Nejad, Multi-instrumentalist

Mohammed Saeed Abadi Nejad (known to Western audiences simply as "Nejad") is a renowned Persian master musician, who effectively uses Persian musical instruments to add the influence of Persian music to such Western musical styles as classical, jazz, blues, new age, and flamenco. He also performs traditional Persian classical music. Nejad was born to a musical family, in Tehran, Iran. At the age of 5 he began learning Persian drum, followed by ney (Persian flute) lessons from his father. In Tehran he attended a special high school for musicians, later graduating from the Fine Arts Academy in 1976, and in 1990 received a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Musicianship and Performance from Tehran University. Over the years he has studied with almost a dozen masters of various instruments in their native countries: he went to Turkey to learn kanoun and oud, to Bombay, India to learn Indian flute, and to the United Arab Emirates and Syria to study Arabic ney. Besides studying music, Nejad has also taught music for fourteen years. In the early 1990's he recorded for the Iranian motion picture industry. Nejad first came to visit the U.S. in 1995, at the invitation of Mr. Akbar Mohseny, a famous Iranian composer.

Deciding to stay, he now resides here in the Bay area. Nejad plays many instruments, including ney, oud, daf, zarb, Persian tar, setar, kanoun, and santur, as well as violin and Western flute. He has performed throughout Asia, Europe, and the United States, including most campuses of the University of California, the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, and the San Jose Center for the Performing Arts. Most recently, he has performed at the Bohemian Club in San Francisco, and with Ballet Afsaneh at the annual San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival. In the Bay area he has started several unusual Persian classical orchestras: an all-women's orchestra, an all-children's orchestra, as well as the first orchestra for (only) American adult musicians, to play Persian classical music. He is also the music leader for Anthony Shay's Avaz Persian orchestra, based in Los Angeles.