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Isfahan Blues: A play about love and jazz in Iran

Pak Han
Sofia Ahmad and L. Peter Callender

In 1963, Duke Ellington made a famous tour and on that stop was Iran. He played jazz clubs in Tehran and Isfahan, and later produced his album Isfahan Blues.

At that same time, Vida Ghahremani, was living in Tehran.  She was a film star there, and decided to open the country's first dance club. Jazz was big in Iran then. Vida Ghahremani is now in California. Her daughter Torange Yaghiazarian is a playwright and Founding Artistic Director of Golden Thread Theatre in San Francisco.

Together, with music by Marcus Shelby, the two women produced Isfahan Blues -- a play that tells the fictional story of an American jazz musician who visits Isfahan in the 1960s and falls in love with a movie star, played by Ghahremani.

The mother and daughter duo came to our studios to talk about working to present a different view of Iran.

Click the audio player above to hear the entire interview. 

The play shows at Buriel Clay Theatre in San Francisco through May 24th.

For more info about the play click here! 

Hana Baba is host of Crosscurrents, KALW's weeknight newsmagazine that broadcasts on KALW Public Radio in the San Francisco Bay Area.