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Rana Farhan on Poletik - August 2014
|Genres||Blues, jazz, experimental|
Born in Iran, Rana grew up listening to any albums she could get her hands on, fostering a love for American blues artists like Odetta and Lead Belly; while rockin' to Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Rana left Iran after graduating from Tehran University and she soon found herself in New York City, exploring her talents in lacquer paintings and soaking in the sounds and music of Manhattan, including the rich cultural district of Harlem where she discovered her love of jazz.
Farhan sings in a bluesy style that is an exploration of combining classic Persian poetry with modern jazz and blues.
In 2005 she teamed with guitarist/ producer Steven Toub for her first full-length CD, "The Blues Are Brewin'", a collection of American jazz and blues standards. Toub, a veteran of New York's rock and blues scene, has recorded at such studios as Electric Ladyland and The Power Station, and has performed in opening slots for Squeeze, Robin Trower and Siouxsie and the Banshees. Farhan's second release was "I Return", a fusion of classical Persian poetry with contemporary blues and jazz music. Farhan recorded and distributed a track called "Rumi's Prayer" over the internet, the positive response to which from both American and international listeners prompted her and Toub to begin writing and recording the album working off of both Rumi and Hafez, compiling a fusion of two distant cultures. Her reception in New York local clubs was considerable, and she followed this with sold-out shows at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco, The Toronto Opera House in Toronto, Canada and at the Auditorium Cite De La Musique in Strasbourg, France.
Rana has been featured on BBC Persian, Manoto, Voice of America, Suzi Khatami's "Live From Hollywood" KIRN 670 AM Los Angeles, dw-world.de German radio with Shahram Ahadi, "Taraneyeh Nasorudeh" with Farid Vahabi RFI Radio France International, Voice of America radio Farda, Homa Sarshar's "Khaaneh-ye doost" 670AM Los Angeles, the Kook entertainment show with Behzad Bolour for BBC Persia, Sholeh Sadr sbs radio from Melbourne Australia, "Saba: Wind of Love” 90.1 FM KKFI Kansas City Radio, "The Upper Room with Joe Kelly" WVOF 88.5 FM in Fairfield CT, “Persian Hour” with Shahrokh Nikfar KYRS 92.3 FM in Spokane Washington, and Buenos Aires’ “Goodtime Blues Show” in Argentina. She has also appeared on Bebin TV in Los Angeles with Melissa Shoshahi and Voice of America/Persian TV’s Shabahang.