Ali Nourbakhsh


Ali Nourbakhsh was born in 1981 in Iran. He grew up in a family that was very much in love with Iranian traditional music and inspired Ali to become a musician. He started to play Daf and Tonbak at an early age and also tried Setar, but soon realised he was passionate about rhythm and decided to specialise in playing Daf.

In Iran, Ali dedicated most of his time to learning and teaching Daf and performing live with Sufi musicians, having the chance to perform with renowned Iranian musicians such as Hassan Nahid.

In 2001, Ali moved to London, England, to continue his higher education in computer science and he has been living and working there since.

Ali has been involved with many projects performing, recording and touring around the world with well known Persian musicians such as Davod Azad and the legendary Iranian singer, Sima Bina.

He has co-founded a number of bands in different musical genres such as  Radif Ensemble, Simogh, Magham Ensemble and NoName Trio, with whom he has recorded and performed in many festivals and venues internationally. He has also been performing with Lian Ensemble since 2011.

As a session percussionist Ali has been involved with numerous projects such as the music for hollywood movie “Prince of Persia” and a series of workshops and performances with BBC Symphony Orchestra.

While experimenting with fusion music, Ali became very interested in Jazz due to it’s similarities to Iranian Sufi music through improvisation. Since then he has recorded an album, “Nothingness,” with NoName Trio, with whom he has performed at both the London and Stockholm Jazz Festivals.

Ali’s love for percussive instruments has taken him on a journey  to learn other percussion such as the South American Cajon and the African Udu. He is currently learning the Drum kit under the supervision of John Caldas. At the moment Ali is playing with translating rhythmic patterns and grooves from the Daf and Tonbak to the Drum kit and vice versa, and also experimenting with ways of simultaneously using Daf and elements of the Drum kit in improvisation.

For daf lessons, workshops and session jobs, please do not hesitate to contact Ali via:

- Email:

- Tel: 07786417848

In your light I learn how to love.

In your beauty, how to make poems.

You dance inside my chest,

where no one sees you,

but sometimes I do,

and that sight becomes this art.

- Rumi

“He commanded a wide and varied array of pitch and resonance and produced a phenomenal cacophony of sounds from just a single drum.”

- The Herald Scotland