Winnipeg Baha'i Summer School

Was a wonderful weekend reflecting on the 'Joy of Teaching' and taking part in the planning of advancing many community development projects currently underway in Winnipeg and around the region. I had the opportunity to share my music and a very special hands on workshop that focuses on the importance of putting the Sacred Baha'i Writings to music and also ways to do it ourselves. 

Altadena, California

Such a memorable night playing in my friends backyard on a warm Friday night, sharing my music with old and new friends. Many thanks to my dear friend, Nura, Pardis and Khalil for hosting the night and making it such a beautiful and memorable event <3

Tahirih Justice Centre Fundraiser, California

The Tahirih Justice Center is a US based non-profit organization that has served over 22,000 courageous individuals fleeing violence since 1997. Their efficient, effective, and innovative model of service range from direct legal services, policy advocacy and training and education to protect immigrant women and girls fleeing violence. 

I was privileged enough to be given the opportunity to share some music from my album Daughters of the Kingdom, at a private fundraiser in support of the TJC mission, and to help raise funds to expand and service more women and girls. I was inspired by strong women when writing Daughters of the Kingdom, so it was lovely to be able to make this connection with the Tahirih Justice Centre, to promote justice and equality for strong women who have the courage to stand up to injustice. 

With the host Sussie & some friends. 

With the host Sussie & some friends. 

San Clemente, California

My dear dear friend Poupak hosted a beautiful house concert on her back patio as the California sun set. It was so lovely to see so many new and familiar faces. It was a chilly night, but our hearts were cozy and warm. Poupak is a constant source of support and such a perfect example of advocacy for arts in the Baha'i Faith. I always feel at home here and am so grateful for all the love and hospitality I'm showered with every time I return.

Laguna Beach, California

I had the special opportunity to share my music at a monthly gathering called Divine Melodies on Friday, June 9th, at Ataii/Ebrahimi home. There happened to be a concert flautist in the audience who offered to improvise on a couple of the songs, and it brought me so much joy to hear these songs with such beautiful new harmonies. 

 

Myself and my new friend, Farshin Doust. Me, overjoyed as you can tell :) 

Myself and my new friend, Farshin Doust. Me, overjoyed as you can tell :) 

Calgary, Alberta

I was able to sneak in a visit to Calgary to visit some dear friends, visit the youth of Morley reserve and perform a small house concert at the Mottahedeh Residence.

These ladies are part of a Junior Youth Group in Calgary, who's animator was generous enough to support my album Daughters of the Kingdom and to return the favour I made a musical visit to meet and sing with these talented, beautiful and joyful souls. 

These ladies are part of a Junior Youth Group in Calgary, who's animator was generous enough to support my album Daughters of the Kingdom and to return the favour I made a musical visit to meet and sing with these talented, beautiful and joyful souls. 

Met with the Youth of Morley Reserve who were studying to become Children's Class Teachers for their community. We talked about the importance of music in spiritual education, and ways to integrate it into their learning and their classes. Here are some youth pictured with a prayer they chose and wanted to put to music, to help them with their memorization. 

Met with the Youth of Morley Reserve who were studying to become Children's Class Teachers for their community. We talked about the importance of music in spiritual education, and ways to integrate it into their learning and their classes. Here are some youth pictured with a prayer they chose and wanted to put to music, to help them with their memorization. 

Post workshop photo. LOVE THESE GUYS!!! They were such a joy to work with and learn from. Thank you for opening my own house concert with your beautiful original sacred melodies <3 made my LIFE! 

Post workshop photo. LOVE THESE GUYS!!! They were such a joy to work with and learn from. Thank you for opening my own house concert with your beautiful original sacred melodies <3 made my LIFE! 

MUCH LOVE AND THANKS to Neeka, Stephan, Rocky, & Martha for arranging and hosting this beautiful intimate house concert in Calgary. Almost 70 friends came together including the youth of Morley Reserve who opened the night with a prayer they had composed to their original melody. Was such a special and memorable night, thanks to all who came out, it was so lovely to meet you all <3 Click on the images below to see an album of the night. 

Edmonton, Alberta

I had the privilege of performing a number of small private house concerts/devotionals and one larger show at the Baha'i Centre of Edmonton over the weekend of May 12th to 15th. I was fortunate enough to have a number of backers support Daughters of the Kingdom from Edmonton so much of the trip included fulfilling these rewards and meeting the friends. A highlight was certainly spending time with my old friend and fellow Baha'i Musician, Katie Mustafayeva. She has one of the most powerful voices that when paired with the sacred writings shakes you to the core and connects you to a spirit that is so divine, raw and pure!

Was so blessed that she agreed to open the night <3 

Carlsbad, California

I ended my San Diego Tour in Carlsbad at a stunning club house. My tour would not have been possible if it wasn't for my dear friend Sam Delchad, who on his own volition, saw the power of music and was determined to bring it to his community. If it wasn't for individuals such as Sam, I wouldn't be able to do what I do, so I am eternally grateful to him. We met briefly in passing at the conference in Santiago, Chile, and he promised that he would bring me to San Diego, and he did. What a memorable trip it was. Here are some photos from the concert in Carlsbad. 

Vista, California

This was a very special night. My parents and I had the bounty of visiting a neighbourhood in Vista, San Diego, a predominantly hispanic speaking population with the most vibrant atmosphere. There was so much life in the room filled with children, junior youth and their families, all engaged in building better communities. I really grew to admire the friends serving in this community for the love, dedication and enthusiasm they have for the friends they are serving along side. This community hosts 2 Childrens Classes, 4 Junior Youth Groups, Sewing classes, English Classes and even a Soccer team! This event was hosted by two Junior Youth groups, and their families, who put on a delicious Mexican Feast followed by music and conversation. Thank you to all who contributed to what was truly a memorable night! 

I was so busy I only got a couple photos, so here they are! 

Mira Mesa, California

I met with some youth serving in the neighbourhood of Mira Mesa and near by surrounds, to share some of my music and my experiences as a Baha'i inspired musician. It was a wonderful night filled with music and discussion. We talked about the role of music in community building, and the ways in which our communities can directly support artists, so that there can be more of them using their unique abilities to further serve the community. It was insightful to learn of some of their experiences with arts based initiatives, and I was excited to share stories and reflections of my own experiences through South America and how I witnessed the friends use the arts to influence positive change in rural and urban communities. Was just really great to open up a space to have an elevated discussion surrounding the arts and I'm so grateful to the youth for opening their home and hearts, and for sharing some of their beautiful melodic anthems with me <3

San Diego Music Workshop

When I travel I'm always trying to find ways to raise capacity and distribute what I've learnt in my short trips to communities around the world. We all have so much to learn from one another, and I find that many friends want to learn how they too can contribute to building more musical communities. I'm really trying to learn how my work can be sustained in my absence, months/years after I visit a community. So I've developed these short 2-3 hour workshops that reflect on the importance of the Arts and putting the Sacred Writings to music, qualities the music should possess when partnered with the Sacred Texts, and developing our own capacities as musicians to set original melodies to the Writings. Seen here are the participants of one of the workshops we held in the San Diego region. 

'They who recite the verses of the All-Merciful in the most melodious of tones will perceive in them that with which the sovereignty of earth and heaven can never be compared…. Say: These verses draw hearts that are pure unto those spiritual worlds that can neither be expressed in words nor intimated by allusion. Blessed be those who hearken.'

- The Kitab-i-Aqdas

Del Sur, California

The Iraninejad Family hosted a wonderful evening of music in their home with about 60 friends from the neighbourhood. It was also the night before my birthday, hence the birthday candles :) What a wonderful way to spend my birthday, doing what I love to such a warm and friendly audience. Was such a treat to meet so many dedicated friends who are investing so much time and energy into enriching the lives of children in their community in such creative ways! 

Tiny Havoc @ Guilt & Co.

Not many of you may know this, but I also play in a small indie Jazz band in Vancouver called Tiny Havoc  with some of my friends and former colleagues at the Sarah McLachlan School of Music. It's really fun to play around with lyrics and melody amongst such talented friends/musicians. 

We just finished recording out debut album and hope to release it before this Summer. Here are some photos from a recent gig we played at a local venue, Guilt & Co. 

Frisco, Texas

Spent the afternoon and evening with youth in Frisco discussing themes such as living a coherent life, balancing service with study, and how to integrate the arts into community building. The evening ended with a few songs shared by myself and some of the talented youth. 

Rockwall, Texas

Was an honour to work with roughly 20 Junior Youth and Youth from the Rockwall neighbourhood on memorizing some of the quotes they had chosen to put to music. We reflected on the importance of eloquence, reverence, articulation, phrasing and style when it comes to putting the sacred writings of Faith to music. We were limited in space and time, but our hearts were full with excitement and enthusiasm. Seen here are youth in various areas of the house, putting their chosen Writing to music. Was so inspiring to see the creativity these youth possessed and their elevated contributions to understanding the role of arts and music in unifying our communities. Many thanks to the de la Torre family for hosting so many friends and their families from the neighbourhood. 

 

 

Houston, Texas

Was able to participate in a couple Ayyám-i-Há celebrations in the Houston Area including the childrens' festival pictured below. I also got to perform at a Fundraiser at the Baha'i Centre. I didn't get any photos from the performance but here is a picture of the really amazing mural on the outer wall of the centre, painted by non other than Weah.