“Shahin’s emphatic guitar solos demonstrate that his music owes as much to rock as it does to World Music."
The Washington Post.
Shahin’s music experience dates back to the 1970s when he was a teenager living in Tehran and jamming with friends at the International School. “Playing rock, jazz and the blues would stir up our imagination and transport us to places where that music originated from. It was a peek into the music and culture of America and Europe and a great way to replicate that scene from afar,” says Shahin.
That teen spirit evolved into the formation of several bands after high school. Amsterdam was launched while Shahin was a student at American University. The trio gained a loyal fan base in Washington DC and opened for noted artists such as Spyro Gyra, Robert Gordon, Marshall Crenshaw, and Dave Edmunds . His second band, Feast or Famine, followed, again picking up a local following with consistent gigs in the DC region.
It wasn't until a few years later, when Shahin’s unique guitar voice caught the attention of Malibu-based Higher Octave Music/EMI when he recorded a CD titled “One Thousand and One Nights” with high school pal Sepehr . That album enjoyed significant radio air play on stations nationwide, selling more than 100,000 copies in a matter of few months. The CD made it onto the Gavin, R&R, and Billboard charts. Shahin and Sepehr’s second album “e” was nominated for album of the year by the National Association of Independent Record Distributors. Four subsequent albums were released by the duo on Higher Octave. Shahin has been featured on CNN, BBC, and NPR's "All Things Considered."
Shahin has toured extensively with The Shahin & Sepehr Band (Michael Bard/rhythm guitar; Wes Crawford/percussion and drums; Moon Jewad/bass) and other notable musicians, including trumpet player John D’Earth (Dave Matthews Band); renowned drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez (Roy Hargrove, Carlos Santana); drumming great Karim Ziad; oud player Haj Youness; harmonicist/pianist Howard Levy (Bella Fleck and the Flecktones); and actress Dietlinde Turban Maazel (co-founder Castleton Festival).
In the studio, he has collaborated with trumpeter Jeff Elliott (James Brown, Doc Severinson Band); Brazilian chanteuse Flora Purim (Chic Corea); saxophonist Richard Hardy (Stevie Ray Vaughn, James Taylor, Carol King); bassist Randy Tico (Strunz and Farah); world renowned kamancheh player Kayhan Kalhor (YoYo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble) Grammy award winning producer Dom Camardella (Ottmar Liebert, Maynard Ferguson).
In 2012, Shahin served as Executive Producer in collaboration with the Enough Project and Downtown Records resulting in a compilation CD to bring awareness to the exploitation and genocide of the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo ( DRC) fueled by the conflict mineral trade. The CD "Raise Hope for Congo" features prominent artists Mos Def, Norah Jones and Sheryl Crow. He has also worked with JD Steir, of Steir Forward, producing music for a social media campaign to highlight the challenges and social stigma of the Ebola virus in Africa.
Shahin's production skills shined with the release of four Lawson Rollins’ CDs. Weaving a tapestry of world beats and rhythms to Rollin’s acclaimed flamenco-tinged guitar playing resulted in two Billboard charted songs .
Shahin continues to host talented artists from around the world in his studio, setting the stage for his eclectic but accessible view on music.