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Thursday, March 13 • 12:00am - 12:30am
Ali Eskandarian

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Ali Eskandarian’s transnational upbringing makes him a prescient voice for our era. The Iranian-American troubadour draws upon influences as discrete as American folk, rock and traditional Persian music to craft songs about love, travel, politics and loneliness. The results have earned him comparisons to greats like Bob Dylan and Jeff Buckley. Ali was born in Pensacola, FL, on September 11, 1978, to a father who was an officer in the Iranian Air Force. Growing up in Tehran, Iran during the Iranian Revolution, Ali found strength in music. “I was always around music,” he explains. “It’s hard to find an Iranian party without dancing and singing. The Islamic revolution has not been successful in trying to stop people from having a good time.” After the death of Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989, the family was granted political asylum in Germany. After two years, they relocated to Dallas, Texas, where Ali experienced an arts-filled adolescence. After attending college in Plano, Ali moved to New York in 2003 to pursue his dream. He said, “I eventually realized how much music meant to me and that I could be a musician.” Buzz has built around Ali’s live performances, which include shows at the Living Room, the Rockwood Music Hall and a summer residency at Washington, D.C.’s the Red and the Black. Ali’s highly anticipated debut album, Nothing to Say, is slated for a March release on Wildflower Records. Produced by Rob Friedman, whose work was featured on Dan Zane’s Grammy-winning album Catch That Train!, Nothing to Say exhibits diverse sources of musical inspiration. Standout track “Memphis” is motivated by the Americana of Willie Nelson, telling the story of a wanderer who is persistently drawn back to this mystical American city. Meanwhile, “Eastern Fancy” reveals the Persian influence of singers like Farhad and Dariush, with Ali’s powerfully austere voice front and center against an acoustic guitar background. Ali’s intensely personal blend of East and West is an adventurous, politically compelling addition to the musical landscape of 2008.

Thursday March 13, 2008 12:00am - 12:30am CDT
The Velveeta Room 521 E 6th St

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