About This Event
Doors Open:6:00 PM
Show Time:6:00 PM
NYC’s Persian Arts Festival, Inc. (PAF), an organization devoted to providing a platform for Persian artists and visionaries, joins forces with Le Poisson Rouge and other Persian cultural organizations to present a New Year extravaganza featuring Persian fusion from three of the city’s top-tiered bands.
The evening will be full of musical surprise and delight, featuring DJ Payam’s rare Persian grooves, Rana Farhan’s unique blend of classic Persian poetry with contemporary jazz and blues, Vatan’s Persian-meets-country-rock sounds and a blast into the past with Mitra Sumara’s super group of New York City musicians that pay homage to the vibrant pop and funk music of 60s/70s pre-revolution Iran.
This year’s event is sponsored by the American Institute of Iranian Studies (AIIrS), Public Affairs Alliance of Iranian Americans (PAAIA) and Iranian Alliances Across Borders (IAAB).
“Norooz”, literally translated as “New Day” in Farsi, is a holiday celebrated around the Spring Equinox by Persians, Kurds, Turks, Afghans, Tajiks, Parsis, and other ethnic communities. Norooz not only marks the rejuvenation of the earth but it also allows people to gather and share in their unique traditions. New York City is the perfect city for the occasion, and the Persian Arts Festival Annual New Year Celebration is a guaranteed way to usher in the spring season with outstanding Persian traditional and contemporary arts and culture.
This is a general admission, standing event.
This event will be streamed live online through LPR’s streaming channel, beginning at 6pm
“An exciting and unique fusion of classic Persian poetry with contemporary jazz and blues.”
Iranian artist Rana Farhan sings in a cool bluesy style that transcends time and erases all borders, wowing listeners worldwide.
Now with the release of “Moon And Stone” her forth full length CD she continues to expand the boundaries and break new ground, combining jazz and blues with Classic Persian poetry, pushing it through to soul and even a hint of R&B.
With each new release Rana redefines a genre that seems to be hers alone.
“This album feels like a new beginning”, Rana says, “It feels like I’m opening new doors. My music is really nothing more than a reflection of what I listen to and the music that is surrounding me at the time. Although Billie Holiday will never be far from my heart, this year my mp3 player was filled with the likes of Teddie Pendergrass, Al Green and a lot of that old 60’s soul vibe. Not that my compositions are similar, sometimes it’s just a flavor here or a phrase there or I might just be walking through the park and hear a line and I’ll say, ‘That’s cool! I wonder if I can do that in Farsi.’ It doesn’t always work but it is a fun trip”.
Her most personal record to date, Rana was also inspired to write her own lyrics on two of the tracks. A touching ballad called “I Stand By You” and a nod to her home country in the hauntingly beautiful “Iran” a song of loneliness and despair that never gives up hope.
Born in Iran, Rana grew up listening to any albums she could get her hands on, fostering a love for American blues artists like Odetta and Leadbelly; while rockin’ to Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin.
Rana left Iran after graduating from Tehran University and she soon found herself in New York City, exploring her talents in lacquer paintings and soaking in the sounds and music of Manhattan, including the rich cultural district of Harlem where she discovered her love of jazz.
In 2005 she teamed with guitarist/ producer Steven Toub for her first full-length CD “The Blues Are Brewin’”, a collection of American jazz and blues standards. Toub a veteran of New York’s rock and blues scene has recorded at such legendary studio’s as Electric Ladyland and The Power Station as well as performing in opening slots for Squeeze, Robin Trower and Siouxsie and the Banshees.
It was Farhan’s second release “I Return”, a unique fusion of classical Persian poetry with contemporary blues and jazz music that really set the world on fire.
After recording and distributing a track called “Rumi’s Prayer” over the internet, the response from both American and International listeners was overwhelming. With a demand for more, Farhan and Toub, began writing and recording the album working off of both Rumi and Hafez, compiling one of the most sensitive fusions of two distant cultures.
New York audiences, who were already caught up in Rana’s energy, and packing her performances at local clubs, were now joined by sold-out shows at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco, The Toronto Opera House in Toronto, Canada and at the Auditorium Cite De La Musique in Strasbourg, France. Rana has also recently headlined The Tirgan Festival in Toronto in July 2011.
Rana Farhan on Facebook
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.
While Vatan’s band members 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 another country to start a new life while continuing to empower their heritage through music.
Mitra Sumara is a New York City-based big band that pays homage to the vibrant pop and funk music of 60s/70s Iran. The band takes off on the sound of pre-Revolutionary Iran, which mixed the beats of Fela Kuti, salsa, and disco with Middle Eastern melodies and tragic poetry. Mitra Sumara captures all this while injecting a contemporary spirit into the infectious originals. The group plays hits by Iran’s beloved divas Googoosh, Pari Zangeneh, Parva, and intoxicating Bandari beat tunes by Zia Atabi.
Mitra Sumara is the creation of Brooklyn-based half-Iranian lead singer Yvette Perez. Adopted and raised by American parents, Yvette founded this new group after studying Farsi and re-uniting with her Iranian birth father just three years ago. This project is a unique culmination of a family reunion story and cross-cultural music performance.
Mitra Sumara is a distinctive mix of established players from definitive NYC music scenes. Yvette Perez (vocals) led NYC’s avant-pop/jazz no-wave inspired brass quintet Birdbrain. Peter Zummo (trombone) and Bill Ruyle (hammer dulcimer) are former members of the late Arthur Russell’s many bands. Michael Evans (percussion) has collaborated with experimental jazz and rock artists Michael Gira, Alex Hacke, David Grubbs, Carla Bley, among many others. Julian Maile (guitar) is a member of New York’s Loser’s Lounge all-star tribute house band, has been a hired gun for the likes of Vitamin C, Joan Jett and part of the original production of Hedwig and the Angry Itch. Sam Kulik (bass) collaborates with Brooklyn-based avant-rock duo Talibam! and performs with Starring as well as experimental theatre group The Talking Band.