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Reza Filsoofi

Florida Folklife asked our artists a series of questions to learn more about their traditions and how those traditions have impacted their lives and the lives of those around them. Take a look at the answers we got from Reza Filsoofi below.


What folk tradition(s) or traditional art(s) do you practice?

Photo of Reza Filsoofi

I play Iranian music, which includes traditional, folk, and contemporary music of Iran.

How did you learn those traditions?

I started exploring these traditions when I was very young. My father has been a great source of inspiration throughout my musical journey. He sent both my brother and me to Tehran every summer to stay with my grandmother and also to attend music and English classes. My love and passion for music began then, and it has never ceased. I was lucky to meet the great masters of Iranian music in Tehran, which was and still is the capital of art and music in Iran, and I learned from them.

Why is it important to maintain folk traditions?

Folk traditions in every form (arts, craft, songs, music and etc.,) and regardless of their origins are great tools and resource to promote a peaceful and healthy society. We find our commonalities through our songs, melodies, and crafts and we embrace our differences and we learn from one another. We build bridges especially in such a difficult time that our nation seems divided. This is what a progressive community must do. I strongly believe in preserving and passing down our stories and values to the next generation for a better future.

How did you first get involved with the Florida Folklife Program?

My first performances were with Maestro Jose Louis de la Paz and Susana Behar. We performed Sephardic Music at the Florida Folk Festival in 2011.

What Florida Folklife Program projects have you participated in and/or what folklife awards have you received?

As I mentioned I performed at the Folk Festival in North Florida years ago. Currently, I am an artist resident at History Miami Museum. This has been a great opportunity for me and happened after my participation in Culturefest 305 at the History Miami Museum.

How has the Florida Folklife Program benefited you or what value does the program have?

It is great to have the opportunity to perform Iranian music and present my rich culture. The History Miami Museum has been a great venue to engage with different audiences from a different cultural background. I am very happy and feel humbled to be able to promote the Iranian community and to give them voice and recognition in South Florida through my performances.

How can the Florida Folklife Program better serve you?

It would be great to have the Florida Folklife to organize more talks, performances and other events for me in order to get connected to the public. It would be great if the program also introduced me to other organizations and cultural venues. I would be a great cultural ambassador for our community and through my music I can bring people together. To have such support is very important to me.