Hafez Nazeri Plays His Setar
by John Oseid
For a string musician, a broken fingernail will ruin your day. When Persian classical setar player Hafez Nazeri stopped by the Condé Nast Traveler offices recently to share his music with us, he was vexed over just suffering that fate. And then he promptly set to work improvising to the poems of the great thirteenth-century mystic Rumi and gave me goosebumps.
In this video shot by Condé Nast Traveler photo editor Damian Vincent, the 30-year-old NYC-based Hafez talks about how he blends eastern and western sounds with his setar (he calls his customized instrument with two extra strings the "Hafez"). In his master class 14 stories above Times Square, he talks about his love for Persian culture and about modern Iran. I can't wait to see him onstage.
Hafez will perform his Rumi Symphony Project: Cycle One on October 3 at Hollywood's Art Deco gem, the Pantages Theatre, and November 14 at Carnegie Hall. Both shows will feature Hafez's famous father, Shahram Nazeri, on vocals, and members of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.
* A collaboration between Hafez and his father, Shahram Nazeri, The Passion of Rumi album was recorded in Tehran in 2007.
* Last year in Boom Box we brought you the Kurdish musician Kayhan Kalhor.