Persian Arts Festival is proud to announce its 9th annual Nowruz celebration, Night of Melodic Wanderlust, a spring voyage to celebrate Iranian and American fusion, MC’ed by comedienne Susan Peret, featuring Persian-Americana rock from three of the city’s hottest bands. The highly-anticipated event will take place at NYC’s premier global music venue Drom on Friday, March 27 at 7:00pm ET.
Headlining the event will be Vatan a Persian meets Americana, or self-described as, “Iranicana”, group hailed by Aslan Media as one of the top emerging Middle Eastern bands to watch for boldly redefining bi-national American identity in melodic terms.
The evening’s line up will also feature acoustic singer-songwriter flair from opening act Arian Saleh, as well as East-meets-West classical fusions from Persian folk master Navid Kandelousi. Rounded out with Vatan’s signature Perso-country grooves, the three acts create a seamless bridge between Iranian and American fusion, amplifying what it means to empower heritages, pay tribute to family roots and celebrate cultures through musical dialogue.
The venue will also feature a mini Shurka Bazaar, where guests are invited to peruse through arts, crafts, books, jewelry, and more throughout the event.
VATAN, or “homeland” in Persian, is a group of Middle Eastern-American musicians based in Brooklyn, NY. Blending the lines between Persian folk music and country, funk and rock, they revive classic tunes while building new ones.
Vatan vocalist Mona Kayhan
While Vatan’s band members, Mona Kayhan and Piruz Partow were raised and even born in the United States, they draw inspiration from their motherlands/home country. Through their music, Vatan honors their roots while celebrating the coming together of the cultures. The country underlinings honor America and what it has to offer those who come from anothercountry to start a new life while continuing to empower their heritage through music.
Piruz’s Persian tar playing is known to seamlessly transition between brooding, Persian dhastaghs to country pickin’. While Mona’s folky, jazz vocals bring a fresh edge to Persian classic love songs such as “Baroun, Baroun” and “Niloufar”, she returns “home” with originals like “Woke Up” with the tar continues to pull them towards to their Persian roots.
Piruz Partow is a Brooklyn based musician, composer and educator who has dedicated much of his life to learning, writing, teaching, listening and supporting music. Primarily an electric and upright bassist, Piruz also plays a host of other studio instruments with his current interest in the Persian tar. He is a great appreciator of Persian classical music and is inspired by its improvisational nature given his extensive background in jazz.
Mona Kayhan has been a vocalist for as long as she remembers. Accolades include performing in a Broadway tour, multiple recording artist credits to singing with a number of bands in NYC. In an effort to reconnect with her roots, Mona founded the non-profit organization, Persian Arts Festival, which highlights Persian arts and culture through music, visual art, film and more. She continued her pursuit by taking Persian vocal lessons to marry her love of singing and her family’s heritage. She soon met Piruz, who was looking for a vocalist with whom to start a Persian country band. The rest was history.
Vatan has played at various festivals and venues such as BAM Cafe, Le Poisson Rouge, the LIC Bar and the Hudson Terrace.
Navid Kandelousi studied western classical music at the Verdi Conservatory in Milano, Italy and at the Moscow Violin Academy in Russia. Kandelousi has mastered virtuosic skills on a great breadth of instruments including the Violin, Setar, Taar and Kamanchah, in addition to experience with Tombak, Santour and Gheychak.
Navid Kandelousi: facebook page
Throughout his professional career, he has collaborated with numerous prestigious Persian ensembles such as Iranian National Orchestra, and has performed internationally across Europe, Asia and America in venues such as Lincoln center, Julliard music school, Albert Hall, Sydney’s Symphony hall and Vahdat hall. His teaching background include work at the Yamaha School of Music, Suzuki Violin School, and Master Classes in Kamanchah, Taar and Setar at the Julliard School. Navid is currently working with Maestro Danial Philips in Queens college of music.
Though Arian Saleh began playing all over Los Angeles in 2009, music has been a part of Arian Saleh’s life from the beginning. The grandson of Monir Vakili, Iran’s First Lady of Opera, and the son of acclaimed recording artist ZaZa, Saleh’s unique sound is deeply rooted in a troubadour tradition and has a heavy emphasis on lyrics and melody, with nods to gypsy, tango, and electronic music.
Arian Saleh: www.ariansaleh.com
After releasing “The Light”, a song for the Iranian Green Revolution in 2009, he met with the Wizardz of Oz and began work on what would become his fist recording: “The Cobblestone EP”. This defining group of songs went on to gain great audience and critical response, sending him around the country playing shows.
While on tour in New York, Saleh teamed up with virtuoso cellist Dave Eggar and luminary drummer Chuck Palmer and the three began playing and touring extensively as a trio. They, together with DJ/Producer Chuck Wild (Captain Planet) recorded and recently released Saleh’s first full length album, Undone. The music video for the single “Underhill” premiered on The Huffington Post and the album itself has been described “like coming in and out of different worlds of music, guided by an incredible voice” and heralded as “one of the best out-of-left-field releases of 2013”. Continuing the album’s praise, “Open Your Mind Let Me Out” has been nominated for an Independent Music Award.
Also working as a composer, TINTO, a short film he scored, was an official selection in the 2014 Tribeca Film Festival.
Currently residing in Brooklyn, Saleh continues to play all over the country, writing honest, mischievous and romantic music that asks more questions than it answers.
For more, see Drom NYC’s evnet info
Source: Payvand News