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About Opium Moon

"Grammy-winners for their 2018 debut, Opium Moon are "a band of immigrants" making sensuous, atmospheric music drawn as much from their imaginations as from their roots in Iran, Israel, and North America. Hypnotic grooves, driven by MB Gordy's resonant percussion and Itai Disraeli's subtle bass, entwine with Hamid Saeidi's shimmering santoor and the rich fluidity of Lili Haydn's violin. The result is a sultry, rapturous music that sounds like no one else.  "Spacious and timeless" - Bob Boilen/NPR



Twice-nominated Grammy winners Opium Moon create sensuous, enchanting soundscapes that evoke ancient worlds while remaining thoroughly contemporary. Elegant yet deeply emotional, their distinctive sound draws upon the diverse backgrounds of its members: Iranian santoor master Hamid Saeidi, innovative Israeli bassist Itai Disraeli, sought-after American percussionist M.B. Gordy, and virtuosic Canadian-American violinist Lili Haydn.


With original compositions that meld sacred/classical traditions of East and West with trance-inducing grooves, the result is at times both stately and rapturous, a sultry and passionate instrumental music that seems to emanate from a deep wellspring. NPR's Bob Boilen called it "both a deep, thoughtful breath and an upbeat celebration."





Toronto-born violinist Lili Haydn's six solo albums have been NPR favorites (“Heifetz meets Hendrix”), and her collaborations with the likes of Herbie Hancock, Sting, Roger Waters, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, George Clinton’s P-Funk Allstars, Hans Zimmer, and the late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan are legendary, including performances at Carnegie Hall, the Vienna Opera House, and the Hollywood Bowl.


She is a distinguished film/TV composer with 18 feature films, Netflix's hit show Ginny & Georgia, and various awards to her credit. Her work has been featured in more than 50 films. A dedicated social activist with a political science degree from Brown University, Lili has done four TED presentations -- including one with Opium Moon in Mumbai, India -- and performs regularly at benefits for such organizations as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and The Feminist Majority.




Tehran native Hamid Saeidi studied santoor in the Radiff system of Persian classical music with Iran’s famous teacher

Madjid Kiani, then attended The Iranian Academy of the Arts, studying composition under the music masters Farhad Fakhredini and Vartan Sahakian. Hamid has been acclaimed for his performances around the world, including his productions at Royce Hall and the Kodak Theatre.


He has scored over 30 films, TV programs, dance and theatrical presentations, receiving awards at the Beirut Film Festival in 2002, the Iran TV festival in 2002, 2004 and 2007, and at Iran’s Society of Critics of Theatre in 2005. In recognition of his work, The Farhang Foundation has commissioned his original compositions for their Nowruz celebrations.




Itai Disraeli was raised in one of Israel’s oldest kibbutz communities, the Mishmar-Ha’Emeq near Nazareth, co-founded by his grandfather in the 1920s. It was among the utopian social experiments that fostered a just, peaceful life of sharing and tolerance, but in his youth Itai lived under the constant specter of war; it was during the Yom Kippur war that he taught himself to play bass in a bomb shelter.


An acclaimed, virtuosic bassist and composer, he co-founded the genre-bending band Maetar and has played with Jackson Browne, Larry Coryell, and Nishat Khan, among others. He founded and runs the acclaimed music program at Wildwood School. His music has been licensed for TV and film, and he is active with humanitarian and peace organizations, believing that music has the power to heal and connect.




Percussionist M.B. Gordy has played with such diverse artists as Beck, Frank Zappa, Michael Buble, Green Day, The Doobie Brothers, Josh Groban, Bill Withers, Guns and Roses, Neil Diamond, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, and The National Symphony, as well as his recent work for Adele, Childish Gambino, The Who, and Juanes. 


With an M.A. from California Institute of the Arts and intensive study of ethnic percussion, he has worked with producers Peter Asher, Don Was, and Rob Cavallo, to name a few. His groove has been heard in over 300 top box office films, including the Harry Potter series, Frozen, Batman, Superman, American Sniper, Transformers, and the X-Men series. His work is also ubiquitous on television, including Mad Men, The Mentalist, The Tonight Show, Battlestar Galactica, Good Morning America, and much more.

Opium Moon
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