Homay & Mastan Bring “ Soldiers” of Iran to San Francisco

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Last night, a very popular and accomplished  traditional Persian music ensemble based in Iran performed at a seemingly sold-out  concert at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco .   The group, Homay and The Mastan Ensemble is on their 3rd annual North American Tour called Sarbazan or The Soldiers.  In previous years, among other places, they’ve had sold-out performances at Lincoln Center, NY, Walt Disney Concert Hall, LA, Strathmore  in Washington, D.C. and Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto.

Homay & Mastan

Following the Persian tradition of “chameh soraei”, the group’s founder, Saeed Jafarzadeh known as Parvaz Homay writes his own lyrics, composes, and sings.  His lyrics promote non-violence and engage the audience in an inquiry into  principles of consciousness, freedom,  compassion, unity, and transformation.   The group’s exhilarating performances  engage the audience to live with intent into these principles that they view as true spirituality.

Since early 2009, Homay has been banned by the Iranian authorities to perform publicly in Iran.   In his songs, Homay with his poignant lyrics courageously and passionately cries against the oppression of our people and human rights violations in our homeland, all the while amplifying words of optimism.  “… My message is that we  should not bemoan hardships, instead keep steadfast and remain in love in face of adversity and injustice….”  said Homay in an interview with VOA last year (below, in Persian).

The Ensemble, composed of a group of nine talented young musicians, was  formed in 2005.    Since then they  have something fresh to say every time they go on stage;  last night was no exception.   Sarbazan or “The Soldier” the main story of Part I is a mesmerizing epic composition with a perspective into the Iranian history which introduced the audience to  those brave souls, the Soldiers, who have defied “the tyrant” for the love of the country, people, human rights and freedom.   Part II had a more global intent; the message was to respect the mother earth and preserve the wild life.  This part included pieces with lyrics in English and Spanish mixed with Persian, along with music composed of a fusion of traditional and ethnic Iranian music.  They performed songs from the Kurdistan and Gilan  regions.   Homay performed a very original version of Besame Mucho singing in both Spanish and Persian lyrics and connecting more deeply to the Iranian audience with mixing subtle melodies from an old Persian song, “Mara Beboos” or “Kiss Me”.    Coming back for an encore,  they brought the audience into an euphoric uproar as they began playing one of their most riveting  pieces called “Sarzamin-e Bee Karan”  or “Boundless Land”, referring to Iran and its vastness, beauty and splendor;  meanwhile the lights slowly turned distinctively green.  Here is a symphonic arrangement  of the same song played last year at  the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

The group received several rapturous standing ovation throughout the night.   Homay & the Mastan Ensemble will  continue their North American tour to cities including San Diego, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, New York, Toronto and Montreal.

Homay has already started working on his next project, an opera called  “Esgh, Ensaan, Aghl” ( Love, Human Being,  Wisdom)  in collaboration  with renowned international artists to raise awareness about protection of wildlife, and the earth.  We’ll be waiting….

Yassi Moghaddam
Yassi Moghaddam was born and raised in Iran until the age of sixteen, and while she has lived in the US for most of her life she remains very connected to the culture, politics, and arts in Iran.

Yassi Moghaddam is the Managing Director of Stradanet, a Silicon Valley-based firm that provides strategy and business development consulting and related interim management services to companies in Mobile Computing, Telecommunication and IT globally. Since 2003, Yassi has also been the President/Founder of Bay Executive Partners, a consultancy firm providing corporate and leadership development to high tech companies such as Cisco, Wells Fargo, Corning, Applied Materials and a number of successful startups, and Venture Capital Firms.

Yassi is a member of the Advisory Board of Santa Clara University MBA Global Women Leadership Network, a member of GLG Council of Experts, and an International Coaching Federation certified business coach.
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0 Responses to Homay & Mastan Bring “ Soldiers” of Iran to San Francisco

  1. Iran Doost September 7, 2010 at 7:34 am #

    This group has nothing in common with the group before going to Iran.
    In short, they have sold out to the Iranian government.

    The only thing in common between this group and the previous(of Meeting With Doozakhian time) is the name.

    I went and saw this concert in Dallas, because I had seen their previous concert in Dallas also. This new concert is a waste, money and frustratingly boring.

    They, Mastan and Iranian government, have co-opted to corrupt one the best and different groups to appear on the Iranian music seen.

    If you go to see this concert, do not expect anything remotely close to the old group’s performances.

    To me no one, who respects Iran, Irani and freedom, should pay these these people anymore.

    Iran Doost

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