News / Arts & Entertainment

    Rising Iranian Musicians Slain in New York

    FILE - Ali Eskandarian performs at Joe's Pub's 10th Anniversary Gala and tribute to Judy Collins at the Public Theater in New York, Oct. 10, 2008.
    FILE - Ali Eskandarian performs at Joe's Pub's 10th Anniversary Gala and tribute to Judy Collins at the Public Theater in New York, Oct. 10, 2008.
    RFE/RL
    A gunman has shot dead three Iranian musicians in New York before turning the gun on himself.

    Two of the victims were members of the Iranian indie rock band Yellow Dogs, which became famous after appearing in the award-winning movie No One Knows About Persian Cats.

    The members of Yellow Dogs moved to the United States three years ago in a bid to pursue their rock-and-roll dream in a climate of greater freedom.

    At home in Iran, Yellow Dogs were part of that country's underground music scene. With rock concerts banned, bands are forced to operate clandestinely to avoid punishment by the state.

    Details of the shooting at a building in Brooklyn, New York, are still unclear. But on November 11, two members of the band -- two brothers -- were shot dead by the gunman, who has been identified in media reports as a musician from another band.

    The perpetrator also shot dead another Iranian musician in the same building and then killed himself.

    The band’s manager, Ali Salehzadeh, told The New York Times that Soroush Farazmand, a guitarist, and Arash Farazmand, the drummer, had been killed.

    Another man in the house reportedly survived the shooting with an arm injury. His condition has been reported as stable.

    The reason for the attack, which occurred after midnight, is not clear. Some news reports initially suggested that the shooter was a former member of the Yellow Dogs who had been kicked out of the band after a dispute over money, although that was disputed by later reports.

    Investigators were still trying to determine the details of the shooting spree.

    Reports say police officers who arrived at the scene of the shooting found the bodies of three men on the second and third floors. Two had been shot in the head and one in the chest, police said. The body of the suspected shooter was found on the roof of the building with a rifle next to him. He had apparently died from a self-inflicted wound to the head.

    Fame and Scrutiny

    The tragic incident has caused shock and sadness among fans of the Yellow Dogs.

    They were among the underground musicians featured in Bahman Ghobadi's widely acclaimed movie No One Knows About Persian Cats, which focuses on Iran's underground music scene.

    The movie brought the Tehran band fame and also more scrutiny from the regime, which led to them leaving the country and seeking asylum in the United States.

    In one of the movie's scenes the band is rehearsing in a makeshift studio on a Tehran rooftop. In a 2011 interview, members of the band told RFE/RL that they had built the soundproof studio themselves.

    All they wanted was to achieve their dream of "playing music everywhere in this world," the band said. "We don't like to use our Iranian nationality for being famous. There are [Iranian musicians] dying for that, here they exaggerate these topics," -- a reference to repression and human rights violations in Iran -- "just to go to festivals and make money out of it."

    Members of the band left Iran following the 2009 mass street protests after the re-election of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. They said some of their friends had been among those arrested and injured in the crackdown.

    "A lot of our friends were in trouble, some went to the hospital, other were jailed. Some cops, we don't know if they were from the government, they came and took some photographs of that dark house, the practicing room that we had on the rooftop, and there was more attention after the movie [came out]. We felt it might be a little dangerous, especially for our music, because our music -- we sing in English, and most people [in Iran] don't really understand -- but if you go and check out our lyrics, they're really aggressive," one of the band members, who is unidentified in the interview, told RFE/RL.

    After fleeing Iran, they performed in Istanbul in what was reportedly their first public concert. Their rock-and-roll career continued in New York, where the band settled in Brooklyn and played at a number of well-known venues and festivals.

    You May Like

    Post-White House, Obamas to Rent Washington Mansion

    Nine-bedroom home is 3 kilometers from Oval Office, near capital's Embassy Row; rent estimated at around $22,000 a month

    Red Planet? Not so much!

    New research suggest that Mars is in a warm period between cyclical ice ages, and that during Ice Age Maximum over 500,000 years ago, the red planet was decidedly ice, and much whiter to the naked eye.

    Taj Mahal Battles New Threat from Insects

    Swarms of insects are proliferating in the heavily contaminated waters of the Yamuna River, which flows behind the 17th century monument

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Godwin from: Nigeria
    November 13, 2013 10:15 AM
    Please check how much that shooter is influenced from Tehran. That incident is a smear campaign to make Iranians and such other dissidents feel unsafe to find safe haven in USA and other western countries. He must have been indoctrinated in Iran to cause that trouble. Even at death, he should be tried and imprisoned for life. But though it is a free society, those musician asylum candidates deserved to be watched both for their safety and possible bend over back activities. Don't be caught napping again, it is not good for USA. Rouhani should call off all uncompleted terrorist activities if Iran is to be taken seriously to want to reintegrate into world affairs.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    New in Music Alley

    Take It From The Top: Stanley Jordani
    || 0:00:00
    ...  
     
    X
    May 17, 2016 5:01 PM
    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously. He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

    Jazz fusion artist, Stanley Jordan is known for his touch technique which allows him to play melodies and chords simultaneously.  He can also play two different guitars or a guitar and piano at the same time.

     

     

     

     

    Blogs

    African Music Treasures