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.
"All About Jazz"
Mahan Mirarab is a musician and composer. He grew up in the Iranian capital Tehran and lives in Vienna. Anyone who listens to Mirarab play his multi-neck guitar understands the» honest language« the artist articulates in his music.
European elements of chamber music combined with contemporary forms of jazz. They open a new interpretation of Iranian classical music as if Mozart played with microtonal maqam melodies.
He represents a generation of young migrant musicians in Europe who are changing the sound borders in the music industry and are pushing for more diversity with respect to quality, dialogue, and creativity. His aim is to introduce a new narrative through music in regard to middle eastern cultures and jazz and in doing so he has succeeded to create his complex yet approachable style.
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 expand 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.
In 2022, Mirarab played over 70 concerts around the world. He also released his latest album, recorded with his fixed sextet during the Corona Pandemic. With »Say Your Most Beautiful Word« Mirarab finds a way of articulation that goes beyond playing the guitar. It’s as much a request as it is a guide to confronting and communicating one’s feelings — an attitude toward life grounded in trust and culminating in one word: Hope.
Jazz, therefore, defines as a kind of philosophy by Mirarab. It is a way of solidarity, how to fight for one’s identity, he says. »As a migrant in Europe, I bring strong influences from my cultural background «, Mirarab amplifies. »Through the philosophy of jazz, I find my own language, with the help of which I can break out of traditional conventions.«
That this liberation is evident in the combination of elements of European and Persian classical music is becoming increasingly important to Mirarab. He doesn’t present tradition, but represents it anew — in music that provokes practical diversion and analytical complexion, but is always defined by the relationship of rhythm to the body: »Even if the pieces are difficult to play, the focus is on making it groove.«