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One of the Most Extraordinary Voices I Have Ever Heard, In Concert

City of Asylum (2018)

Mahsa Vahdat, Vocalist (Iran)
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Sholeh Wolpè, Poet (Iran)

“FREEDOM TO CREATE” CONCERT

Saturday, September 7th
3:00 pm

Each year in September we gather at Alphabet City to honor an international writer or artist who has overcome efforts to limit his or her creative freedom. This year’s honoree is Iranian singer and composer Mahsa Vahdat. And instead of a speech, she will give a concert performance.

Mahsa Vahdat

As a female soloist, Mahsa Vahdat is only permitted to perform for all-female audiences in her home country, which she has refused to do. Now resident in the United States, she has become a passionate advocate for freedom of expression for musicians and composers around the world.

Diane and I first heard Mahsa Vahdat sing in Lillehammer, Norway. Her voice is like the caress of the heart, “breathtaking, timeless, meditative” in the words of one reviewer. And her range is astonishing—from acclaimed collaborations with the experimental contemporary Kronos Quartet…to a recording with blues singer Mighty Sam McClain…and a capella settings of the poems of Rumi in a classical Persian style.

Following Vahdat’s performance, Iranian poet and translator Sholeh Wolpé will do a short reading, which will be followed by a conversation between the artists and an audience Q & A.

I hope you can join us in what will be one of the most memorable and important programs of our year.

– Henry

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