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Workshop: Rhythm in the Early Stages of Persian Poetry

February 6, 2020 - 6:30pm to 8:30pm
Mohsen Namjoo
Yahya Alkhansa
Event Sponsor: 
Hamid and Christina Moghadam Program in Iranian Studies and the Stanford Festival of Iranian Arts
Photo of Mohsen Namjoo and Yahya Alkhansa

Classical Persian poetry evokes the names of august figures like Hafiz, Rumi, and Sa’di. However, the origins of the rhythm and language of this era are more complex. In this workshop, Mohsen Namjoo and Yahya Alkhansa focus on the technical aspects of the language and the concept of rhythm in the formation of early Persian poetry—known as the Khorasani School.

*Workshop is in Persian/Farsi

Mohsen Namjoo was born in 1976 in Khorasan province, one of epicenters of poetry and music north east of Iran. He is a singer, songwriter, music scholar, and setar (traditional Persian lute) player currently based in New York City. Featured in many world-renowned media outlets such as The New York Times, The Guardian, The BBC, The LA Times and many more, Namjoo is considered a visionary artist who speaks for the youth in Iran. Seamlessly blending classical Persian music and scales with electric guitar, rock and blues vocal techniques with Persian Avaz (singing). He fuses the ancient with the current. His unique style of singing and effortless mixture of music from east and west has made him an iconic persona in the contemporary world music.

Since his arrival to the U.S. in 2009, Namjoo has been touring the world to sold out concerts at prestigious halls including Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco; Conservatorio Sala Verdi, Milan, Italy;  Disney Hall and Mark Taper Forum, Los Angeles, Barbican Hall, London, Symphony Space NYC, Volkswagen Arena Istanbul and many more. He is one of the few middle eastern artists who has a following all across the world from Tehran to New York to Melbourne to Istanbul to Berlin and many more cities.

Yahya Alkhansa was born in 1981 in Tehran. He started playing Tombak at the age of nine. He played traditional Persian music for seven years before switching to drum set at the age of 16. He has toured with many Iranian underground rock musicians and joined the "127" band in 2002. He has performed in world festivals with them including Italy's Arezzo wave and SXSW in Austin, Texas. He has been collaborating with Mohsen Namjoo since 2011, including many world tours and studio projects.

Yahya has a Bachelor of Science from Azad University of Tehran in Metallurgy. He moved to the United States to pursue his education in music. He studied advanced drum performance in New York City’s Collective School of Music.

Part of the Stanford Festival of Iranian Arts

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