Iranian composer and performer Hossein Alizadeh works in both traditional Persian and contemporary Western modes. Currently artist-in-residence at the California Institute of the Arts, Alizadeh is a master of improvisation on the setar. Despite its name, that instrument is more akin to the oud than to the Indian sitar, but playing the setar is much like playing its almost-namesake: Alizadeh performs spiraling improvisations on traditional themes, achieving effects that are simultaneously austere and intoxicating. Alizadeh will be accompanied by Kayhan Kalhor on kamanche and Pejman Haddadi on daf and tombak. At 7:30 p.m. at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall, 37th & O Sts. NW. $20. (703) 444-1111. (MJ)