Grand Performances has a long history of presenting artists reflective of the broad range of styles and genres found all over the world including countries like Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia.
In honor of the Iranian New Year, Nowruz, we are highlighting some of our favorite bands – not bans – from Iran we are proud to have presented. Numerous outstanding Iranian and Iranian- American artists have shared traditional and contemporary works on our stages over the years.
The first is sonic master group Strunz & Farah. This duo, with their melodic fusion of Latin American and Middle Eastern acoustic guitar styles, made their first appearance on GP’s stage in 1990 and then again in 2012. Strunz & Farah use their diverse backgrounds to transcend cultural barriers and deliver rhythmic, blissful music.
In the summer of 2011 we presented Sussan Deyhim, an artist who is deeply committed to serving as a voice for oppressed women in Iran. In her riveting program “The Romance Language,” she broke new ground by generating a global bridge of sound that combined percussive dance beats with sensual Eastern and Western overtones.
Fast forward to summer 2013, when Fared Shafinury introduced GP audiences to native Persian instruments. Fusing influences from American folk, rock and blues, as well as the poetry of the 13th-century Persian Sunni Muslim poet Rumi, Fared entertained audiences with sounds of ancient instruments such as the kamanche, daf and tombak.
Most recently in Summer 2016, GP presented one of the most influential underground rock bands to emerge since the Iranian Revolution, Kiosk, with special guest Ardeshir Farah. They rewarded their fans, old and new, with an evening of stinging political satire embedded in their folk and bluesy sound.
Grand Performances is delighted that these presentations drew audiences from all corners of Los Angeles, once again demonstrating the collective interest and desire to learn about the varied cultures and communities that make up our city. We believe one of our primary responsibilities is to create these opportunities for cultural connections. And we look forward to sharing many more magical, global moments with you.
Happy Iranian New Year! Nowruz Pirouz! Sale No Mobarak!