Professor, Music Department
Co-Director, Jazz and World Music Studies
Office: Burke Hall 309
Phone: (415) 405-0302
Hafez Modirzadeh is a Professor of Music and co-director of the Jazz and World Music Studies. He has focused on integrative directions for the practice and education of jazz and world music. On both international and local fronts, he is active in the realms of performing, teaching, recording, publishing, and presenting cross-cultural perspectives regarding musical culture, tradition and innovation, and individual representations thereof.
Dr. Modirzadeh received an M.A. from UCLA (’86) and a PhD from Wesleyan (’92), both in ethnomusicology, and continues to develop an interdisciplinary musical approach he calls “Chromodal Discourse”. From Tehran to Brown Universities, Chromodal theory has been presented within both musical and scientific academic arenas, most recently acknowledged as a formal subject for the Doctorate of Musical Arts by the University of Madison, Wisconsin (Frey 2002). Modirzadeh‘s contributing research has been published in such journals as the Pacific Review of Ethnomusicology (1986), Horn Call (1995-96), Music in China (2000), Ethnomusicology (2001),and Black Music Research (2002).
Over the last three decades, his work on saxophones and a variety of other reeds has been documented on dozens of creative jazz and world LP/CD releases, listed in the Penguin Guide to Jazz, and in 1999, contributing to a Grammy nomination for Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra. Modirzadeh has appeared from the Berlin to Monterey Jazz Festivals, and has performed with such artists as Omar Sosa, Don Cherry, Peter Apfelbaum, Steve Lacy, Fred Ho, Zakir Hussein, Oliver Lake, as well as many on the local San Francisco creative music scene.
Dr. Modirzadeh's composed works have been supported by two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships (’89, ’91), Other Minds (1998), and the Djerassi Composer's Residency Program (2003), while his educational outreach has been repeatedly funded by California Arts Council Artist in Residency (1996-99). Through the 90s, he coordinated San Jose State University’s Improvised Music Studies Program until joining the music faculty at San Francisco State in 1998 to develop programs in both jazz and world music and dance.
In 2004-05, Dr. Modirzadeh’s SF State sabbatical to Andalucia, in Southern Spain, led to a 2006 Fulbright to lecture on Flamenco and Jazz at the University of Granada, which culminated in his 2007 CD release, “Bemsha Alegria”, released on Disques Chromodal.