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Band Short Bios

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. 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. 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 with his world ensemble, Loopin’ at festivals and venues across Maine. Shamou has contributed music to several CD compilations and has released his own solo CDs entitled Spirits Dance, Traces, and Shodjah with his former band by the same name, and Live at CCE with his current ensemble Loopin’. Shamou's complete bio

Annegret grew up in Germany and received her classical music training in violin, voice and piano from the University of Music in Stuttgart. She has studied with master drummers from Guinea, Ghana, Cuba and Brazil. She has done several residencies with her primary teacher, Famoudou Konate, in Conakry, Guinea. Beyond her appearances with Loopin' she performs solo and with the bands: Inanna, Sisters in Rhythm and The Zulu Leprechauns. In her solo performance, featuring songs from her CD “Solo Motion”, Annegret presents West African rhythms and songs played on a wide variety of instruments including the djembe, conga, kpanlogo, African bass drums, berimbao, kalimba, and balaphone. Annegret's complete bio        
Gary Wittner has been performing throughout the United States and Europe for over 2 decades. He has worked with numerous jazz greats (including Christian McBride, Clark Terry and Eddie Gomez), and has also performed Blues, Reggae and Latin music in numerous settings. An acknowledged authority on the music and life of Thelonious Monk, Gary has presented all-Monk concerts for over 2 decades at colleges, clubs and festivals throughout North America and Europe. Gary has recorded 2 CDs with tuba legend Howard Johnson (Roadway, Now We're Here) and has twice been selected as a Kennedy Center/U.S. Dept. of State Jazz Ambassador (Serbia/Montenegro '01, Papua New Guinea/Fiji '03).  Currently the jazz guitar instructor at the University of Southern Maine School of Music, Gary’s first book, ”Thelonious Monk For Guitar”, was published in 1999 by Hal Leonard. Gary's complete bio          
  Barbara Truex has been a performing musician since the 1960's, She is active in a wide range of musical genres and contexts. Barbara Truex has taught guitar, dulcimer, music theory and improvisation for over 25 years. She teaches through private instruction, workshops, and school residencies. She was the founding director of the Northeast Dulcimer Symposium from 1982-1999. As a theatrical sound designer, Truex has worked with many southern Maine theaters and dance companies including Mad Horse Theatre Company, The Theater Project, Portland Stage Company, Acorn Productions, Veronica Sacred Arts, and Ram Island Dance. Barbara's complete bio      
andy chipman Andy Chipman has been a public school music teacher for fifteen years. He currently teaches music in the Portland Public Schools in Portland, Maine. In addition to playing bass and percussion in Loopin, he plays bass in a jazz duo with his pianist brother, Jeff, and also performs with local singer-songwriter Nat Hussey. Andy majored in music at St. Mary's College of Maryland where he started off as a clarinet major, and also studied classical piano. Andy found a "home" in the groovin' low end with bass guitar about 20 years ago. He majored in music education at the University of Southern Maine. He resides in Harpswell, Maine.