Mahan Mirarab

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  • WOMEX 2017

Born in Tehran, Iran. His musical activity began in the city of Babol by the Caspian Sea, when at 13, he began to play the piano. Guitar was the next instrument he picked up two years later to learn classical and flamenco rudiments, which later turned into the self-teaching of Jazz guitar methods. A turning point in learning rudiments of jazz was when he attended Vahagn Hayrapetyan's jazz workshop held in Tehran. The native music of Iran was his point of interest as well, as he was also learning to play the "Tar"; a traditional Iranian instrument. He had gained experiences through working in various line-ups along traditional and ethnic musicians as well as a number of jazz musicians in Tehran.
In 2009 he moved to Europe and produced the first "Mahan Mirarab Trio" album title "Persian Side of Jazz", which he recorded in Vienna. This work included pieces played on a fretless guitar which provided Mahan with the ability to interweave western music with microtonal music of the middle east. He had successful tours in various European cities, as well as the US, and his hometown, Tehran.
"Choub" is the title of his 2nd album played by a quartet under the same name in 2012, which was awarded the "NASOM" prize the same year. The album introduced a collaboration with the Iranian singer Golnar Shahyar, which extended to other later projects.
Mahans' long collaboration with Babak Maddah and numerous tours together got published and released under the title "Unity".
After a one-year intensive work together with Golnar Shahyar, and Shayan Fat'hi - Iranian drummer/percussionist, the trio "Sehrang" recorded and published their first album entitled "Dar Lahzeh" in 2014, marking a more elaborate and extensive use of the fretless guitar.
Mahan has already presented various workshops in Iran, Austria, Turkey and the US.
As a composer, he has already composed the music for the movie "‪Grundstein Village‬", as well as a choreographic score for the "Seven Cities of Love" dance project.

He has also collaborated in various projects as the player of guitar, fretless guitar, Setar and Oud, with musicians such as Erkan Ogur, Vahag Hayrapetian, Alain Perez, Hadar Noiberg, Fawzi Chekili, Ariel Bringuez, Luis Guerra, Pablo Hernandez Ramos, Turgut Alp Beykoglu, Ahmad Hani Shukri, Pavel Urkiza, Klemens Marktl, Franz Hauzinger, Wolfi Rainer, Robert Jukic, Alex Simu, Kaveh Sarvarian, Julien Teyekan, Herve du Ratuld, Habib Meftah Boushehri, Rumi Ensemble, Abrang Quartet, Choupan Trio, Sormeh…..

ALL ABOUT JAZZ : Songs like “Haj Ghorban" and “A Week of Moonlight" dazzle with Mirarab's enigmatic, transcendent guitar playing, fusing Middle Eastern textures with traditional jazz rhythms.

JAZZ TIMES : "Persian Side of Jazz" enlightens listeners by revealing how widespread jazz’s influence is.

JAZZ CORNER : Persian Side of Jazz is one of the year's most unique and compelling releases mainly because the stylistic blueprint of Mirarab's compositions draw upon stylistic influences, mainly Persian folk and world music, that are exotic to stateside ears.

Mahan Mirarab

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