Aria Artists

We proudly present our featured artists:

Nejad, Thom Duell, Frederick Clarke, Jeff Mayer,
Pamela Arthur, Saeed Shahram


Nejad, Multi-instrumentalist

Nejad

Mohammed Saeed Abadi Nejad (known to Western audiences simply as "Nejad") is a renowned Persian master musician, who effectively uses Persian musical instruments to add the influence of Persian music to such Western musical styles as classical, jazz, blues, new age, and flamenco. He also performs traditional Persian classical music. Nejad was born to a musical family, in Tehran, Iran. At the age of 5 he began learning Persian drum, followed by ney (Persian flute) lessons from his father. In Tehran he attended a special high school for musicians, later graduating from the Fine Arts Academy in 1976, and in 1990 received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musicianship and Performance from Tehran University. Over the years he has studied with almost a dozen masters of various instruments in their native countries: he went to Turkey to learn kanoun and oud, to Bombay, India to learn Indian flute, and to the United Arab Emirates and Syria to study Arabic ney. Besides studying music, Nejad has also taught music for fourteen years. In the early 1990's he recorded for the Iranian motion picture industry. Nejad first came to visit the U.S. in 1995, at the invitation of Mr. Akbar Mohseny, a famous Iranian composer.

Deciding to stay, he now resides here in the Bay area. Nejad plays many instruments, including ney, oud, daf, zarb, Persian tar, setar, kanoun, and santur, as well as violin and Western flute. He has performed throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States, including most campuses of the University of California, the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. Most recently, he has performed at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco, and with Ballet Afsaneh at the annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. In the Bay area he has started several unusual Persian classical orchestras: an all-women's orchestra, an all-children's orchestra, as well as the first orchestra for (only) American adult musicians, to play Persian classical music. He is also the music leader for Anthony Shay's Avaz Persian orchestra, based in Los Angeles.

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Thom Duell, Multi-instrumentalist
Thom Duell
Originally from upstate New York, Thom played in various bands in the 60âs and 70âs with Chet Cetello (Spyro Gyra), Danny Labatte (Three Dog Night, Liza Minelli, Young Rascals), John Conte (Jose Feliciano), and other well-known artists.
When Thom moved to California in 1978, three major labels (Crysalis, Columbia, and Island Records) became interested in his original material as well as his singing. He was invited to Los Angeles to be the lead vocalist on an album with Chris Caswell (Paul Willaimsâ musical arranger/conductor). While in LA, Gary Usher (producer of "The Beach Boys", "The Byrds", "Jan & Dean", "Surfinâ Safaris", "Gary Puckett & The Union Gap") asked Thom to sing on his current album project.
In 1991 and 1992 , Thom played on the stage of the "Grand Ole Opry" with country legends Loretta Lynn, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson, Lee Greenwood, Minnie Pearl, Roger Miller, Tanya Tucker, and Steve Wairner.
Thom is both a talented multi-instrumentalist, and an extraordinary vocalist and songwriter. He has over thirty years of studio experience as a producer, engineer, arranger, and composer for a very long list of album projects.
Currently Thom is working in Campbell, California at Soundtek Studios, which is owned and operated by Bay Area notable Robert Berry, formerly of "Hush", "Three" (Keith Emerson & Carl Palmer), and Sammy Hagar. Thom is a member of "The Garage Band", a successful Bay Area party band. He also continues to work on his own musical projects.
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Frederick Clarke, Acoustic Guitar
Frederick Clarke

Bay Area virtuoso guitarist and composer Frederick Clarke began his formal training at age eleven in San Francisco. He went on to study classical guitar with Rani Cochran, herself a student of Andres Segovia, and musical composition under Roger Nixon. Frederick augmented this instruction with private lessons with Rey De La Torre (a contemporary of Segovia), and master classes with the Spaniard Narcisso Yepes, and Brazilâs Leo Brower. Over the years, Frederick has delighted audiences throughout the world with solo performances in Ireland, the British Virgin Islands, New York, Washington, D.C., Texas, Colorado, and California. His San Francisco appearances have included the Plush Room, Grace Cathedral, and the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. From 1975 to 1984 he teamed up with the well known classical guitarist Stevan Pasero in the group "Pasero and Clarke", performing together throughout the greater Bay Area.

Frederick has been invited to present private concerts for such notables as George Bush, Ronald Reagan, David Packard, David Rockefeller, Herman Wouk, Henry Kissinger, Ratan Tata, Merv Griffin, Burt Bacharach, and Mary McFadden.
His compositional endeavors include a mass for choir and orchestra, several string quartets, and pieces for guitar and various instruments. His work is currently being distributed throughout China, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong, and the Philippines on Wings Records.
Frederick proudly performs on the guitar built in 1975 by his late beloved father, Fred Clarke, Sr.
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Jeff Mayer, Guitar
Jeff Mayer

Jeff Mayer has played guitar for more than thirty years, twenty-six as a professional musician. He began lessons when he was eleven, but a year and a half later they ended and he began his own self-instruction. Studying music books, listening to the radio and playing along, rehearsing with other musicians, Jeff gradually developed and honed his musicianship and guitar playing. In high school Jeff became interested in Rx and jazz, which he combined with the Pop and Rock influences, already a part of his playing. Out of this came a versatile style of playing that complements a variety of musical styles, including Rock, Jazz, Rx, Funk, Country, Contemporary Folk, New Age, Big Band, and Spiritual.
Over the years Jeff has shared the stage and studio with such notables as: Bo Diddley, Lady Bo, Tony Bennett, Chris Caswell (Paul Williams), Bruce Conte (Tower of Power), Lydia Pense (Cold Blood), Danny Hull (Journey, Doobie Bros.), The Drifters, The Platters, Jorge Bermudez (Santana), Alan White (Yes), Carmine Appice (Rod Stewart, Vanilla Fudge), and Ginger Baker (Cream).

He has also performed and recorded with Bay Area artists Marguerite Conti, Jesse Charles, Steve Sargenti, Fred McCarty, Larry Tagg, Brent Bourgeois, Invisible Borders, and opened shows for Waylon Jennings, Highway 101, Pablo Cruise, Chubby Checker, and Sha Na Na.
Jeff currently has recording and writing credits on six albums. He is very active in the Bay Area, both as a guitar instructor and performer. He plays and sings in The Garage Band (one of the Bay Areaâs most popular dance bands), and makes club appearances with a variety of local bands. He continues to push his musical boundaries, delving deeper into Jazz, solo guitar, composition, arranging, and recording. He looks forward to the next thirty years of music and guitar and all the surprises that a musical life brings·. .

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Pamela C. Arthur, Pianist
Pamela Arthur

Pamela C. Arthur began her musical career at a very young age. At age 3 growing up in a small town in Connecticut, Pamela's best friend was Tara Mehegan, the daughter of the famous Jazz Theorist John Mehegan. Tara and Pamela were inseparable and often hung out by Taraâs fatherâs studio, listening to Jazz greats such as, Dave Brubeck, Bill Evans, and Hubie Blake. This is where her musical education began. Her family later moved to Dallas, Texas, where at the age of 15, she studied musical composition with the notable composer Robert Xavier Rodriguez. She continued her musical studies, which included classical and jazz piano, musical composition, and jazz arranging.
Pamela later ventured off to California to study Electronic Music/Composition at San Jose State University. It was here where she found her new home. Exploring many different musical genres, as well as composing and performing modern music, she became a specialist in music and computers. In 1987 Pamela was awarded an Artist-in-Residence grant at Lincoln Performing Arts High School to teach Electronic Music.

This one-year grant lasted 10 years(!), being the longest artist-in-residence grant in the State of California. The department grew to become the best state-of-the-art multimedia department in the country, and received many awards. During her ninth year at Lincoln, Pamela had a hectic schedule in performing, recording, and consulting in multimedia. She decided to leave Lincoln and concentrate on her career in music and multimedia. It was then that she started her own multimedia company, Westport Media Resources.

During the last 3 years, Pamela has recorded on 5 CDs. For her most recent CD, Invisible Borders II, she was musical director as well as pianist for the project. The album includes several of her own compositions, and she arranged most of the pieces. Her multimedia career has expanded to producing and creating Digital Versatile Discs (DVDs), and Westport Media Resources presently has 5 DVDs out in the market. Currently you can catch Pamela performing with LadyBo and the BC Horns, Vernon Davis of Groovetherapy, and as solo Jazz Piano at many local Bay area venues. For 1999 Pamela is looking forward to releasing her next CD entitled "Pamela's Secrets, Music to Make Love By", and will be creating one of the first audio DVDs of Invisible Borders II..

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Saeed Shahram


Saeed Shahram is a noted composer with over 17 feature length movie sound tracks to his credit since 1983. His accomplishments include awards for "Two Sides Of A Coin", and "Abadanies", the latter winning a prize for Best Film at the 1994 International Film Festival in Locarno, Switzerland.
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