Founded in 1985, World Music Institute (WMI) is the leading presenter of world music and dance in the U.S. Music and dance in their myriad forms are both a means to communicate social values and a measure of a society’s aspirations. WMI’s programs are intended to reinforce the cultural values of the community and to communicate to outsiders the unique power of each individual culture.
Since its start, WMI has championed traditional Iranian music through its “Persian Masters” series and other initiatives, giving U.S. audiences a rare perspective on the Iranian culture and people. WMI has presented more than 50 artists from all over Iran, including such notable names as Shahram Nazeri, Hossein Alizadeh, Hossein Oumoumi, Sima Bina, Parisa, and Kayhan Kalhor, as well as younger artists from Kordestan, Bushehr, Khorasan, and Baluchistan. WMI’s commitment continued with its June 5, 2008, presentation of Mohammad Reza Shajarian, Iran’s most celebrated vocalist, at Town Hall in New York City, generously supported by the Cultures of Resistance Network.