Jamshied Sharifi


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Watch the documentary Awakening: Evoking the Arab Spring through Music

Original air date on PBS WGBH 2 was May 31, 2013 at 10:30pm

PBS broadcasts MIT music documentary (MIT SHASS News)
MIT’s documentary concert performance “Awakening: Evoking the Arab Spring through Music,” will air on Boston’s WGBH on Friday, May 31, 2013 at 10:30pm. The 30-minute program features the world premiere of a three-movement work, “Awakening,” by MIT alumnus and New York-based composer Jamshied Sharifi ’83, first performed on March 17, 2012 by the MIT Wind Ensemble, led by Dr. Frederick E. Harris, Director of the ensemble, and Lecturer in the Music and Theater Arts Section. Read more.

MIT Documentary Honors the Arab Spring (Alumni Association Slice of MIT Blog)
For musician and composer Jamshied Sharifi ’83, the uprisings of the Arab Spring were personal. Born in Kansas to an Iranian father and American mother, Sharifi was exposed to Middle Eastern music as a child and later watched unsuccessful political protests in Iran. So when MIT Wind Ensemble music director Frederick Harris asked Sharifi to compose music related to the Arab Spring, he welcomed the opportunity. Read more.

Jamshied Sharifi  is a New York-based composer, producer, and keyboardist. He was born in Topeka, Kansas to an Iranian father and an American mother. Sharifi graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1983 with a degree in humanities, and Summa Cum Laude from Berklee College of Music in Boston, with a degree in Jazz Composition and Arranging. At MIT and Berklee, he studied with the legendary Herb Pomeroy, who asked him at graduation to lead the MIT Festival Jazz Ensemble. While in Boston, Sharifi studied piano with Charlie Banacos, and West African drumming with Godwin Agbeli and Abubakari Lunna.

Sharifi’s previous work ranges from composing scores for major motion pictures, performing and recording with his own world music ensemble to producing and arranging for other artists. He also served as an arranger for President Obama for the Inaugural Concert “We Are One”. He has performed at many prestigious venues throughout the world, including Carnegie Hall and Radio City Music Hall in New York, the Hollywood Bowl and the Getty Center in Los Angeles, the Opera Theater in Sydney, Cité de la Musique in Paris, and Svetlanovsky Hall in Moscow.

Residency March 12-17, 2012

MIT Visiting Artist and alumnus Jamshied Sharifi brought his unique compositional talent to MIT in the spring of 2012 as composer-in-residence from March 12-17. Sharifi’s residency included the world premiere of Awakening, written for the MIT Wind Ensemble, and a panel with MIT students that recognizes the Arab Spring.

Jamshied Sharifi’s remarkable professional career as a composer and keyboardist, producer and arranger, has included work for motion pictures, his own world music ensemble, collaboration with artists such as Ray Charles, and arrangements for the Inauguration of President Obama. Sharifi is an MIT and Berklee College of Music alumnus.

On March 13, Jamshied Sharifi, Philip Khoury, Obaidah Abuhashem, and Emily Jackson participated in an interdisciplinary panel titled Awakening the Arab Spring in Killian Hall at 5:30 p.m.  Read more about the event

The March 17 concert program for Awakening: A world premiere by Jamshied Sharifi, included Bernard, Divertissement for Winds; Copland, Variations on a Shaker Melody; Schuman, When Jesus Wept; Bernstein, Profanation from Symphony no. 1; and Sharifi, Awakening, world premiere. Performed by the MIT Wind Ensemble; Frederick Harris, Jr., Music Director; Kenneth Amis, assistant conductor; Jamshied Sharifi, Composer-in-Residence.  Read more about the concert


Jamshied Sharifi’s Myspace

Press coverage:
WBUR’s Here and Now

NPR’s Day to Day
PRI’s The World

MIT coverage:
MIT Campus News: Jamshied Sharifi ‘83 recognizes the Arab Spring with commission for the MIT Wind Ensemble
MIT SHASS News: PBS broadcasts MIT music documentary
Alumni Association Slice of MIT Blog: MIT Documentary Honors the Arab Spring

Documentary Awakening: Evoking the Arab Spring through Music(originally aired on PBS May 31, 2013. 30 minutes)

Rehearsal for Awakening world premiere March 2012

Three movements of Awakening: World premiere performed by the MIT Wind Ensemble on March 17, 2012:

Movement I
Movement II

Movement III

The following programs and people were instrumental in helping to organize this residency: Dr. Frederick Harris, Jr., Director of Wind and Jazz Ensembles and MIT’s Department of Music and Theater Arts.