The music of the world is blended through the compositions of piano and synthesizer player, composer, and music director, Jamshied Sharifi. While his initial focus was on American jazz, Sharifi has incorporated a diverse range of influences into his music including elements of Middle Eastern and African music and jazz. In addition to arranging and producing albums for Japanese and Korean artists, as well as Susan McKeown and Akira Satake's 1988 album, Bushes and Briars, Sharifi recorded four albums with world fusion band, Mo Bama. His solo album, A Prayer for the Soul of Layla was named Best Contemporary World Music Album at the first annual New Age Voice Music Awards.
A native of Kansas City, Sharifi was inspired by the city's jazz scene, as well as the Middle Eastern music played by his father. After graduating from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a degree in humanities, he continued to sharpen his instrumental skills at the Berklee School of Music in Boston, where he studied jazz piano and composition. The recipient of an award as Outstanding Jazz Pianist at the Collegiate Jazz Festival at the University of Notre Dame in 1983, he served as the director of the Festival Jazz Ensemble from 1985 until 1992. Under his direction, the group was named Outstanding Jazz Band in 1991. Much of Sharifi's attention has been devoted to film soundtracks. He played keyboards and wrote orchestrations for soundtrack composer and Berklee College of Music professor Mike Gibbs for seven years and, later, composed and produced the soundtracks of Rugrats, Muppets From Space, and Harriet the Spy, for which his wife, Miyuki Sakamoto wrote the orchestrations. ~ Craig Harris