Some snippets from our Persian cultural and culinary events.
Here is a list of some wonderful (and my favorite) Persian bands and singers and a brief description of their music!
The first song Labkhand by the group based in Iran called Kamakan features Mehdi Saki and Makan Ashgvari. While it’s the lyrics that hint that Spring is around the corner—it is the joyful melody and voices of the singers that reveal the inevitability that Spring is near.
The second song Boro Vasat by Eendo, (which means these two) a U.S. based Persian singing group, blends a jaunty mix of singing, clarinet, accordion and percussion to evoke a get up and dance sound reminiscent of gypsy, Klezmer, Polka, Jazz and just all around “groove.” They sing in Persian; in addition to the great music they also have wonderfully clever graphics on their videos.:-)Their music can be purchased on CD Baby. https://www.cdbaby.com/Search/ZWVuZG8%3d/0
Their web site http://www.eendo.com/
The third song the Live Tomorrow Remix by Behzad Leito and featuring Laleh is sung in Persian and English. It’s an addictive song that compels the listener to want to listen and sing along again and again!
The fourth song is by the Pallett band, a seven person (could be more, not exactly sure about the number) ensemble band based in Iran. Wow, this fantastic band is a great reason to spend time getting to know the contemporary jazz fusion music coming out of Iran! Somehow this band creates songs that make the listener feel unfettered joy, yearning, playfulness and sadness–all in the same song!
The fifth song also highlights what fusing Persian vocals and blues melodies can bring forth! Rana Farhan; a U.S. based singer who combines Jazz and blues with songs “in Farsi, based on poems by Rumi and Hafez!” This particular song, Maste-d Esgh (Drunk with Love), was featured in the movie No One Knows Persian Cats. https://www.cdbaby.com/cd/ranafarhan2
The sixth song is one of the best by the Pallett Band. It starts off in a contemplative mode and then switches…it’s best to listen unaware and then enjoy the surprise:-)
This song, Dar Fekre To Boodam by Hani Niroo on Sound Cloud highlights the artist’s compositions that are , according to the artist’s words “ a mix of modern and contemporary music with a touch of classical music in a minimal form and accompanied by my self-written Persian text.” http://www.haniniroo.com/index.php#
7. Yarom Bia (come my friend) by Kiosk (Ft, Mohsen Namjoo), (in a video developed by Mostafa Heravi.) These singers are yet another reason to learn about the Persian music scene. Many English translations of their songs can be found on their web site listed below or also on their songs on YouTube-these are witty brilliant songwriters.This video features both Moshen Namjoo and the group Kiosk in a surprising weave of Kiosk’s energetic rock beat and Namjoo’s plaintive vocal echos. It doesn’t get any better than this! Kiosk, formed in 2004, was one of the active underground rock groups in Iran. Moshen Namjoo is a Persian singer who seems to innovate and create something new every time he sings—think Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen , Tom Waits and Frank Zappa all rolled into one! (I think they both presently reside outside of Iran.)
Besides listening to their music, another good way to learn about Persian musical culture in contemporary Iran is by reading any of the in-depth interviews with Moshen Namjoo and the founder of Kiosk–Arash Sobhani. They both eloquently articulate what motivates their creativity, as well as the creativity of other Persian musicians who have navigated through the landscape of government censorship, popular respect for musical traditions and the desire to expand the possibilities for musical expression! While these cultural, political and demographic forces of Iranian society (almost 40% of the population is between the ages of 20-40 years old) engender conflict within the society they also create thoughtful musicians who use their awareness of these forces to create some amazing music! http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/kiosk3
8. Eshgh e Aasemaani. The very dynamic and innovative duo mentioned in song #2
This song can be purchased on CD Baby. They also have a wonderful Facebook page that offers a great resource to learn more about contemporary Persian singers, both inside and outside of Iran. https://www.facebook.com/eendomusic