Mahan Mirarab is an Iranian/Austrian guitarist, composer, arranger and music producer based in Vienna and Berlin. 

He has spent years learning about Persian traditional music as well as the indigenous sound and cultures of the country such as Arabic, African, Turkish, Kurdish, etc., while refining his skills in Jazz, western classic and popular music. Notably using fretless guitar, he specialises in blending the microtonal systems with jazz and improvised music. 

He is among some of the most innovative minds in Iran who has redefined music in their culture despite the challenges facing musicians after the Iranian revolution. His work throughout 21 years is creating a new generation of musicians, who are being inspired and influenced by his guitar playing and compositions. 

His dedication to expand his musical vocabulary brought him to Europe in 2009 where he met and collaborated with numerous musicians from all over the world such as Anthony Braxton, Erkan Ogur, Alain Perez, Hadar Noiberg, Johannes Berauer, Omar Klein, András Dés, etc. His approach to composition and arrangement introduces a unique blend of rhythms and harmonies that showcases his rich musical vocabulary as well as his depth of knowledge in many different music styles. As a result, his compositions avoid so brilliantly cliche and expands the understanding of how each style can be interpreted. Mirarab is composing, arranging and performing in many jazz, experimental, acoustic/electronic, folk and traditional projects as well as film, dance and theatre. 

His aim is to introduce a new narrative through music in regards to middle eastern cultures and jazz and in doing so he has succeeded to create his complex yet approachable style. 

He represents a generation of young migrant musicians in Europe who are changing the sound boarders in the music industry and are pushing for more diversity with respect to quality, dialogue and creativity.

ALL ABOUT JAZZ : Songs like “Haj Ghorban” and “A Week of Moonlight” dazzle with Mirarab’s enigmatic, transcendent guitar playing, fusing Middle Eastern textures with traditional jazz rhythms.


JAZZ TIMES : “Persian Side of Jazz” enlightens listeners by revealing how widespread jazz’s influence is.


JAZZ CORNER : Persian Side of Jazz is one of the year’s most unique and compelling releases mainly because the stylistic blueprint of Mirarab’s compositions draw upon stylistic influences, mainly Persian folk and world music, that are exotic to stateside ears.

 

Photo by Georg Cizek-Graf