Picture watching a band fresh from Tehran, playing a fusion of rock and jazz, with lyrics in English- this is not your usual Tuesday night in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
In fact, this is not usual anywhere in the world and the drive of this band to share their sound was appreciated by all those who attended.
Glancing around the space, one could find a gathering of Iranians, Iranian Americans, American Americans, French, German, Dutch, Spanish Chinese Iranians Americans, Iranian Argentinean Italian Senegalese Americans and every other concoction of human race and nation that you can slap together for an evening to hear Band 127. My friend and I were lucky to have been there.
The band members finally got their visas and have been giving a world tour. This one concert in Cambridge (next door to Boston) came a day before their show in New York.
They were originally invited to perform at the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas several months ago. Unsurprisingly, their visas arrived after the concert had taken place. Nevertheless, they decided to take their band out of Iran and into the world.
As you can imagine, at the end of their set, some chubby bacheh Iroonee, yelled, “Baba Karam Bezan!” The truth is that these folks are playing melodies more akin to rock with elements of jazz and funk. The sound is new yet the lyrics are reminiscent of the late 60’s as they fall very much in line with Bob Dylan’s vision of the world.
Somewhere between the keyboard, bass guitar, trombone, guitar, namak, and felfel you could hear the Iranian influence. That touch was most evident in the occasional piano solos. It was the sound of the trombone however which sent the crowd into a clapping daze, blasting catchy jazz rhythms through the room, off the walls and out into the American street.
Now they have given Emreekah a little taste of Iran in the form of a fusion hamburger rapt in Lavash- that is, with Somag.
This concert took place on Monday, October 11th at Club ZuZu’s in Cambridge. To find out more about band 127 and their experiences, visit their website