Music > Persian Musicians > INTERVIEW WITH GUITARIST KAWEH BY SHABNAM REZAEI
Born in Saarbruecken, the
half-Iranian, half-German Kaweh was surrounded by music at an early
age. Having been exposed to many languages, cultures and sounds, Kaweh
offers a wide variety of music to his fans. Currently based in
California, Kaweh represents Iran well in that he is the culmination of
many different colors and types of music. Ranging from Jazz to Fusion
and Funk, the cosmopolitan sounds of Kaweh's guitar are memorable and
unique. We had a chance to briefly interview Kaweh. Our discussions
PersianMirror: Tell us a little about yourself.
Kaweh: I grew up in Germany
where at an early age I was around music from different countries. For
4 and a half years starting at the age of seven I lived in Iran and
when I was twelve I came back to Germany and then nine months later to
the States. I now live in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is where I
first came as I arrived in the States. I did live in Florida for 1 1/2
years, going to Audio Engineering school and 2 years in Georgia on
business. I started at the age of 20. At that time no one around was
supportive of my choice. I started by learning some of my favorite
cover songs from my friend Joey Rennick. I studied SRV for a good year,
Santana for 1 month, Joe Pass, Armik, Django Reinhardt. I learned the
E9 chord from some guy sitting outside a local pool hall jamming on the
''I learned the E9 chord from some guy sitting outside a local pool hall jamming on the guitar.'' - Kaweh
PM: Who were some of the biggest influence of your music, past or present?
K: I'd say Stevie Ray Vaughn
for the blues, Joe Pass for the solo jazz style, Armik for the Nueveo
Flamenco style and later Ottmar Liebert. My first heavy influence as I
started out playing guitar and singing however was The Doors. Robby
Krieger's guitar playing and Jim Morrison's vocals was what I listened
to for a long while. A good four years I'd say. I still know a lot of
Doors songs. For vocals I'd like to give credit to Elvis Presley as
well. I still listen to Elvis every now and then. Interestingly enough
Elvis was one of Jim Morrison's influences also. And now in the past
year I've been influenced by The Gypsy Kings. And so as a result when
we perform we play a couple of Gypsy King songs.
PM: How do you think your work fits in with the traditional Iranian music? Is it comparable and how?
K: I do pull from my Middle
Eastern influences quite a bit. Even when playing jazz I sometimes use
eastern melodies. I actually have some Persian songs that I've written.
Music and Poem and in the next year that will be available. So it fits
in. It is a bit different though. I am only half-Persian and
half-German and I didn't live there long enough to build a big
vocabulary. But I manage and the songs are more simple. My Persian
songs are also not as sad as most Persian music.
PM: What are some of the upcoming projects or events that you have planned in the near future?
K: The most important project
right now is to finish recording the new album, Play Spanish, and to
release it. A big event beside our CD release party thereafter, is the
Persian New Years here at Vassona Park where every year two thousand
Persians gather to celebrate Eid. I am working with a local non-profit
organization called Paywand. One of the founders, Fariba Nejad and I
are working closely to put on a concert for the people.
PM: Desert Island. Three things. What will you take?
K: Water, Food & a Guitar of course.