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Shahin & Sepehr

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Biography

Shahin Shahida and Sepehr Haddad were friends long before they joined forces as a new age duo. Guitar player Shahida and keyboard player Haddad, both of Iranian descent, became acquainted when they were both enrolled in Iran's International School of Tehran. Despite their age difference -- Shahida was a lowly seventh grader and Haddad was a lofty upperclassman in the tenth grade -- music drew them together. Like teenagers everywhere, parties were a popular pastime for the youths. Once a week, the pair could be found entertaining classmates with covers of "Stairway to Heaven" and other popular songs of the times, despite their lack of classical training. The two men share an Iranian heritage and their musical abilities and styles complement each other, but their backgrounds are diverse. Haddad was born in the U.S. capital, while Shahida is a native of Iran and attended elementary school in Austria. After leaving the International School of Tehran in 1975, Haddad headed to California, where he became an agriculture student at U.C. Davis. He spent his evenings ensconced in the region's coffeehouses, performing covers of songs made popular by Cat Stevens and Jethro Tull. Upon graduation, he headed back to Washington, where he again teamed musically with his old friend Shahida. As for Shahida, he left Iran for the U.S. two years after Haddad did and landed in Washington, D.C., at American University, where he studied finance. Inspired by the likes of Santana and Eric Clapton, he played in a couple of rock groups. He spent four years in a band called Amsterdam before moving on to the group Feast or Famine. During his years with Amsterdam, he opened for Angela Bofill and Spyro Gyra. The music of Shahin & Sepehr was employed by the Barbara Bush Literacy Campaign and Brazilian soccer players adopted it for practices. The duo proceeded to make a demo and Washington radio station WLLT gave the songs plenty of air time. ~ Linda Seida
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