About Atash

Voted BEST WORLD MUSIC BAND in Austin for the 6 years straight – Atash combines master musicians from around the globe to create a powerful, worldly original sound that inspires people of all ages and from all walks of life to dance and commune in a celebration of life!  Beyond Austin, Atash has spread its message of love and peace on the east and west coasts, in Taiwan, China, Spain and México, gaining legions of fans and sharing stages with such notable acts as Youssou N’DourMaceo ParkerAngelique KidjoOjos de Brujo, The Counting CrowsDiego El CigalaOmar SouleymanFatoumata DiawaraRicardo LemvoDelhi 2 DublinRed BaraatDengue Fever, and fellow Austinites The Octopus Project.  They are truly the Austin ambassadors of world music. When the music hits you, you feel no pain.

Click here to read the history of Atash…

Get to Know Atash 

Interview with Jeannie Hopper from WBAI radio in New York

The Musicians of Atash

Mohammad Firoozi. Photo by Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon.

Mohammad Firoozi

Singer-songwriter, poet; vocals, percussion

Mohammad Firoozi was born in Borazjan, Iran.  His first musical experience was singing azaan (Call to Prayer) at age 7 in the local mosque.  Living close to Persian Gulf he was exposed to bandari music, a dance music absorbing elements of Arab, African and Persian folk … Read More > > >

Jason McKenzie. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.

Jason McKenzie

Drumset, Tabla, Doumbek, Riq, Percussion

Jason McKenzie grew up in Tallahassee, FL where he took drum set lessons from Butch Trucks from the Allman Brothers Band. After high school he studied symphonic percussion at Florida State and then transferred to the University of North Texas to focus on jazz. After … Read More > > >

Roberto Paolo Riggio

Musical Director; violin, viola, ‘oud

Atash’s musical director Roberto Paolo Riggio crosses many boundaries as a violinist and composer, immersing himself in musical languages of the world while developing his own unique voice.  Mentors and influences include Simon Shaheen, Pandit Ram Narayan, Dr. L. Subramaniam, Francois Rabbath, Ustad Ali Akbar … Read More > > >

Dylan Jones. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.

Dylan Jones

Upright and electric bass

Bassist Dylan Jones began his professional music career at the age of sixteen and has since spanned the globe for over 20 years as a performer and instructor of just about every genre imaginable.  A student of iconic music pedagogues Dwayne Heggar, Chuck Rainey, Francois Rabbath, … Read More > > >

John Moon. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.

John Moon

Executive Director; violin

John Moon began the study of the violin and piano when he was six years old and continued advanced study with Vincent Frittelli, of the Galamian tradition. He holds his Master’s Degree in classical violin performance from the University of Texas at Austin. Since leaving the University, … Read More > > >

Indrajit Banerjee. Photo by Amitava Sarkar.

Indrajit Banerjee

Featured Collaborator; Sitar

Sitarist Indrajit Banerjee is one of the leading exponents of the Maihar Gharana, founded by the great Baba Allauddin Khan, father of Ustad Ali Akbar Khan and guru to Pandit Ravi Shankar as well. He was born in a musical family, unique due to the large number … Read More > > >

Aboubacar Sylla

Djembe, Balafon

Abou Sylla is an international performer from a long line of griots (traditional musicians) in Guinea, West Africa. He was a member of Les Ballets Africains, the prestigious national dance company of Guinea, for six years during which he played not one, but five instruments – balafon, djembe, … Read More > > >

José Manuel Tejeda. Photo by Alejandro Moreno-Alanis.

José Manuel Tejeda

Spanish and flamenco guitar

José Manuel Tejeda graduated from The University of Arts (ISA) in his native Cuba in 2007 with emphasis on classical guitar, guitar instruction and professional solo guitar performer.  After thirteen years of classical guitar training, he began to focus on flamenco and took master classes with … Read More > > >