Global Interviews

Ramin Sadighi , Iran

1 Why do you celebrate International Jazz Day?
A big part is springing of course out of my personal interest as Jazz is among my most favorite music. But despite that, jazz and the “jazzy” attitude has also a strong presence in my professional life. Last but not least, jazz music is not just very popular among educated Iranians and music lovers but also in spirit having many things in common with Persian music. What I am referring to is not musical structure but rather the characteristic of our music in general, which is very much based on improvisation. So far I have organized a good number of jazz events in Iran and because of the good relation we have with the prestigious ECM Label, I was able to bring many prominent musicians (mostly from Europe) namely Wolfert Brederode, Yuri Honing, Nik Baertsch, Bjoern Meyer, Klaus Gesing, Anouar Brahem, Renaud Garcia-Fons, Francois Couturier, Anja Lechner, Alain Brunet, Colin Vallon…and the way that the audience absorbs their music and the reception is a must-see thing. I really cannot put those reactions into words but whoever came and played here was fascinated by it and were was to come back (as some already played did and performed several times).

2 What does jazz mean to you? To your community / country / constituency?
To me jazz is far beyond just a musical genre and has a deep impact in my lifestyle – an attribute which also has some relevance to our traditional Iranian customs. That openness, warm blooded tolerance and hospitality (no matter whether you like to interpret it as a social behavior or being hospitable in appreciating other musicians’ music and integrating it with yours)… are characteristics which for us Iranians are very familiar and common.
 
3 How can jazz improve people’s lives?
I believe there are 3 major aspects tied with jazz music which can definitely improve lives: tolerance, appreciation and team spirit. These are to me far more important than the musical content or aesthetics itself.