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Photo: Afra Pourdad

Late Night Persian Jazz with Rana Farhan


A singer in jazz and blues styles, Rana Farhan has been on a constant journey to re-explore and re-interpret Persian poetry in the context of contemporary musical styles. Having played guitar since she was eight, Rana’s further progress in music was cut short in the post-revolutionary Iran when women were banned from performing music and singing. Her defiance of the status quo and passion for music precipitated her 1989 move to New York, where she studied the works of jazz icons Billie Holiday and Dinah Washington. In her Harlem studio, along with guitarist Steven Toub, Rana produces songs that marry the lyrics of the 13th century mystic poet, Rumi, and other classics, along with American elements of blues and jazz. Rana’s virtual popularity in Iran has led Iranian filmmaker Bahman Ghobadi to feature her in his award-winning film, No One Knows About Persian Cats.

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