In SoSaLa, front-man, saxophonist and vocalist Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi blends melancholic melodies with those of his native Iran and an ambient-psychedelic take on World music
Depending on the client's budget Sohrab selects his members. SoSaLa could be a solo act with Sohrab on sax, or a duo (sax and percussion/conga) or a trio (sax, percussion and kemancheh) or a four piece band (w. sax, bass, drums and electric guitar)
As a solo, duo or trio act SoSaLa loves to do house concerts.
SoSaLa plays only for a fee.
Felt alternately blissed out and mildly stoned this past Friday by saxophonist and vocalist Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi and his SoSoLa band, joined by David Belmont, in a stunning show in downtown Manhattan. There was nary a whisper in the house throughout their 90-minute-plus sold-out show at CA music room, as beautiful and funky a venue as I've ever seen, housed in an East Side townhouse.
The music blended soulful melodies from Ladjevardi’s native Iran with improvisation, lo-fi electronics, and diverse instrumentation to create an ambient and psychedelic take on World music.
Maestro Ladjevardi has worked with everyone from Malian pop star Salif Keita to Ornette Coleman and Bachir Attar of Morocco’s Master Musicians of Jajouka. He is a commanding presence who, in between pyrotechnical riffs on his alto sax later in the show, talked philosophically about life and death ("conjoined together as two sides of one coin") along with serious disquisitions on what it means to live the life of a musician.
Also performing were SoSoLa regulars Baba Don Eaton (congas, percussion and backing vocals) and Kaveh Haghtalab (Kamancheh).
If you have a chance to see Sohrab better grab it while you can. If you think "La La Land" was a trip, this, my friends, is the real deal.
Response from SoSaLa:
Thanks Warren for this cool review. Hope to see you at one of our forthcoming shows.
This was chamber music, infused with subtle elements of performance art that would have worked just as well in a large venue. Each musician brought their own strengths to the performance. They created an inner experience for the audience, wherein cultures overlap, and new emotions are felt. And the concert was a success. The audience went away knowing they’d bore witness to a rare and beautiful event.
Response from SoSaLa:
Thanks Dawoud for this cool review. Honestly, I'm very proud of my music project SoSaLa. I feel this band has a great future ahead. The compositions and the sounds they execute touches people's hearts. As legendary jazz man Billy Harper, who attended my show, quoted:
“I went to see the musician, Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi of SoSaLa a few nights ago, and I must say, that I was totally impressed by his honesty and sincerity. That’s perhaps one of the things that is missing in many practitioners of the music. It was quite refreshing to experience his concert presentation.
PS. It is sometimes good to get “outside of oneself” and see what someone else may be experiencing about his music.”
He played my event recently and he is a very talented tenor sax player. I also admired his passion as an activist for musicians.
Response from SoSaLa:
Thanks, Destini for inviting me to your school event "Bridg.". Honestly, before the concert I was a little nervous, because it was the first time that I played my original music in front of high school girls. I also liked the fact, that your classmates listened to the things I said. I also appreciated that after listening deeply to my music you decided to invite me. I.e. you knew who you were inviting to play. Respect! I also apprecitated the fee you paid. You showed respect to my profession and me as a professional musician. Again respect! Please advocate with your friends #MakingMusicIsAProfession.
What to Expect
As a solo artist or as the leader of my band SoSaLa, I'm very interactive with my audience. I have no problem to talk to them from or off stage.
I try to make my shows to be a real and personal experience.
My goal is to present different perspectives of live. Make my audience think. Remind them that music is not only about entertainment but also a medium to speak about social issues. Tell them stories they haven't heard before.
I also want my audience aware that we musicians are hard working people and need to get paid like other professionals, because of the notion that "making music is a profession."
Usually all my musicians are experts of their instruments. SoSaLa is a rehearsed band. We can play easily club and festival gigs. The sound is a fusion of jazz, blues, oriental melodies and is very "groovy or funky."
My vocals are in different languages, mainly in English but also in German, Japanese and Farsi.
Depending on the budget I would also have performers, dancers, stage actors on stage.
I'm able to present a multi media performance with music, dance and video projection.
I also would love to share the stage with local bands and even invite local musicians to perform with me in order to draw more people to our show.
Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi was born to Iranian parents in Zurich, Switzerland, and raised in Hamburg, Germany. He moved to Japan in 1974 to study Kendo (Japanese swordsmanship) & Judo. During his thirty four years in Japan, he became a master in Kendo, and the first non-Japanese to pass all 6 Dan exams in Japan.
In 1976, at the age of 26, he started to play the tenor saxophone. Six months later he played his first professional gig. Eventually, Saadat found the disciplinarian approach of Kendo lifestyle, and his growing interest in music and performance incompatible. The music was to prevail. He retired from his career as a Kendo teacher, and began his career as a full time musician.
He toured with his band SADATO in Europe (including performances at the Montreux Jazz Festival) and the United States. He soon released records on his own label KAMPAI RECORDS, and became one of the first indie artists in Japan to release on CD instead of on vinyl. Saadat's status in the Japanese indie scene grew. He became friends with international musicians, such as Ornette Coleman, Salif Keita, Karl Berger, Yann Tiersen, Elvin Jones, Don Cherry, John Zorn, Elliot Sharp, Blixa Bargeld, Bill Laswell, Arto Lindsay, Horace Silver, Fugazi, and many others.
When he wasn't touring or recording, he worked for a few years as a distribution manager for a Tokyo indie label and publisher. This proved valuable in learning about the music business. With the contacts he had both overseas and in Japan, it was time to go into music business on his own. From 1993 through 2008 Saadat achieved notable success as the CEO of the Tokyo indie music company, POP BIZ LTD.
PBL had a revolutionary business model in Japan. It was the first Japanese company that imported and distributed European indie CDs and vinyl records “exclusively” to major stores nationwide, such as TOWER RECORDS, HM, VIRGIN, and many other smaller retailers. In 1997 PBL decided to run its own record company, POP BIZ REC, producing and releasing a diverse collection of European and Japanese artists. In 2004 PBL published her own free music print magazine, Doo Bee Doo Bee Doo. In 2005 Saadat organized the international world music festival DOO BEE FEST in the old city of Tokyo.
In 2008 Saadat closed PBL and he and his wife moved to New York City
The second day after his arrival in NY, he started his music career playing as a street musician on the streets and in the subway during the day and going to jam sessions late at night. By 2009 Saadat was playing as a sidemen in different bands and music projects. Later on he formed his own band The Tehran-Dakar Brothers. In between he composed music for indie films and started the music on-line magazine DooBeeDooBeeDoo NY. In this year he decided to become a music activist. He supported social and political issues with his horn.
In 2010 he formed a new band called SoSaLa and released the CD "Nu World Trash" in 2011. During this period, his mentor and friend Ornette Coleman provided him with invaluable assistance and guidance.
In 2012 he joined the musicians union Local 802 and got involved in her campaign “Justice For Jazz Artists,” which was co-led by the Jazz legends Bob Cranshaw and Jimmy Owens.
In 2013 Saadat was invited by universities to speak about his activism. Influenced by the union's ideology and from the experience he had as a struggling musician in New York, he decided to create a platform for musicians to organize and tackle their problems as a group. In 2015 this was realized in the founding of the non-profit organization Musicians For Musicians (MFM).
As of the beginning of 2016, in addition to running MFM, Saadat continues to perform and record (as leader of SoSaLa, and solo), and run DooBeeDooBeeDoo. NY.
Additional Booking Notes
As a solo artist playing my sax depending on the size of the venue I need only a small PA and two mikes for my sax and vocals.
In case of my band with myself on vocals and sax, drums, bass and guitar/keyboard, I need a normal back line with any kind of good sounding amps and basic drum set.
And two mikes for my vocals and sax. Plus stage monitors for all members.
Reg. lighting: I like to have a black and white image.
The stage positioning of all members is a half circle, so that we can see each other very well.
Past Booked Events
|December 20, 2017 • 7:00pm - 9:00pm||SoSaLa 1st And Last Concert of 2017|
|May 12, 2017 • 7:00pm - 7:15pm||Festival|
The set list depends on size of band, show time and type of venue.
SoSaLa plays only original music. Mostly songs from the CD "Nu World Trash" or new compositions. We also improvise a lot like a jam band.
In a normal situation we can play easily two sets of 45 minutes plus two encore songs.
A set has an average of up to 7 songs.
|Baba Donn Eaton||percussion|
Influences & Inspiration
Musicians such as Ornette Coleman, Salif Keita, James Brown, John Lee Hooker,
Frank Zappa, Soft Machine, Cream, Jimi Hendrix, Paco De Lucia, Ravi Shankar, and may others.
Besides the back line, Pa, stage monitors and lightning, there's nothing else being needed.