The West Kortright Centre will present singer, songwriter and setar player Mohsen Namjoo, “The Bob Dylan of Iran,” starting at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 6,
Namjoo blends classical Persian music and avaz singing with electric guitar and Western rock and blues vocal techniques, presenters said in a media release. His style and mixture of music from both the East and West have made him an iconic figure in contemporary world music. Namjoo will be joined by his ensemble — Iranian percussion and drum set player Yahya Alkhansa, Swedish New York-based electric guitarist Anders Nilsson and bassist Sean Conly.
A self-proclaimed voice for the youth of Iran, Namjoo, in a media release, said: “I wanted to save Persian music. It does not belong to the present time and cannot satisfy the younger generation.” Born in 1976 in Khorasan province of northeastern Iran, he began learning classical Persian music at the age 12. As he grew older, Namjoo listened to Western music and became interested in Jim Morrison, Eric Clapton and others, the release said. He is especially influenced by philosophy and Persian literature — particularly a strain of modern Persian poetry that stresses phonetics over the meanings of words.
Now based in New York City, Namjoo has performed at sold-out concerts around the world. He was an artist in residence in 2009 at Stanford University, where he also had a fellowship from 2010 to 2011. He was a visiting scholar in the Department of Middle Eastern Studies at Brown University and has lectured and taught workshops and master classes throughout North America and Europe.
Namjoo has released 11 albums and more than 20 singles. His latest album, “On the String of the Tear’s Bow” (Daf-Daf Production), was released in 2018. He also has scores of written publications, film and theater performances, soundtracks and awards to his credit, and has been the subject of three film documentaries and numerous print and radio stories worldwide.
Advance tickets are $32, with a $4 discount for members. Ticket prices increase by $4 at the door. Tickets for those 9 to 19 are $10, and they are free for children 8 and younger. Tickets are available online until 24 hours before the show; some may be available at the door. The ticket booth will open at 7 p.m. July 6 with doors opening at 7:30. Food will be available for purchase on-site starting at 6 p.m. Local Iranian business owner, Nini Ordoubadi of Tay Tea in Delhi will serve hand-blended teas, tea cocktails and tea-infused baked goods.
West Kortright Centre is at 49 West Kortright Church Road in West Kortright. For advance tickets and exact travel directions, visit www.westkc.org.