An evening of Persian Music with
MAHSA VAHDAT and ATABAK ELYASI
“The Iran born singer Mahsa Vahdat has one of the most beautiful voices in the universe. So intense, so mystic, so passionate, it can express the deepest longing, sorrow and pain that exists.” – LIRA Magazine
Mahsa Vahdat was trained in classical Persian singing and regional folk music by master musicians in Iran. After the Iran’s Islamic Revolution in 1979, public female singing was banned. To this day, female singers can only perform for authorized women-only audiences or alongside a male voice, and can never perform solo in public. She and her husband, internationally renowned composer, instrumentalist and music educator Atabak Elyasi now live in the US.
Mahsa’s repertoire is inspired by regional and traditional music from Iran infused with her unique and resilient artistic sensibility. Her song lyrics are mostly mystical and love poems by great Persian poets like Hafez, Rumi and Saadi, who lived several centuries ago, as well as works of contemporary Iranian poetry speaking about Iranian society.
Recording on the highly regarded Norwegian world music label, Kirkelig Kulturverksted, her recent solo album, The Sun Also Rises has received rave reviews worldwide: “Mahsa Vahdat has masterfully proven how it’s possible for Persian music to continue evolving.” –Neil van der Linden, SONGLINES Magazine
An active campaigner for human rights, Mahsa is an award-winning ambassador of Freemuse, an independent international organization advocating freedom of expression for musicians and composers worldwide. She has attracted considerable attention with her work on the record Lullabies from the Axis of Evil, and her collaboration with soul singer Mighty Sam McClain, A Deeper Tone of Longing (Love Duets Across civilizations).
She was guest soloist with the Women’s choir, Kitka in one of the highlights of our concert season last year.
“…hauntingly graceful, achingly poignant vocals” – World Music Central
This performance is part of our Immigrant Voices series, featuring music from recent immigrants to the US.