisco, Hard Rock Café, Mandalay Bay and Venetian in Las Vegas, as well as other venues in Phoenix and Los Angeles. Since 2004 Shamou has been performing as a solo act and with his world ensemble, Loopin’ at festivals and venues across New England.
Shamou is also known for his collaborative work with dancers including the world-renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Co., Mark Morris Dance Company, NY2 Dance, ODC /San Francisco, San Francisco Ballet, Sacramento Ballet, Boston Dance Collective and Prometheus Dance Company among others.
Since 1990 Shamou has taught hand drumming, percussion, music for dance and body music across the country in a wide variety of settings, including Harvard and Boston Universities and Wellesley College, high school and college dance festivals across the country, including the Bates Dance Festival, and public and private schools in New England.
As a composer he has created original scores for new works by NY2 Dance, Sacramento Ballet, ODC Dance Jam, The Lab Project, Prometheus Dance Company, and for choreographers Stephan Koplowitz, Robert Moses, Judith Smith/AXIS, Jose Antonio Hevia, Rachel Boggia, Lucky Kele and Michel Kouakou during residencies at the Bates Dance Festival. He has also created scores for Christal Brown’s Liquid Strength training video project and Cathy Young’s Jazz Pedagogy project.
Since 2004 Shamou has created music and performed in world premiere productions of “Gilgamesh” at the Heartwood Regional Theater Company, and in “Yemaya’s Belly” at the Portland Stage Company. As a member of Phillip Hamilton’s “Voices”, Shamou performed at the Edinburg Fringe Festival, in Scotland. As a member of the International Mystical All-Star Band, Shamou performed in the world premiere concert version of Robert Een’s opera “The Escape Artist” at Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT), as part of The World Festival of Sacred Music series. He was a guest performer with the Musica de Filia choir for a Seeds of Peace benefit in Portland, ME. He was invited to create and to present the musical component of a cultural exploration of Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (Persian Book of Kings), as part of the Arts Alliance of New Hampshire. Shamou represented New England in a cultural exchange program with Veracruz, Mexico co-sponsored by the New England Foundation for the Arts and the government of Mexico.
Shamou is a member of the Maine Arts Commission’s Artist Access Program and the New England States Touring Roster of the New England Foundation for the Arts. Shamou has contributed music to several CD compilations and has released his own solo CDs entitled Spirits Dance, Traces, Nebulae, and Shodjah with his former band by the same name, and Live at CCE with his current ensemble Loopin’.