Maharajah Flamenco Trio delivers a moving and dynamic expression of Flamenco Nuevo (New or "modern" Flamenco), by blending traditional Spanish rhythms with jazz, classical, and world music.
Founded in 2011, Maharajah Flamenco Trio is the brainchild of Silviu Ciulei. After successfully leading flamenco bands in Romania and Tennessee, Silviu was looking to put something together in his new home, Tallahassee, Florida. He wanted this group to be smaller than previous endeavors, more intimate, with players virtuosic enough to fully accompany and realize his compositions. He met David Cobb by chance. Both were hired through a mutual friend to play a city festival and both were intrigued by each other's playing style. Once Silviu met Ramin, he realized he had found the perfect players, and brought them together to create Maharajah Flamenco Trio. Not long after, they began to tour, playing theatres, universities, and venues along the east coast, from the Dixie Theatre in Apalachicola, FL to The Shrine in Harlem, NY. They have appeared on television, as well as NPR, college, and internet radio, and in print around the southeast. They have been the featured artist two years running at the Southern Guitar Festival and were recently featured in Florida State University's annual Rainbow Concert, a showcase of the great world music scene in Tallahassee.
In 2013, they released their first studio album, Encuentro, a musical encounter that transports the listener around the world. Rich and finely-nuanced, the album captures the diverse musical backgrounds and technical virtuosity of the trio to create a singular listening experience of unique and daring music. Visit the music page for more information on Encuentro.
Silviu Ciulei, DM
Having begun his musical training at an early age, Romanian born guitarist Silviu Ciulei was soon winning prizes in national and international competitions, first in Europe and more recently in the United States. His interest in Flamenco was first awakened while on a family holiday in Spain. It was not long before he moved to Cadiz, Andalusia the heartland of flamenco. There he began several years of intense study, which he brought with him to Tequila, a group that gained national attention in his native Romania. He recently graduated with his Ph.D in classical guitar performance under the tutelage of Bruce Holzman, Director of the Guitar Program at Florida State University's College of Music, one of the leading figures of guitar teaching in the US. Silviu is currently Professor of Guitar at Furman University and Wake Forest University. Visit silviuciulei.com for more biographical information on Silviu.
David Cobb, MM
Bassist David Cobb began his musical journey in the middle school brass section but was soon lured by the sound of strings and began teaching himself guitar and electric bass, expanding his classical background into the American styles centered around these instruments: blues, rock, jazz, and soul. A xenophile from an early age, David has always sought out sounds from around the world and his compositions and playing embody that journey. The feel of soul, a wealth of Latin American/Caribbean rhythms and melodic sensibilities from Africa, Western Asia, and Eastern Europe are reflected in his style. David recently earned his Master's degree in musicology from Florida State University, with an emphasis in ethnomusicology. His master's thesis dealt with experiences of musical ecstasy, particularly the moments of duende in flamenco performance. He is currently an Adjunct Professor of Humanities at Tallahassee Community College.
Ramin Yazdanpanah, PhD
Rounding out the rhythm section, percussionist Ramin Yazdanpanah’s sounds echo the Outback, the Silk Road, the Caribbean and his native Florida home. Ramin expresses the soulful and passionate rhythms of his Cuban-Iranian heritage on cajon, dumbek, and a variety of percussion from around the globe. His skill on the Australian didjeridoo (Yidaki) has redefined the possibilities of Flamenco. He has performed and recorded with numerous artists in numerous musical forms, ranging from classical, jazz and folk, to funk, Latin, and hip-hop; from the east coast to the west coast and beyond. Ramin recently received his Ph.D in Intercultural Multilingual Education from Florida State University.