30 years ago, in 1979, the Iranian revolution put an effective stop to the artistic lives of a great number of poets, composers, and singers in Iran. We will never know what could have been. Iran is again poised for change. Since a serendipitous introduction in 2003, American/Dutch vocalist,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 into their old age unable to express themselves as they once could. It is their songs that Monika sings with passion, appreciation, care and love. Monika's repertoire also includes folk songs from various regions of Iran. All songs are sung in local dialects and languages, with additional English and French translations on selected pieces. Monika Jalili brings to life the rich history of Iranian culture through it's 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. 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's English and French translations are her way of sharing the poetry she loves with a global audience. Monika Jalili is a classically trained vocalist born in New York City with degrees in Vocal Performance from The Manhattan School of Music and in French Literature from Columbia University. Monika has performed at such venues as The Kennedy Center (D.C.), Lincoln Center (NY), Faces Etnofestival (Finland), The United States Naval Academy (Annapolis), Place des Arts (Montreal), Maison des Cultures du Monde (Paris), Cathedral of St. John the Divine (NY), Columbia University (NY), American University (NY), University of California (Davis), University of Illinois (Urbana), University of Washington (Seattle), Trinity Church at Wall Street (NY), Missouri History Museum (St. Louis), California Institute of Technology (Pasadena), Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza (California), and many others. Reviews: 'Monika Jalili is perhaps the most interesting and talented singer of old and popular Iranian songs of the 1940s through 1970s - or songs before 'Islamic Revolution.' Her beautiful and modern rendition of these songs brings back joy and nostalgia to all Iranians and even non-Iranians.' - CSiArts.com 'What an amazing voice!' - Beauty and the East 'This truly perfect collection of songs is hair-raising, and you may find yourself in tremor from the sheer beauty of the work, even if you don't understand the language of the lyrics. Monika's angelic, soprano voice is a perfect complement to the masterful instrumentals, and together they transport the listener to a mystical ancient time where one's worries can melt away into thin ether. I have an ecclectic taste in music, and a vast collection that spans in the hundreds, but there was truly not a single album in my collection that could have been called 'perfect,' until now...' - Amazon "Three standing ovations and cheers of bravos...there is something very special about NoorSaaz that I have rarely encountered in the past 27 years I have lived outside of Iran... " - Payvand News 'With her debut CD entitled Monika Jalili: NoorSaaz, Monika and her group have managed to capture the minds of young and old and to bridge the gaps of culture and language...an amazingly well-recorded and beautifully sung set of songs.' - Persian Mirror "Monika Jalili and NoorSaaz burst upon the world music scene in 2005 with their eponymous CD mingling Persian folk standards with love songs from the thriving pop scene of pre-revolutionary Iran in the 1960s and 1970s. The response to both the CD and live performances by the group has been tremendous, including over 350,000 hits on the webcast of NoorSaaz's concert from Trinity Church in Manhattan in late 2005.' - ModernMask.org 'This must be how angels sound in heaven. Monika has a beautiful voice that combines with her interpretation of Persian Folk song to derive a unique, beautiful and awe inspiring sound. I have listened to this album several time[s] and find it wonderful. I only wish that she could perform with Iranian Philharmonic orchestra.' - Amazon.
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