Mamak Khadem is a singer. By nature, she is a nomad, one who thrives on open spaces. By occupation, she is a bridge, one that connects geography to lore. In music, she is open to cultural influences, but she has chosen the classical Persian style as her base.
She was born in Iran, at a time when tides were changing. She was part of the Children's Choir for National Radio and Television of Iran, but it wasn't until the late 1970s and after the Iranian Revolution of 1979 that her passion for singing waxed. Inspired by works of master musicians in the 1980s, she seized every opportunity to further her vocal art, regularly traveling back to Iran to study with some of the finest Persian vocalists and masters. She benefited from classical Indian singing tradition at Ali Akbar Khan College of Music in northern California and from Bulgarian chore of Nevenka while exploring the traditional music of Greece, Turkey, and Armenia.
Trained in the classical Persian style, Khadem adapts verses by young, contemporary Iranian poets and revered masters like Rumi and Shamloo to melodies from Iran's classical and folk repertoires. Khadem has earned invitations to perform everywhere from the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., to the House of Culture in Berlin, and the World Festival of Sacred Music in Los Angeles. She has also put her imprint on Hollywood with her work on film and TV soundtracks, including the films Peace Maker, The Cross, Dracula 2000, and the TV shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dark Angels, and Battlestar Galactica.
Jostojoo (Forever Seeking), Khadem’s most recent CD, was inspired by travels to Turkey, Armenia, Greece, and remote parts of Iran. With all vocals gorgeously sung in Khadem’s native Persian, it reflects the music and culture she considers her “home” to this day.