Mohsen Namjoo

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Mohsen Namjoo
محسن نامجو
Mohsen Namjoo, New York 2013.jpg
Mohsen Namjoo in 2013
Born (1976-03-04) 4 March 1976 (age 46)
NationalityIranian
Alma mater
Occupation
  • Singer-songwriter
  • composer
  • musician
Years active1993–present
Musical career
Genres
Instrument(s)
Labels
  • Daf-Daf
  • Payam
  • Stradivarius
  • Nedai
  • Hozeh Honari
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

Mohsen Namjoo (Persian: محسن نامجو) is an Iranian singer-songwriter, composer and musician. His style of music is influenced by blues and rock as well as Iranian folk music.

Early life and education[edit]

Namjoo was born on 4 March 1976 in Torbat-e Jam, a small town of Razavi Khorasan in northeastern Iran. He was raised in the religious city of Mashhad.[1] He started learning classical Persian music when he was 12.[1] At a young age he started listening to Western music and became interested in musicians like Jim Morrison, Eric Clapton, and Chris de Burgh.[1]

He was admitted to the Tehran University of Art in 1994.[1]

Career[edit]

In late 1997 and early 1998, Namjoo had his first two concerts, themed "modern combination of Iranian poetry and music".[2] In 2003 he started recording parts of his own works in Tehran. His debut album titled Toranj was officially released in Iran in September 2007, and got his first captivated Iranians' attention. This album mostly produced underground music and was very well received among the Iranian community. This album insulted the Islamic regime, which forced him into a life in exile in 2008.[3]

He also composed soundtracks for movies and plays. In 2010, Namjoo kicked off his "A Minor" tour with a new band ensemble centered around some of his most popular and courageous songs. In June they performed at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California (US).[citation needed] In October they performed at the Sony Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Mohsen Namjoo also released a single entitled "Such Strange Times" in June, a song which was sung in English.

In fall of 2011, Namjoo recorded his next album Alaki live during his concert in Stanford University. This album was part of his work in the Stanford Pan Asian Music Festival. Accompanying band consisted of Ali Bazyar (Percussion), Dina Zarif (back vocal), Tannaz Jaffari (back vocal), Serwah Tabbak (back vocal), Siamack Sanaie (Guitar), Mark Deutsch: (Bazantar, Guitar)

In fall of 2012, Namjoo released his new album 13/8. Thirteen/eight is a compilation of six pieces, which were developed in the United States during the previous year. The performance had been prepared in collaboration with California-based musicians James Riotto (Contrabass), Robert Shelton (Keyboard), Ezra Lipp (Drums) and Greg Ellis (Percussion). Payam Entertainment produced a series of live performances for 2012. The inaugural performance in Berkeley, California will be recorded in preparation for a future double-album release by the same title.[4]

Since late 2013, Mohsen Namjoo has been at Brown University Middle East Studies' 2014 Artist in Residence. During his residency, he is engaging in a number of activities. On December 7, 2013, to kick off his residency, he gave a performance[5] at the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts. In spring 2014, he taught the course “Tradition and Protest: Persian and Iranian Music,” and gave several musical talks to public audiences on topics including “Shahram Shabpareh: Honesty and Minor Scale”[6] and Iranian Rhythms.[7] The spring 2014 semester was capped by a well-attended concert on the evening of May 10.[8]

In fall 2014, Namjoo taught “Revolution and Poets: Content and Form in Iranian Poetry.” Organized by Middle East Studies, Brown, he took part in a panel discussion on Protest Music/ Music Performance and Social Change on Thursday, November 13, as well as taking the lead on assembling a couple of Iranian bands, banned from playing in their own country, who came together for the first time in an Iranian Music Festival titled “Iran Underground” on November 15 at RISD Auditorium. The event was part of Brown's 250th Anniversary events.

Namjoo made several film appearances. He was featured in the documentary Sounds of Silence (directed by Amir Hamz and Mark Lazarz) which has been screened at international film festivals. He also appeared in a feature narrative film called Few Kilograms of Dates for the Funeral (Director Saman Saloor), played in various film festivals. In 2016 he played in the feature film Radio Dreams by Babak Jalali. His newest song named "Begoo be baran" composed by Ehsan Matoori was released in March 2019 by Sheed Records company.[9] His new album "Phantasm" composed and produced by Ehsan Matoori released on April 27, 2019, in San Francisco.[10]

In 2009, he received a prison sentence in Iran of five years for making music that "dishonours" content from the Qur'an. Since Namjoo lives abroad, the sentencing was in absence of the accused.[11]

Discography[edit]

Namjoo in concert (2012) in Urbana, Illinois

Albums[edit]

Studio albums
Year Title Persian Native
2005 Damavand دماوند
2006 Jabr گیس
2007 Toranj ترنج
2008 Jabr-e Joghrafiyaei جبرِ جغرافیایی
2009 Oy آخ
2011 Useless Kisses بوسه‌های بیهوده
2014 Trust the Tangerine Peel از پوست نارنگی مدد
2016 Personal Cipher صفر شخصی
2018 On The String of the Tear's Bow بر چلّه کمان اشک
2019 Phantasm سودای من
2020 Motantan مطنطن
2020 Symphonic Odyssey سمفونیک اودیسه
2022 Odd Time Rock لنگ راک
Live albums
Year Title Persian Native Note[12]
2011 Alaki الکی In December
2012 13/8 سیزده/هشت In Fall
2017 Voices from the East آوازهایی از شرق In July
2017 Axis of Solitude مؤلفۀ عزلت In October

Books[edit]

Audiobooks[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Dorrabe Makhdoosh (2017)[12]
  • Chahar Maghale (2018)[12]

Theatre[edit]

Filmography[edit]

Title Year Credited as Notes Ref.
Actor Composer Music department Soundtrack
Unforgotten Positives 2004 No Yes No No Short
Kontrast No Yes No No Short
Hofreh 2006 No Yes No No Short
Chand kilo khorma baraye marassem-e tadfin Abbas No No No
Hamkhaneh 2007 No Yes No No
Koodak, dirooz, khial No Yes No No Documentary
Sky Without Passport 2008 Self Yes Yes No Documentary
Not an illusion 2009 Self No No No Documentary
Appropriate Behavior 2014 No No No Yes performer: "YAARE JAANI (BIRJANDI ETHNIC)
Aramesh ba diazepam 10 2005 Self No No No Documentary
A Deep Breath to End No Yes No No Documentary
Bodkin Ras 2016 No Yes No Yes
Radio Dreams Hamid Royani No No No
Behrouz: A Legend on Screen 2017 No No Yes No Documentary
The King of Feathers 2020 Self No No No
Mitra TBA Self Yes No No post-production

Performance[edit]

Philadelphia, U.S.[edit]

2014: Mohsen Namjoo performed with Al-Bustan Takht Ensemble as part of Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture concert series.[13]

Stockholm, Sweden[edit]

2020: Mohsen Namjoo Performed with Stockholm Symphony Orchestra.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Fathi, Nazila (1 September 2007). "Iran's Dylan on the Lute, With Songs of Sly Protest". The New York Times. NY. Archived from the original on 5 October 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  2. ^ "Mohsen Namjoo Official Website | Mohsen Namjoo Music". Mohsennamjoo.com. Archived from the original on 2019-04-05. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  3. ^ Neshat, Shirin (1 April 2012). Sussler, Betsy; McStay, Chantal; Russ, Sabine (eds.). "Mohsen Namjoo by Shirin Neshat". BOMB. New York City: New Arts Publication (119). ISSN 0743-3204. OCLC 643482449. Archived from the original on 25 October 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  4. ^ "Press Release: Thirteen/Eight Mohsen Namjoo and Ensemble Live in Berkeley and Los Angeles | Mohsen Namjoo Official Website". Mohsennamjoo.com. 2012-04-04. Archived from the original on 2014-04-29. Retrieved 2014-04-29.
  5. ^ "Middle East Brown". Middleeastbrown.org. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  6. ^ "Shahram Shabpareh: Honesty and Minor Scale". Middleeastbrown.org. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  7. ^ "Upcoming Events » » Mohsen Namjoo: "Iranian Rhythms"". Archived from the original on 2016-06-10. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  8. ^ "When you are talking about Iranian fusion, what are you talking about?". Middleeastbrown.org. Archived from the original on 10 June 2016. Retrieved 23 December 2017.
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2020-12-01. Retrieved 2019-03-10.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  10. ^ "Mohsen Namjoo Live in San Francisco — Diaspora Arts Connection". Archived from the original on 2020-11-12. Retrieved 2020-09-20.
  11. ^ Michaels, Sean (July 16, 2019). "'Iranian Bob Dylan' sentenced to five years for singing Qur'an". TheGuardian.com.
  12. ^ a b c d "Mohsen Namjoo - Bio". Mohsen Namjoo. Mohsen Namjoo. Archived from the original on 17 November 2020. Retrieved 1 December 2020.
  13. ^ "Classical and Contemporary Persian and Arab Music". Albustanseeds.org. Archived from the original on 2014-11-29. Retrieved 2014-11-17.
  14. ^ "Symphonic Odyssey 2020". www.youtube.com. Retrieved 2020-12-25.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

External links[edit]