Mohsen Namjoo is an Iranian artist, songwriter, singer, music scholar and setar (traditional Persian lute) player based in New York City. Hailed as “the Bob Dylan of Iran” by the New York Times, Namjoo is a visionary artist who speaks for the youth in Iran. Seamlessly blending the Classical Persian setar with electric guitar, and rock and blues vocal techniques with Persian avaz (singing), he fuses the ancient with the current. Since his arrival to the U.S. in 2011, Namjoo has been touring the world to sold out concerts at prestigious halls such as Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco; Conservatorio Sala Verdi, Milan, Italy; Disney Hall, Los Angeles, Symphony Space NYC, Volkswagen Arena Istanbul and many more. He has released 11 albums and many singles. His latest album, On the String of the Tear's Bow is released on March 26 2018.
Albums and Audio Books
2006 Jabr, Vienna: Nedai Records, 2008.
2007 Toranj, Tehran: Barbad Music In.
2008 "The Alchemist,” Audio book. Written by Paulo Coelho, translated by Arash Hejazi.Tehran: Caravan Publishing.
2009 Oy, Treviso, Italy: Stradivaris
2010 Useless Kisses, California: Payam Ent. Inc.,
2011 Alaki, Live at Stanford University. California: Payam Ent. Inc.
2012 13/8, Live at University of Berkeley. California: Payam Ent. Inc.
2014 Trust the Tangerine Peel, New York: Audio and Video Labs Inc.
2016 Personal Cipher, New York and Toronto: Daf-Daf.
2017 Axis of Solitude Live in Dallas TX, Daf-Daf
2018 On the String of the Tear's Bow, New York and Toronto, Daf-Daf
Awards and Distinctions
2007 Toranj, Winner of the Most Influential Young Musician Award from Chelcheragh magazine, Iran.
2016 Radio Dreams, Best Actor Award, 37th Durban International Film Festival, South Africa.
2016 Selected as one of the top 10 candidates for the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, USA.
1994 School of Drama, Art University of Tehran, Iran.
1995 Department of Fine Arts, Tehran University, Iran.
2008 Prayner Conservatory, Vienna, Austria.
2009 Artist in residency, Stanford Humanities Center, Stanford University, California, USA.
2010-2011 Fellow, Department of Music, Stanford University, California, USA.
2010 Iranian Rhythms, Undergraduate workshop, Department of Music, Stanford U., California, USA.
2014 Visiting Scholar, Department of Middle Eastern Studies, Brown University, Rhode Island, USA. Taught Courses: "Tradition and protest: Iranian and Persian music," Spring Semester. "Revolution and poets: Content and form in Iranian poetry," Fall semester.
Mohsen Namjoo, “Revolution and Music: A personal odyssey,” Politics and Culture in Contemporary Iran: Challenging the Status Quo, ed. Abbas Milani and Larry Diamond, USA: Lynne Rienner Publishers, 2015.
2004 "Few kilos of dates for a funeral," feature film by Saman Salur, Iran. Winner of Locarno and Edinburgh Film Festivals, 2006.
2012 "Jana and Baladour," Shadow-play by Bahram Beyzaie. Palo Alto, California.
2013 "Arash," Stage-reading by Bahram Beyzaie. Stanford University, California.
2014 "Radio Dreams," Feature film by Babak Jalali. Winner of the Gold Tiger at Rotterdam Film Festival, 2016.
2005 "Equanimity by Diazepam 10," Documentary by Saman Salur, Tehran.
2016 "Ways of tolerances," Short documentary by Negar Behbahani and Reza Javadi, New York.
2017 "Mohsen in New York," Short documentary by Kamran Taheri Moghaddam.
Lectures, Workshops, and Master-classes
Oct 2008 "Formalistic approaches to the relation of Persian music and poetry," Lecture, Department of Iranian Studies, Stanford University.
Feb 2009 "Music in contemporary Iran," Pan-Asian music festival, Department of Music, Stanford U.
Sep 2009 "Art and politics after green movement," Seminar in festival, 66th Venice Film Festival, Italy.
Oct 2009 "Iranian Scales & American Blues," Lecture & performance, Humanities Center, Stanford U.
Nov 2009 "High pitch-Low pitch: Some points about sounds in Christian and Islamic music culture," Humanities Center, Stanford U.
Feb 2010 "Iranian irregular rhythms," Workshop, Department of Music, Stanford U.
Jan 2010 "Similarities between despotism and Classical repertoire (radif) of Iranian traditional music, Persian Society, University of California, Berkley.
Sep 2011 "Why can’t Iranians clap?" Iranian students roundtable, School of Oriental and African Studies, London.
Apr 2012 Three above lectures, Samuel Jordan Center for Iranian Studies, UC Irvine.
Fall 2012 "Theory of Iranian music," Master-class for Persian-speaking students, UC Berkeley.
Jan 2013 "Some points on the history of Iranian music," Department of Iranian Studies, Stanford U.
Jan 2013 "Relation between music and poetry in traditional music," Shiraz Arts Academy, San Jose, California.
Apr 2013 “New experiences in Namjoo’s music” Q & A with students, University of Memphis, Memphis.
Jun 2013 “Independent music in Iran,” Q & A with Rachel Cooper, Asia Society, New York
Oct 2013 “Iranian music and poetry,” Q & A with Students and fellows of Lausanne University, Switzerland.
Oct 2013 “Namjoo’s oeuvre,” Workshop and Q & A with students and fellows of Gothenburg University, Sweden.
Mar 2014 "Shahram Shabpareh, Honesty and Minor Scale, Spirit of Iranian Melancholy," Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Department of Music, Brown University.
Apr 2014 "East and West: Low pitch and High pitch," Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Department of Music, Brown University.
May 2014 "What are we talking about when we speak of fusion?" Department of Middle Eastern Studies and Department of Music, Brown University.
Nov 2014 "Underground music in Iran," Protest Music/music performance and social change: Pannel discussion with Erik Ehn and Joseph Rovan, School of Drama and Department of Music, Brown U.
Feb 2015 “The harmony between Iranian classical music and despotism,” Q & A with students of Munich University.
May 2015 "Independent music after the revolution," 2nd Conference of The Society for Studies in Persian Culture and History (SSIPCH), Sheratton Parkway Hotel, Toronto.
Sep 2015 Guest Lecturer, “Depoliticization of music in Iran,” course offered by Dr. Abbas Milani, Department of Iranian Studies, Stanford U.
Feb 2016 “On the depreciation and admiration of nostalgia," University of Brisbane, Australia.
Jun 2016 Q & A with students of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
Sep 2016 Q & A with students of Virginia Tech University.
Oct 2016 Masterclass at Codarts University for the Arts, Rotterdam, Netherland.
Dec 2016 Guest lecturer, “Music of India and West Asia” Course offered by Prof. Alessandra Ciucci, Columbia University.