An Oakland, California native of Iranian heritage, Adrienne Shamszad sings revolutionary anthems, prayerful power ballads, blues, lullabies, and love songs in English and in Farsi. Her strong and soulful voice, expressive guitar work and bold performance style have made her a popular West Coast performer for over a decade.
Her musical artistry is indeed something to behold. She is mystical, yet earthy. At one moment lofty, the next low-down. Adrienne’s poetry is intimate and genuine, inspired by the mystic Poets of Iran as much as the folk poet-songwriters of the 60s and 70s. She can transform a stage into a sacred place with the magic of her voice. Then, she sweeps you away on a musical journey through improvisation, folk melodies, Indian mantra, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and Iranian classics.
Her mixed cultural background, international travels, and deep love of people reside in her music. It can open listeners’ hearts to the unfamiliar and, in doing so, invite more understanding, courage and curiosity into this world. Since beginning formal training in Traditional Iranian vocal arts and music in 2016, Adrienne's music has expanded to a genre of it's own as she brings the messages of her ancestors into the present moment.
In 2018, Adrienne won the Living Cultures grant through the Alliance for California Traditional Arts (ACTA) to deepen her study of Persian Classical singing with master teacher and vocalist Mahsa Vahdat. She showcased her bi-lingual repertoire on the Freight and Salvage stage in August of 2019 to a full house.
Adrienne has performed with beloved and renowned artists such as Kitka, David Wilcox, SOVÓSO, Coleman Barks and Mahsa Vahdat. She has been in productions by groups such as The Berkeley Repertory Theater, Golden Thread Productions and Diaspora Arts Connection. She has supported dozens of other artists develop and hone their craft as a teacher and music mentor.