hurricane image

As I write, the rain is beating against the windows. Here in New York, we're waiting for Hurricane Irene to roll in with gale force. We don't get too many hurricanes here in the city. I'm in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where the local businesses downstairs have boarded up their windows with plywood. The supermarket was crowded this morning, and in the bagel shop, people were buying bagels by the dozen. The news reports on the AM radio dial have come back into fashion.

So while I'm hunkered down, drinking too much coffee, let me tell you about about a band I'm in. It's an exciting project led by vocalist Yvette Perez -- a Persian pop and dance band. Yes, you heard right. We're called Mitra Sumara, and we've been rehearsing for a couple of months, getting ready to bust out and get you moving.

As I have learned from my involvement in this project, Iran had a vibrant pop music scene in the 1960s and 1970s. The Teheran nightlife was aglow with fast-moving, sinuous, sensuous music, some of which featured keening vocals by the fabulous Googoosh.

When the Islamic revolution moved in, this music was shut down and driven underground. Now, 35 years later, this music has broken through the asphalt of New York city, and Mitra Sumara will be ready to serve it to you, hot and fresh. For several years, Yvette, who is of Persian descent, has been studying Farsi language and studying this idiomatic brand of singing.

And she has assembled a group of fast-moving musicians who can handle the twists and turns of this frenetc music: Peter Zummo on trombone, Michael Evans on drums and percussion, Bill Ruyle on hammered dulcimer and percussion, Julian Maile on guitar, and yours truly on keys.

Mitra Sumara will play its first show in September, at a private party in the West Village. After that, we'll be hitting the clubs and the dancefloors, and I hope you'll avail yourself of this rare and exotic treat. Mitra Sumara -- you heard it here first!


Dolores Walker October 01, 2011 @12:40 pm

Don't share with other lists! I liked your performance at WWestbeth. Let me know where you will be performing.

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