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Şivan Perwer


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Şivan Perwer, born on December 23, 1955 in Sarıdam (Sorî), Siverek is a poet, a singer a performer on the tembûr (lute) and a leading artist.

He captivates audiences not only by his charismatic and controversial personality, but above all his powerful, highly emotional voice and the hypnotic rhythm of his music. For many years, his songs – even those about love – were banned in Iraq, Iran and Turkey because they were sung in Kurdish. Cassettes of his music were passed along from hand to hand, despite the risk of imprisonment or even death. Even today only his traditional love songs are permitted in Turkey.

Şivan became famous during the period of Kurdish s against Iraqi rule at Ankara University in 1972. His homemade recordings were smuggled over the border, while thousands of people came to see him perform live, having found in his music an essential expression of the Kurdish mentality. Fearing for his life and the welfare of his family, he left Turkey for Germany in 1976, and recorded his first album of songs.

Today he lives in , though much of his time is spent travelling and performing across the world. In 1992 he appeared at the Live Aid concert organized by Bob Geldof and Geoffrey Archer. Proceeds from this concert went to the aid of s fleeing the Gulf War.

Şivan’s music has many unique qualities that has given him such a high esteem. Beside his great voice and performance on the , his brilliant instrumental arrangements, his highly expressive melodies and his innovative style have opened new horizons for Kurdish music and given it an international reach.


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