Esfandiar Shahmir is a world-class ney and daf player. Born in Tehran, Esfandiar studied daf (traditional Iranian frame drum) with the legendary Bijan Kamkar and ney (traditional Iranian flute) with Shahoo Andalibi, Jamshid Andalibi, and Pasha Hanjani. Esfandiar is renowned for his work with the traditional Persian music ensemble “Homay & Mastan,” led by singer, poet, and composer Parvaz Homay. Since 2004, Esfandiar has recorded five albums with this ensemble and toured around Iran and internationally, performing in Canada, the USA, and Europe.
In 2009 government officials banned the ensemble from performing in Iran. Esfandiar moved to Australia and has been collaborating with Perth bands such as Kate Pass Kohesia Ensemble and East Winds. Esfandiar performs for Musica Viva School Shows and has performed around Australia at festivals including National Folk Festival (Canberra), Denmark Festival of Voice, Kalgoorlie World Music Festival, Fairbridge Festival, and Nannup Music Festival. In 2017, after eight years, “Homay & Mastan” was permitted to perform again in Iran. This allowed Esfandiar to attend to some concerts, also complete a 40-day tour of Iran with the ensemble, performing in “The Opera of Mansour Al-Hallaj,” as well as perform with the UNESCO award-winning Azerbaijani musician, Alim Qasimov.