siren Rana Farhan proclaims on her web
site: "Jazz is peace." She's not just borrowing 60s flower child rhetoric. She
Born in Iran, Rana grew up listening to any albums she could get her hands on,
fostering a love for American blues artists like Brownie McGhee, Leadbelly, and
Johnny Winter; while rockin' to Jimmy Hendrix and Janis Joplin. Soon she was
begging her older brother to teach her guitar and singing through a microphone
she had plugged into an old radio in her families living room.
Rana left Iran after the religious revolution made her artistic pursuits nearly
impossible and she soon found herself in New York City, exploring her talents in
lacquer paintings, restoring antique furniture, and soaking in the sounds and
music of Manhattan. Discovering a love of jazz, Farhan got hooked after hearing
a Billie Holiday record one day while strolling through the rich cultural
district of Harlem. She decided then and there that this is what she wanted to
In her first full-length CD "The Blues Are Brewin'", Rana set her sights on
American standards, mixing jazz with blues and even a bit of funk, making it
accessible to Top 40 fans. Her delicate yet sultry voice gave each song a
sensual, earthy vibe, turning each song into a musical swoon. Soon the album was
picked up by independent radio stations and added to the playlists of "The Upper
Room with Joe Kelley" WVOF 88.5 FM in Fairfield CT, "Persian Hour" KYRS 92.3 FM
in Spokane Washington, and Buenos Aires' "Goodtime Blues Show" in Argentina.
It was her second release "I Return", a compilation
of classical Farsi (Persian) poetry set to contemporary blues and jazz music
that really set the world on fire.
After distributing a track called "Rumi's Prayer", based on a poem by the 13th
century Iranian poet Rumi, to her friends, the song found it's way to the
internet and the response from both American and International listeners was
overwhelming. With a demand for more, Farhan and her writing partner, guitarist
Steven Toub, began writing and recording the album working off of both Rumi and
Hafez (a 14th century poet), compiling one of the most sensitive fusions of two
New York audiences, who were already caught up in Rana's energy, and packing her
performances at Jazz clubs such as the Lenox Lounge and Birdland, were now
joined by sold-out shows at the Cowell Theater in San Francisco and the Glow Bar
in Los Angeles.
Rana has been featured on Suzi Khatami's "Live From Hollywood" KIRN 670 AM Los
Angeles, "Saba: Wind of Love". 90.1 FM KKFI Kansas City Radio, 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, and Sholeh Sadr sbs radio from Melbourne,
Australia. She has also appeared on Bebin TV in Los Angeles with Melissa
Shoshahi and Voice of America/Persian TV's Shabahang.
In March, 2008 Rana was recognized for her outstanding contributions in art and
music by Radio Zamaneh in Holland commemorating the International Day of Woman.
Already looking ahead to her next album, Rana wants to continue to reach out to
more music fans, enveloping them in the love and freedom she's found through her
Jazz is peace. And love. And hope. Let Rana show you what it sounds like.
web site: www.ranafarhan.com
... Payvand News - 12/09/08 ... --
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