Wherever you are, whatever you do, be in love. – Rumi
The poems of 13th century Persian mystic Muhammad Jalal al-Din al-Balkhi al-Rumi, who has long shaped Muslims around the world, plunge us into a bold, full-blooded view of human reality. Gorgeous, grim, transcendent, or tragic, Rumi embraces our nature and models a language of hope. As the northern hemisphere spins toward the longest night of the year, come find solace and inspiration in a tapestry of chant, movement, and the words of Rumi. Rumi scholar and interpreter Fatemeh Keshavarz and musician Jessika Kenney will create a deeply meditative evening that touches the soul and makes space for the liminal mysteries that unfold throughout this season. The threads of hope that fill Rumi’s lines will inspire us to reach beyond our knowing, toward a vision for humanity that is beautiful, courageous and pregnant with God.
Iranian-American poet and scholar Fatemeh Keshavarz was born and raised in the city of Shiraz in southwest Iran. A strong believer in the importance of cultural education, she is the Roshan Institute Chair in Persian Studies and director of the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland. Fatemeh is a Rumi scholar, a published poet in Persian and English, and an activist for peace and justice. Her books include Reading Mystical Lyric: the Case of Jalal al-Din Rumi and Jasmine and Stars: Reading more than Lolita in Tehran.
Experimental vocalist and composer Jessika Kenney is known for a haunting sense of timbre. A longtime student of Gamelan and Persian song who has studied in Indonesia and under famed Iranian singer and ney flute player Hossein Omouni, she is known for performance of Indonesian and Persian vocal music and compositions drawing on both traditions. She has composed music to Fatemeh Keshavarz’s works. Her albums include Atria and The Face of the Earth. Jessika lives on Tataviam land in southern California.
Fatemeh Keshavarz Reads Rumi
Jessika Kenney & Eyvind Kang – The Face of the Earth
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