Hafez Modirzadeh

Hafez Modirzadeh

Read THIS to learn more about Hafez’s “Chromodal” concept

For over two decades, composer/saxophonist/theorist Hafez Modirzadeh has developed his pioneering “chromodal” concept, a cross-cultural musical approach developed from his own American jazz and Iranian dastgah heritages. He has published extensively on the subject while developing alternative performance techniques to adapt the saxophone to the Persian tuning system. Dr. Modirzadeh studied the dastgah repertoire extensively with Iranian violinist Mahmoud Zoufonoun, followed by a stint at New England Conservatory to study saxophone with Joe Allard and musical concepts with George Russell. He received his Masters from UCLA and his Ph.D. in Ethnomusicology from Wesleyan University. He was twice named an NEA Jazz Fellow (1989, 1991) and was granted a Fulbright to work with Gnawan and Flamenco musicians in Morocco and Andalucia in 2005-06, which resulted in his latest CD, “Bemsha Alegria” (2007, Disques Chromodal). Dr. Modirzadeh is currently a full-time professor of World Culture in Music at San Francisco State University where he directs the World Music and Dance Program. He has performed internationally over the last 20 years with such musicians as Don Cherry, Zakir Hussein, Steve Lacy, Oliver Lake, George Lewis, Peter Apfelbaum, William Lowe, James Newton, Wadada Leo Smith, Omar Sosa, Royal Hartigan, and many Asian and Asian American musical artists such as Fred Ho, Miya Masaoka, Liu Chi Chao, Danongan Kalanduyan, Mark Izu, Anthony Brown, Akira Tana, and Kenny Endo. Perhaps the highlight of Dr. Modirzadeh’s performance career was when he was asked by Ornette Coleman to play with his Quartet at the San Francisco Jazz Festival in 2007. His recorded output as a leader include: Bemsha Alegria (2007, Disques Chromodal); Dandelion (2003, Disques Chromodal); By Any Mode Necessary (1999, X-Dot 25); The Mystery of Sama (1998, AIR); The Peoples’ Blues (1996, X-Dot 25); and In Chromodal Discourse (1993, Asian Improv).