حاج قربان سلیمانی Haj Ghorban Soleimani (1920 -- January 20, 2008) was a celebrated Turcoman dotar player and vocalist from Iran. Dotar or Dutar is a form of Central Asian lute. He was also the pioneer of a new model of the ancient stringed Azeri instrument the gopuz. Biography: Soleimani was born in 1920 to Kizilbash Turkic parents in Aliabad village in the northern part of Khorasan province in northeastern Iran. His father, Karbalaii Ramezan, an accomplished musician taught him the dotar from a young age. Following his father's death he continued learning the dotar and sought singing lessons from singers such as Avaz Bakhshi, Gholamhossein Bakhshi Jafarabadi and Mohammad Qeitani. By his early twenties he had mastered the traditional Iranian instrument, the dotar, and at the age of 21 he received the coveted 'Bakhshi' title, given to people of musical excellence in Khorasan province. Soleimani once spoke about the award; "In the Khorasan region 'Bakhshi' is the title given to a musician who is perfect. He must be able to compose, sing, play, make musical instruments and even know stories and narrate tales. One can hardly find any such artists these days." Soleimani sang in the three languages spoken in Khorasan province, namely Persian, Turkic and Kurdish.
Throughout his career he participated in many international concerts and venues, but was more popular in France more than anywhere else where he believed his music was more appreciated. Soleimani often spoke out about his perceived distinct lack of following in his native country which disappointed him, once saying "Non-Iranian nations especially the French know me better than my fellow countrymen since they have a passion for art and music." He also performed notably at the Festival of Iranian Arts in Düsseldorf, Germany.
In 1990, Ghorban Soleimani was accoladed 'Best and Most Authentic Musician Award by the Festival of Revolutionary Songs and Music. In 1991, he received the honorary title "Real National Treasure" at a music festival held in Avignon, France.