..::: ZOHREH JOOYA :::.. biography

Zohreh Jooya’s music builds bridges between the cultures of Iran, Afghanistan and the Western world.


Zohreh Jooya, an artist living in both worlds
......born and raised in Mashhad, Iran. Her father being from Afghanistan and her mother from Iran she profited from both cultures. After high school she moved to Europe to study music. Beginning in Amsterdam, she then came to Vienna where she received a classical music education at the “Academy of Music”. She then earned a master degree in classical singing  at the “Conservatory of the City of Vienna”.

Both, the Oriental and the European worlds influenced and inspired Jooya. Her European classical engagements have been, not only in diverse opera performances throughout Europe but also in the performance of the songs of Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert on television and radio shows. Currently Jooya performs at concerts, covering a broad spectrum from Italian baroque music to music from Iran and Afghanistan.

She has created a new way of interpreting the traditional music from Iran and Afghanistan which are published by Koch International, ARC Music and Taraneh Record on several albums:

“Persian Nights” and “A Journey to Persia” arranged by Nariman Hojati and the virtuoso kamancheh player, Said Faradj-Poury are examples of the beauty of the different ethnic music styles in Iran. They give a feel of the multicultural life were Persians, Kurds, Azerbaijanians and Gilanians express their feelings musically in so different ways but still feel as the people of one country.
“Songs from Afghanistan” and “Afghan Music” were recorded with the famed singers Hamid Golestani and Ostad Hussein Arman, one of the legends of the old radio Kabul. Sobeir Bakhtiar and Khaled Arman play the robab and arranged this music.
The albums comprise a wide range from Afghan folk music to Ghazal and sensitive melodies of Afghanistan before the 1970ies.

Zohreh Jooya’s extensive work with the famous story teller and actor Ostad Parviz Mamnun on the poetry of the 7th century Persian poet Nezami in “Shirin and Farhad”, “The Indian Princess” and “Shahresad” has lead to albums recorded by Parnaz Records.

“Music of the Persian Mystics” published by ARC Music comprises poems from Molana Rumi, Saadi, Hafez and Shafi Katkani, composed by the virtuoso Ostad Majid Derachshani. It is a new way of interpreting the ancient Persian poems played by a mixture of Persian and European instruments.

Jooya’s project with Master Asim Al Chalabi a grandmaster on the oud and Thilges one of Austria’s best bands of experimental and electronic music is the album “La Double Absence”. It describes the fusion of two different materials, and stands for breaking up cultural barriers. Lyrics are of Molana Rumi and the contemporary poet Manucher Radin. This album offers catchy melodies, complex rhythms, and a downright atmospheric density. Western experimental music meets oriental art music.

The album (Old Roots, New Leaves) are songs based on music of the 40 to 60ies in Iran. At that time the music was influenced by European music, but still remained its strong poetic and typically melodic character of Iranian music. Zohreh Jooya and Mehdad Mahmoud carry the melodies into this century with new interpretation and rhythms into a contemporary exiting style. It is love, passion, suffer and joy. It is like a nostalgic journey from the past into today.

Her many appearances on the international and world music scene includes “East meets West” at "Stabat Mater" of Karl Jenkins with the Limburg Symphonic orchestra, conducted by Alice Hendrix. 

Her project “Crossroads” brings together musical traditions which at first glance seem vastly different in a startling organic way. New York and Kabul are 7000 miles apart but become neighbors in the fascinating world of this ensemble based on music arranged by Larry Porter. It combines jazz with Persian and Afghan music in such a way as to create a new identifiable sound all its own, a true blend of old and new, full of enchanting melodies, delicious harmonies, and foot-tapping rhythms.