Sun, April 17th

Shahyar Ghanbari

world music TICKETS

Doors 6:30PM
Show 7:30PM
Advance Price $30
Door Price $40
Table Reservation (212) 777-1157

Advanced online ticket sales stop at 5pm on day of show
If available, more tickets are available at door

Shahyar Ghanbari 

The legendary Iranian modernist poet, singer, songwriter, composer, and filmmaker, Shahyar Ghanbari, known primarily as the founder of the New Wave of Iranian modern songwriting with an impassioned cult following, is perhaps better described as the most distinctive voice of contemporary Iranian pop/rock music. Many Iranians, especially the young, consider Shahyar Ghanbari as the Leonard Cohen of Iran whose literary and musical achievements and contribution to the Iranian art scene are, quite simply, remarkable. Shahyar's imaginative songs and ingenious lyrics—marked by textural experimentation, rich aesthetic standards, and impressionistic subject matter—made him one of the most successful and influential modern Iranian artists. His writings, poems, films and songs, seen as a whole, form a true portrait-of-the-artist.


Shahyar has written hundreds of innovative lyrics for major Iranian singers and his original and unique lyrics are the principal reason for the success of singers such as Farhad, Googoosh and Dariush, to name but a few. While his lyrical subjects cover a broad range, a significant characteristic of Shahyar's lyrics, and indeed an important reason for his fame, is their recurring preoccupation with vital socio-political issues. In 1976, Shahyar has made his internationally recognized film, The Last Supper, which is considered as one of the first films of Iranian New Wave cinema. After the Revolution of 1979, when the newly established Islamic regime not only banned pop/rock music but denounced all forms of progressive art, Shahyar fled to Paris—his favorite city to which he later on dedicated his 2003 pièce de résistance English/French album, Rewind Me in Paris. In Paris, he released his debut album as a singer/songwriter, If All People Were Poet (recorded in Tehran during the early days of the Revolution) in 1981. The album embraced by Iranian intelligentsia as one of the first artistic responses to the catastrophic situation of Iran at the time. After that, working with acclaimed arrangers such as Steve McCrum, Armik, and Abdi Yamini, and singing in Persian, English, and French, Shahyar has released 10 other solo albums by which he has earned not only critical praise but also massive popular attention that places him in a situation almost unique in the Iranian cultural scene. His influence on generations of artists from all walks of art is irrefutable.


Settled in Southern California in the early 1990's, alongside his continuing works as a lyricist and singer, he has produced, written, and hosted TV and radio programs for more than 20 years, staged an experimental play (Travelog: a Song-Play) and also published two collections of poetry (The Sea in Me and The Earthless Tree) and a collection of articles (Mastering Time) which contains his reflections on the nature of songwriting. By Christmas 2016, Shahyar will be released his new album The Milky Voice in which he has been collaborated with his gifted son, an emerging hip-hop artist, Lorca (known as King Highness).