With allusions to the Duke Ellington Orchestra's 1963 tour of Iran, the world premiere of Isfahan Blues, a co-production of the African-American Shakespeare Company and Golden Thread happening in May, tells the story an American jazz musician and an Iranian actress and the improbable friendship they develop as they travel to the beautiful Persian city of Isfahan.
Tense present-day Middle East relations notwithstanding, this play explores the unique historical moment when an American art form galvanized generations of young Iranian musicians.
Isfahan Blues is an eye-opening cultural snapshot with an incomparable soundtrack—legendary Bay Area blues musician Marcus Shelby dreamed it up, after all.
Grab your tickets ($15-$34) now before they sell out. Isfahan runs from May 2 to 24 at the Buriel Clay Theatre African-American Art & Culture Complex (762 Fulton).