Our Condolences: Kamran Hooshmand Passed Away

Text by Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi

Kamran HooshmandMy dear friend, music colleague and FB friend (I think FB brought us together)  Kamran Hooshmand  passed away a couple of days ago. When I was drinking a coffee with my wife at Zabar’s last Sunday afternoon I checked my FB page and booms there was his wife’s Jill’s announcement of his death. I was shattered by this news, tears dropped out of my eyes. Immediately I commented to the news and asked Jill to get back to me, because I didn’t know her cell number.

She hasn’t responded yet.

This is what I know…He died of Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). He told me about it in February; and I believe since than he has went through three chemos or even more?

I heard from him a couple of times in-between. In April he considered to produce and organize a solo concert in Austin “after I come out of this.” Telling me that he was doing fine. After the 2nd chemo in May he went to Italy for a “Chemo rest retreat.” He still sounded cool. I still felt some hope for him. But when he had another chemo in June I started to worry about his life. I felt so bad for him. His deteriorating condition made me wonder how long he would stay alive.

In July friends of him started a “Fundraising Drive for Kamran Hooshmand.”

The only advice I could give him: “Brother, play your oud and let music guide you through this heavy time.”

Last Thursday or Friday he passed away. Shitttttt! I feel very bad that I had no chance to talk with him before his death.

Our friendship was very short, but kind of deep. Compared to other Iranian musicians he was a very open person. He loved and enjoyed to exchange ideas. And he’s the only Iranian musician who showed a genuine interest in the MFM movement and wanted to join it after his recovery. So besides losing a friend I also lost a MFM comrade.

Kamran junam, this is an improvised song dedicated to you and your spirit. Recorded on my iPhone Sunday night at my favorite tunnel in Riverside Park: In Memory of Kamran

Kamran Jan, see you soon and let’s play spiritual music together wherever we meet. 

For the people who don’t know Kamran

He was an Iranian-American musician, ethnomusicologist and scholar residing in Austin, Texas. He performed regularly with his bands the 1001 Nights Orchestra and Ojalá as well as frequently featured in Texas Early Music Projects’ concerts of Medieval, Sephardic and Renaissance music.

He was a singer-song writer and multi-instrumentalist. Playing all kinds of ouds, the daf, guitar and other instruments as well.

His ensemble and my band SoSaLa had a show together in NY in October 2015: Concert Review: Kamran Hooshmand and SoSaLa – An Evening of Ancient & Contemporary Music From The Middle East & Beyond

My interview with him around that time: Interview: Kamran Hooshmand devoting his life to various styles of Middle Eastern music

Jill’s FB message 

Kam Ran – August 6 at 9:29pm

I want to thank everyone for all of the memories, stories, photos, and videos of Kamran that you have posted over the last few days. These beautiful words and images have helped lessen a bit the immense pain of losing him in this world. I always used to tease Kamran about being on Facebook so much, but this was the conduit through which he shared his endless enthusiasm and passion for music, food, politics, new places to visit, or reliving times with all of you, his family and friends. Along with the incredible sadness of losing my dear husband and friend, I must hold onto and celebrate the vitality and optimism that was such a part of Kamran and continue that within myself, within all of us. Thank you so much for your gifts of light and love over these past two days. –Jill