Monika Jalili
April 25, 2013

Monika Jalili

Monika Jalili

Monika Jalili: Evening of Persian Songs

April 25, 2013 7:30 pm at the Gallivan Center – Free Admission

For a talented group of Iranian poets and composers enjoying fame, the Iranian revolution of 1979 extinguished hopes, dreams and careers. Since a serendipitous introduction in 2003, Monika Jalili has worked tirelessly to revive the touching works of these Iranian artists, some of whom are no longer with us, and most of whom have lived the past 30 years unable to express themselves as they once could.  It is their songs that Monika sings with passion, appreciation, and love.

Monika Jalili brings to life the rich history of Iranian culture through its music and poetry. Her entrancing selection of songs spans time and place; traditional Persian folk favorites stand alongside love songs from the 1940s to 1970s, a time of great cultural change in Iran. These are songs of love, hope and peace, and to this day, are still prohibited from being performed in Iran. The songs are performed in their original languages of Persian, Azeri, and various dialects. Using traditional and non-traditional instruments, her ensemble of musicians combine their influences to present original interpretations of this music. In a spirit of exploration, Monika aspires to create understanding through an appreciation of the beauty of Iranian culture.

Monika has performed with her ensemble of musicians all over the world at such venues as The Kennedy Center (Washington, DC), Place des Arts (Montreal), Yoshi’s (San Francisco), Freer and Sackler Galleries at the Smithsonian (Washington, DC), Lincoln Center (NYC), Old Town School of Folk Music (Chicago), Le Poisson Rouge (NYC), The United States Naval Academy (Annapolis, MD), Maison des Cultures du Monde (Paris), Isabel Bader Theatre (Toronto), Boston University College of Fine Arts (MA), the Cathedral of St. John the Divine (NYC), The University of Pennsylvania Middle East Center (PA), Union Chapel (London, UK), Boston University College of Fine Arts and many others.

This might be the best world music album of 2009.” – Lucid Culture

The songs, mostly dating from the 60s and 70s, combine the austere microtonality of traditional Iranian music with the vivid emotionality of French chanson and a lush Mediterranean romanticism. Jalili sings in Persian and Azeri as well as English and French on two songs. The musicianship is equally nuanced and haunting… To call their performance inspired is an understatement.“- Lucid Culture