Text by Augusta Palmer
On Tuesday February 23rd at 9 pm THE TEHRAN-DAKAR BROTHERS will play their first set of 2010 at Nublu (62 Avenue C and E.4th St.) in the East Village. The band is as international as its leader, Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi, an Iranian raised in Germany who came to New York in 2008 after two decades in Tokyo. The current line-up includes Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi, who plays a searing saxophone and serves as an unconventional vocalist; Derek Nievergelt, whose intense bass playing combines with the drumming of Swiss Chris to create an insistent and transfixing groove; and guitarist Alejandro Castellano, who has only recently joined the band.
Sohrab describes his band’s music as “Nu World Trash.” The “Nu,” a stand-in for “new,” refers to the band’s unique re-interpretation of the past and the roots of human experience to suit contemporary needs. “World” indicates the truly global reach and influences of The Tehran-Dakar Brothers, which blends melodies from Iran with African and African-American rhythms. Sohrab’s playing has drawn admiration from Salif Keita and Ornette Coleman, who are also two sources of inspiration for the band. ”Trash” means that the band is not afraid to play music that is neither “nice” nor immediately accessible. He’s not interested in playing music as background or vapid entertainment. Instead, he says he’s not afraid to use any idiom from punk to free jazz in order to get his musical point across. Their music can be very beautifully lyrical or edgy, loud, aggressive, and angry.
THE TEHRAN-DAKAR BROTHERS never shy away from political activism, and Sohrab, in particular, has performed frequently at events, rallies and demonstrations in New York supporting the pro-democracy Green Movement in his native Iran. The show at Nublu on February 23rd will feature “Welcome New Iran” (watch the video below) which is dedicated to what he believes is an emerging revolution in Iran.