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Base New York, New York, USA
Genre World Music, Persian, Iranian, Vocal, Fusion
Instruments Voice, Violin, Kamanche, Oud, Guitar, Percussion
The Music The group plays Iranian folk songs and popular songs of pre-revolution Iran.
The songs:
- are performed with a Western edge
- are melodic and rhythmic
- are sung in Farsi with some translated verses in English
- are beautiful, sometimes sweeping, gentle and passionate
- have a modern sound, while retaining traditional structure
Recordings The group's first CD will be released in May 2005
Midtown Sound Studios, Scott Noll Engineer; Jamshied Sharifi producer.
Availability Subject to scheduling constraints, the group is happy to perform in music festivals, concerts, clubs, and organized charity events.
The group

The group was formed in October of 2004 in New York City by Monika Jalili to perform the music of Iran. The selected performers are accomplished musicians with decades of experience. More information on each individual can be found on their respective sites or by following links on the www.NoorsAAz.com website.

The word, "NoorSaaz", in Farsi, is a combination of the words "Noor" meaning "light" and "Saaz" meaning both "creator" and "musical instrument"


Monika Jalili is a classically trained vocalist born in New York City. A graduate of The Manhattan School of Music, Monika has a love for Persian music and culture. Her past performances have taken her to venues in Europe, Russia, Ukraine, to Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, Symphony Space, and around the US. She has performed and been interviewed on Iranian television and radio from studios in Los Angeles and aired worldwide.

Timothy Quigley is a percussionist/multi-instrumentalist and composer living in Brooklyn, New York. Known for his versatility and tastefulness, Timothy is accomplished in playing in a wide variety of styles and contexts on the drum set as well as congas, doumbek, def, riq, tapan and frame drums. His creative approach and unique sound have led to many collaborations. He has worked extensively as a sideman, sharing the stage with notables such as Smokey Hormel (Beck, Tom Waits), Frank London (Klezmatics, Klezmer Brass All Stars), Ron Miles (Bill Frisell Quartet), Doug Wieselman, Reuben Radding, Allen Ginsburg, Charming Hostess and Cheb Nasro.

Megan Weeder is a versatile classically-trained musician. Her studio tracks have appeared on recordings ranging from the rock 'n roll of John Mellencamp (RCA) to the catchy pop of the Mysteries of Life (No Nostalgia) and the alt-punk stylings of John Wilkes Booze (Kill Rock Stars). She has performed with Mary Chapin Carpenter, India.arie, the Lord Yehudi Menuhin and famed world music groups such as the Master Musicians of Jajouka and Azerbaijani singer Alim Qasimov. Her performances have been broadcast on MTV, NBC, PBS and FOX television, and at radio stations across the country. She has performed at venues such as Carnegie Hall (NYC), the Kennedy Center (Washington, D.C.), Rockefeller Center (NYC), the Lilith Fair Tour (IN, OH, MI), the San Francisco Jazz Festival, the Field Museum (Chicago), the Verizon Wireless Music Center (Indianapolis), Navy Pier (Chicago) and the Lotus World Music Festival (Bloomington, IN).

Mavrothis Kontanis was born in Pennsylvania to Greek immigrants. He grew up listening to a blend of Greek music and Western classical music. By thirteen he was playing guitar, and three years later, Greek bouzouki. After meeting his future oud teacher and seeing and hearing this beautiful instrument for the first time, Mav started at the age of 16 to study oud. Mav has had influential teachers, from Hristos Panopoulos and Sotirios Tsourekis on bouzouki, to Stamatis Merzanis, Emin Gunduz, Dr. Munir N. Beken, Kyriakos Kalaitzidis, and Dincer Dalkilic on oud and makam theory.

Nathan Dillon studied jazz and classical guitar at Indiana University and is currently at Brooklyn College. He has also performed afropop, blues and live hip hop. When Nathan is not playing music he works at the Bank Street Progressive School.


World music composer, performer, and producer, Jamshied Sharifi, is guiding the creation of NoorsAAz's first CD.
Copyright 2005 Monika Jalili, All Rights Reserved Worldwide. Unauthorized use or reproduction prohibited.