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Mohsen Namjoo, Iran Modern

Music and conversation from an artist who was forced out of Iran because of a song; not its content but its style. Now living in New York, his remarkable fusion of Iranian folk tradition and Western rock and blues was featured at an Asia Society performance on Sept. 7, 2013 as part of a celebration of contemporary art from Iran.

Mohsen Namjoo is an Iranian songwriter, singer, and setar player, whose unique style blends Persian classical poetry of Hafez, Rumi and Saadi and his own lyrics with Iranian folk music, blues, rock and jazz. A visionary artist who speaks for and touches the souls of today’s youth, Namjoo has toured extensively around the world and was the music director of Shirin Neshat’s performance, OverRuled, premiered at the 2011 Performa festival. His 2012 album, 13/8, was will surprise you with its blending the classical with the modern.

This program is produced on the occasion of an Asia Society series of three concerts, presented in conjunction with Iran Modern, an exhibition of Iranian modern art from the 1950s thru the 70s (the three decades preceding the 1979 Revolution), on view September 6, 2013 - January 5, 2014. New Sounds from Iran will emphasize innovation within tradition, featuring artists who, drawing from recent or long-past legacies, East and West, demonstrate how one can enrich and expand the expressive power of musical forms and find global relevance in the present moment. Details at


Open Territory


Musical innovators share their work in a combination of an interview. Including Max Neuhaus, Miles Davis, Christian Marclay, and more. 

Indigenous Worlds


From homegrown grassroots movements, tradition, and musical experimentation comes a wide and international array of musicians who put their own spin on national and indigenous music. Sometimes rupturing the traditions of the past and sometimes affirming them, the songs of these shows spring from the porches of the world.