Reza Bahrami is a filmmaker and film producer and critic, and an Iranian art director. He has made several documentaries for TV channels and advertisement videos for leading brands.
Farhad Bahram’s work revolves around the idea of ‘affirmative destruction’ and negating the peripheral relationship between medium and message. In his works, destructed medium appears as a cultural object that is not self-sufficient or merely related to the archeology of its existence but rather to the contingency of its reception within the space.
Bahram unpacks his installations and performances through presenting texts that are impotent of conveying their intended message, destructed photos that are depleted from the iconic value of an image, and bodies that are unable to introduce the real identity of individuals. Within this destructive space lies an important and affirmative sentiment, which is the main objective in Bahram’s work: the possibility of relocating the meaning from within the art object to the contingencies of the reception process.
His work has been exhibited internationally in more than 30 shows and exhibitions, including Gowanus Loft, Yerba Buena Center For the Arts, Mission Cultural Center, Reed College, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Asian Resource Gallery, Umpqua Valley Arts Center, Siuslaw Public Library, Plâtre et Moi Gallery (Paris), Laatikkomo (Finland), Aaran Gallery (Tehran), Fravahr Art Gallery (Tehran), and Sazmanab Center for Contemporary Art (Tehran).
Bahram received an MFA in photography from the University of Oregon in 2015, and he is currently teaching art at the University of Oregon.
Born in Tehran in 1976, Ali Banisadr grew up during the Islamic revolution and the eight-year Iran-Iraq War. In 1988, he and his family left Iran, first for Turkey and then for California. In 2000, he moved to New York City, where he currently lives and works. He received his BFA from the School of Visual Arts in 2005 and his MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2007. Since his first solo exhibition in 2008, Banisadr has exhibited in the United States and abroad.
Banisadr’s works are in important public collections at venues including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), Museum der Moderne (Salzburg), and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
San Francisco-based producer and long time dance music veteran, Behrouz Nazari is difficult to label as he reflects the music he creates and spins. "My sound is impossible to categorize, but if I were to give it my best shot, I would describe it as a myriad of different subgenres of music I have experimented with during my past 20 years of DJing. It’s mainly composed of sexy music incorporating the finer elements of my deep house roots, all the way to techno," Behrouz confesses. This being said, Behrouz has quickly become a highly respected DJ, recognized worldwide for his groundbreaking headlining sets at venues such as Pacha in Ibiza and NY, Space in Ibiza, Warung in Brazil, and Stereo in Montreal. Through his highly-acclaimed productions, CD compilations, and award nominations Behrouz has discovered the recipe to success that has allowed him to become a well-known name in the realm of superstar DJs.
Embarking on world tours and playing long sets eventually led to the creation of the Pure Behrouz concept that has taken Behrouz's signature sound to a new level. The whole meaning or direction of the Pure Behrouz night starts with Behrouz playing from open to close, taking his audience on that famous journey of different genres of music, which only a select few can dare to embark upon. As many can attest to, the Pure Behrouz nights have been compared to listening to four separate DJs playing in a club, all in one night. In this day and age where most DJs can play no more than a standard two hour set on their laptop, with Pure Behrouz, you get a pure journey of music, not on a laptop, but through love, vinyls that are handpicked by Behrouz himself, and upfront music that most likely you may never get the chance to hear from another DJ.
Step into the world of Behrouz!
Terrifying, disturbing, beautiful, bold, bizarre, hilarious, and totally unique. Those are just a few words to help describe the indescribable music/noise that haunts the tracks of Leila Bela's latest improv experiment "Angra Manyu." A project named after the realm of the gods, this album has the touch of a god, or goddess in Leila's case. It is, to say the least, a blend of other worldly experiences all rolled into one shockingly innovative explosion of emotion.
Mazzi is a part of a group called S.O.U.L. (Sense Of Understanding Life’s) Purpose.
The group is from Jersey City, New Jersey. Mazzi says that S.O.U.L. Purpose is "the biggest crew in Hip Hop for the simple fact that if you helped the music to prosper in any way, you are part of the S.O.U.L. Purpose collective."
Mazzi: "Whether you bought my CD/vinyl, came to any of my shows, made me a beat, engineered a session, collaborated with me, did cuts for me, gave me airtime, played my music on the radio, played my music in a club, put my music on a mixtape, interviewed me for a magazine/newsletter, gave me online promo and support, charted my music, put me on a bill to perform, promoted my shows, allowed me to rock venues, danced for me at shows, filmed at shows, took pics, passed out flyers for me, put up a poster for me, sponsored me in any way, lent me money to further my project, gave me words of encouragement, inspired me, fed me, drove me, or supported my music in any other possible aspect, you are a member of S.O.U.L. Purpose! I appreciate it."
Mazzi has done shows opened for/done shows with artists such as Eminem, G-Unit, Black Eyed Peas, Big Pun, RUN DMC, The Lox, Ludacris, Ghostface, D12, Mos Def, M.O.P., Capone, NORE, Xzibit, Common, Slick Rick, Flava Flav, Talib Kweli, Dead Prez, Jin, Keith Murray, Kool G. Rap, Cannibus, Nice & Smooth, The Beatnuts, Drez of Black Sheep, Gang Starr, Black Moon, Gza, Inspecta Deck, Masta Killa, Freddy Foxxx, O.G.C., Immortal Technique, Faith Evans, Jurrasic 5, Nina Skye, Angie Martinez, Erykah Badu, Big Daddy Kane, Rob Bass, Sean Price, Chino XL, Luv Bug Starski, Smiff ‘n Wesson, Dialated Peoples, Mums from Oz(HBO), Suheir Hamad & Lemon from Def Poetry Jam (HBO), Souls of Mischief, High & Mighty, L.A. Symphony, Doug E. Fresh, Soul Sonic Force, Aceyalone, Murs, Jean Grae, Cold Crush Brothers, Show Biz & A.G., The Arsonists, PumpkinHead, The Juuggaknots, C-Rayz Wallz, Last Emperor, Aesop Rock, Jedi Mind Tricks, Non Phixion, Necro, Super Natural, Swiss Chris, Brother Ali, Wordsworth, G.C. & Soul Mafia, Scram Jones, Agallah, Craig G., Meek Mill, 2 Chainz, Asher Roth, Vado, Gun Play, Stalley, Atmosphere, Blackalicious, and Rahzel.
Roya Bahrami: Founder of Roya Multicultural Ensemble, Music Director, Composer, Arranger, Lyricist, Santur, Vocals
2016 recipient of the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities' (DC Arts) Artist Fellowship grant; 2014 recipient of the DC Arts' City Arts Project grant for "Innovation in World Music & Dance"; 2012 recipient of the DC Arts' Individual Artist grant for creating "Cultural Dialogue through Music"; and 2009 recipient of DC Arts' Folk Arts grant for creating and presenting "Understanding Multicultural Identity through Artistic Expression."
Roya Bahrami, a native of Iran who migrated to the U.S. as a teenager, holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from University of Maryland and worked as a telecommunications professional for many years before dedicating herself full-time starting in July of 2004 to what had been a part-time career in music. Roya has studied Persian classical music with such masters as M.R. Lotfi, Hossein Alizadeh, and Dariush Talai. She has also studied Western classical music and Spanish flamenco resulting in a natural blend of these traditions in her compositions. She has completed a certification program at Berklee College of Music with concentration on Music Production, Music Publication, Arrangement, and Orchestration.
Roya has developed and offers lecture-performance programs on topics such as: “Music and Spirituality,” and “Traces of Persian Music in Andalusia”. Her solo and educational performance credits include National Gallery of Art, Library of Congress, Rumi Forum, American University, Maryland University, World Cimbalom Congress: 2009 in Mexico, 2011 in Hungary, 2017 in Slovakia, Hackbrett Festival in Austria (2013). She accompanied the flamenco dancer Carmela Greco on her U. S. tour and has performed on Spain’s national TV as well as at the Museum of Flamenco Dance in Seville. Roya has been interviewed and her music has been featured on Voice Of America and BBC in several broadcasts to millions of Persian speaking viewers and listeners in Iran and all over the world.
In 2007, Roya formed her multicultural ensemble in order to realize her original compositions in which the mysticism of Persian melodies and poetry blend with Spanish flamenco, resulting in an 'innovative fusion with seductive sounds' as dubbed by the Smithsonian Institutes. Since then, the ensemble has grown organically along with the multicultural elements growing naturally into Roya’s compositions to include influences of jazz and tango traditions. Her ensemble includes master musicians in each of these traditions: flamenco guitarist Ricardo Marlow, jazz bass clarinetist Denis Malloy, Argentinean bandoneonist Emmanuel Trifilio, world percussionist Jon Seligman as well as flamenco dancer choreographer Anna Menendez. Roya Ensemble performance credits include: President Obama’s Inaugural celebratory concerts at the Smithsonian Institution, and various performances at GALA Theatre, The Mansion at Strathmore, Gettysburg World Heritage Festival, Shepherd University, Amnesty International’s Human Rights Arts Festival, Washington Folk Festival, University of Memphis, University of Maryland, University of Mary Washington, DC LIVE! Summer Series, Reston Multicultural Festival, DC Green Festival, American University, Towson University.
Shaghayegh Cyrous is a San Francisco-based interdisciplinary and social practice artist and activist. She was born in 1987 in Tehran, Iran and moved to San Francisco in 2012. She has widely exhibited and presented her work in different venues such as the British Museum in London, Tehran Contemporary Museum of Art, Minnesota Street Project, Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, Open Engagement in Chicago, and Kulturcentrum Ronneby Konsthall in Sweden. Cyrous’s works deal with communication and translation caused by worldwide cultural and political circumstances. She uses interactive strategies such as participatory engagement projects, performances, video, installations, and video chats to create poetic spaces and opportunities for connections. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts Social Practice from California College of the Arts.
Born in Tehran, Iran, multidisciplinary artist Bahar Behbahani now lives in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BA and MA in painting in Tehran. Her work has been featured at many events and venues, including the 18th Biennale of Sydney, Australia, the Sharjah Biennial 10, the Prologue Exhibition for the 2016 Honolulu Biennial, the Queens Museum, the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, MACRO, Museum of Contemporary Art in Italy, Mimara Museum, the Tribeca Film Festival, and the Asia Art Biennial, among others.
Bahar works in painting, video, and participatory performance. Her work addresses her long-term conceptual dialogue with memory and loss, representing her chronic displacement and longing.
Mahnaz Badihian is a poet, painter, and translator whose work has been published into several languages worldwide. Her work has appeared in many literary magazine and anthologies. She won an award for a selection of her poetry (XIV Premio Letterario Internazionale Trofeo Penna d’Autore, Tornio) translated into Italian by Cristina Contili and Pirooz Ebrahimi. She also presented a paper on erotic literature by Iranian women in the Diaspora at the American Comparative Literature Association's 2008 annual conference.
Mahnaz was a resident artist in Camac, France in 2011. She was invited In summer 2013 to participate in the World Festival of Poetry, joining poets from around the world in Peru and Bolivia.
She received her MFA in poetry from Pacific University. An anthology of protest poetry by young poets in Iran (translated by Mahnaz and edited by San Francisco's beloved poet Jack Hirschman) called “Saplings Arise” was published in summer 2013 in San Francisco. Mahnaz is an active member of the RPB (Revolutionary Poet Brigade) of San Francisco.
Mahnaz Badihian was a guest speaker at AWP 2014, an annual conference and book fair in Seattle.
In 2015 Celia Hirschman produced a CD of Rumi poems, "Like This," read in Farsi by Mahnaz and in English by Jack Hirschman.
Mahnaz's solo art exhibit will be in San Francisco in the fall of 2017.
Kristina Esfandiari is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer from the Bay Area now residing in New York City. Kristina is the front person of profound four piece doom band known as King Woman. In addition, she has several other projects: a post-punk band called Whatever World, an alternative rock band called Miserable, and a R&B project called Nghtcrwlr. Kristina also owns a label and collective called Nightcrawler Limited.
Ghasem Ebrahimian is an award-winning ﬁlmmaker who came to the U.S. in 1974 to study cinema. He graduated from SUNY Purchase in 1979. His thesis ﬁlm, Willie, earned him a student Academy Award and was shown in festivals around the world and on Public Television’s Independent Focus. Ghasem formed EbraFilms with Coleen Higgins in 1980, and the company has produced over forty documentaries for Italian and French television, among other commercial productions.
His feature ﬁlm The Suitors, which he wrote and directed, was an ofﬁcial selection for Cannes Film Festival in 1988 and was nominated for Camera d’OR.
In 1997, Ghasem began his collaboration with Shirin Neshat on a number of ﬁlmed video Installations as director of photography and co-writer. In addition to this collaboration, Ghasem has worked on a number of documentaries. He has been a visiting faculty member at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, teaching a course on directing.
Payam Doostzadeh is an American-born musician living in Los Angeles. He is the bassist and keyboardist for the alternative rock band Young The Giant. The members of the band are all sons of immigrants or immigrants themselves, having met during high school in Irvine, CA. His parents were able to leave Iran right before the revolution in order to attend university in the US. Having a strong foundation in piano as a child, Payam continued his musical pursuits with violin and eventually landed on string bass and bass guitar.
After getting accepted to UCSD for bioengineering in 2008, he and the rest of his band took a leave of absence from college in order to pursue the band full time in hopes of landing a record deal. One year later, they signed to a major record label and have released three full length studio albums to date. Their newest album, Home of the Strange, touches on the immigrants story in the bizarre modern version of the American Dream.
Hailing from a maternal family with strong roots in music, Shady Eshghi was predisposed to pursuing the arts. Graduating from Alzahra University of Tehran in 1994, she relocated to Miami in 2006, receiving her Master of Fine Arts degree in Visual Arts in 2009. Upon graduation she was selected for the Art Center/South Florida artist residency, and while holding her tenure as a resident artist, she was honored with the prestigious "Extraordinary Ability in the Arts" in 2010.
For over 30 years guitarist, writer, engineer, mixer, producer, and programmer Amir Derakh has been known as one of the leading musical pioneers of the Los Angeles area. He was awarded the prestigious “Most Promising Guitarist” award by Gibson Guitars as a founding member, writer, and producer of the platinum selling band Orgy.
Amir is a fully qualified producer and engineer having earned his degree in Recording Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA).
He is also responsible for the gold and platinum successes of many known artists such as the Eels (with whom he received an engineering Grammy nomination), Danzig, Coal Chamber, and most recently the eclectic Russian band Mumiy Troll.
To add to his many credits, Amir has also scored and created original music for many major motion pictures, video games, and television shows including Transformers, Underworld, Freaky Friday, Matt’s Chance, Beta Test, MTV, and the HBO series True Blood. He was also the guitar coach for Disney’s smash hit Freaky Friday, teaching Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curtis how to play guitar for their roles.
Amir’s recent personal projects as an artist include the indie-tronic band Julien-K (who’s last Indigogo campaign charted in the top 50 biggest music campaigns), Dead By Sunrise (featuring Chester Bennington of Linkin Park on vocals), and a reunited Rough Cutt.
Amir also runs a very successful electronic music label, Circuit Freq Records.