Shahrzad Sepanlou and Fared Shafinury, a pair of immensely talented artists with musical roots in Iran, perform at the Freight with an ensemble of notable musicians including Safa Shokrai on bass and Jason Ditzian on clarinet.
Shahrzad, a world class singer and story-teller, was named after Scheherazade, the legendary story-teller from One Thousand and One Nights. Born in Tehran and based in California, Shahrzad began her professional singing career in the late 1990s as a founding member of Silhouette, the first all-female Persian band. Since then, she’s released four solo albums, including her latest, Yek Rooz, which translates as One Day, a collaboration with producer and jazz musician Farzin Farhadi. Shahrzad’s music is influenced by jazz, classical music, and pop, and has traces of traditional music from Azerbaijan and Armenia as well as Iran. Her sensual vocals are mostly in Persian, often over a dance beat, layered with richly textured instrumentals.
Fared grew up in Corpus Christi, Texas, graduated from the University of Texas, and moved to Iran for two years to perform classical Persian music and study with Iranian masters including Mohammad-Reza Lotfi. He is a critically acclaimed composer, singer, poet, and multi-instrumentalist specializing in the setar, a Persian instrument similar to the lute, typically with four strings and movable frets. His music brings together old and new, classical and modern, the villages of Iran and the sleepy beach towns along the Gulf of Mexico. His debut album, Behind the Seas, recorded with his band Tehranosaurus, brings an indie rock sensibility to the Persian classical vocal repertoire known as radiff.
For an inspiring mix of East and West, catch Shahrzad and Fared tonight at the Freight, presented by the Baran Cultural Group.