Open Borders is an international music group from Halifax, Nova Scotia performing an original sound that pairs Iranian folk traditions with elements of jazz, rock, and Western classical music. True to their name, the core group - consisting of Mohammad Sahraei, Behrooz Mihanka, Yousef Mousavi, Lukas Pearse, and Matthew Gallant - are a collective of both new Canadian immigrants and veterans of a wide sweep of the Halifax music scene. Since their formation in 2017, Open Borders has, in addition to the core group’s performances, performed with Sahraei’s staging of large concerts featuring a 20+ piece ensemble. These concerts have featured soloists performing Arabic, Chinese, Indian, Iranian, Cuban, Celtic, jazz, and African traditional music and have been a series of fundraisers for a future world music museum, set to be among the first of its kind in Canada. The band has played multiple music festivals throughout the Atlantic provinces including the Halifax Jazz Festival, DiverseCity Multicultural Festival PEI, Obey Festival, Open Waters Festival, Halifax Multicultural Festival, Feast, and Iranian and Indo-Canadian cultural events. Open Borders is currently working on their debut album of original music, written largely by Mohammad Sahraei with contributions from Behrooz Mihanka and arrangements scored collectively.

Rumi Ensemble conducted by Saeed Foroughi celebrates the life and work of 13th-century Sufi mystic Rumi.


Saeed Foroughi is one of Canada’s best-known multi-talented musicians, performers, and composers. Saeed is the conductor of the Rumi ensemble and Celtic meditation in Halifax. He plays Classical and Irish flute, Celtic harp, Santur or Hammered Dulcimer, and Setar.

Saeed Foroughi

Following his graduation from Trinity College of London, he was the principal flutist for the Portuguese Symphony. Saeed has been recorded and performed throughout Canada. He appeared in many international festivals and has completed a tour of Japan, England, and Western Canada. For the past few years, Saeed is touring Maritime to celebrate the Silk Road Project initiated by Yo-Yo Ma to share art and education across the Provence with the music of “Turlough O’Carolan” as well as classical Persian music. O’Carolan was a blind Gaelic harper, composer, and singer.


Scott Macmillan

Scott Macmillan’s passion for creating music propels him forward driven by hisScott Macmillan
need to create. Macmillan seeks opportunities in all aspects of music-making
inspiring exploration into genres from rock to blues, classical to choral, Celtic to
jazz, as well as modern and avant-garde. In March of 2019 Scott premiered his
concerto for Electric Guitar, ‘12 & Change’, with Symphony Nova Scotia. In
In October 2019 he premiered his new composition ‘Woodland Revival, reflecting on
his concern about the stress on NS forests.
His music has taken Macmillan to many places, to perform his much-loved ode to
our world’s oceans “Celtic Mass for the Sea”, with his partner and librettist
Jennyfer Brickenden.  He has performed at Carnegie Hall, the British Isles,
Germany, the US, and crisscrossed Canada many times to conduct orchestras,
perform, for television, radio, and soundtracks for films.
2014 recipient of Nova Scotia’s top Artist Prize, the Portia White Prize, Macmillan is a musical treasure, playing a significant role in expanding audiences for Atlantic Canadian music both nationally and internationally for over 40 years.  Acknowledged by the late Rita MacNeil as an integral contributor to her success, Scott played an equally pivotal role in the rise of the Rankin Family Band, Symphony Nova Scotia’s Maritime Pops programming in the 1990s, and the Nova Scotia Mass Choir.
It’s connections with people that feed Macmillan inspiring his performances and creative talent.  “It’s the thrill of creating something for people that no one else has done, but when they hear it, they feel like they have heard it before,” enthuses Macmillan.  That ethic inspires audiences and musicians to love Scott’s works such as ‘Gift of Time’, ‘Suite Silver Dart’, ‘MacKinnon’s Brook Suite’, ‘Within Sight of Shore ‘Aiseag-the ferryboat’. In 2015 he collaborated with Alan Syliboy, in a Tribute to the Mi’kmaw poet Rita Joe.  An animated performer, Scott lets loose composing for and performing with ‘Scott 'n the Rocks’, and in his musically challenging Guitar Duo with Brian.
Awards, appointments, commissions, and critical reviews all reflect Macmillan’s success in establishing his contribution to the music of Nova Scotia and the world.  He has a great personal legacy of written music, recorded music, and music presented from the grandeur of concert halls to the intimate living rooms.
Scott Macmillan’s musical legacy is lasting and timeless.
Inspired by his desire to learn and expand his own musical knowledge and how as the best students make
the best teachers, Scott began mentoring a new generation of guitarists in 2008 at the Fountain School of
Performing Arts, Dalhousie University.
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Hlifax Concerts
Concert 2018

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Teleet Trio

Teleet Trio Janice Isabel Jackson – singer Chris Churchill – acoustic and electric bass Mohammad Sahraei – tar, setar, daf, rain stick, and hand drum In vernacular Farsi, the word Teleet is used to imply a blend, mix, jumble, or a collage of different, even unlikely, ingredients. The word is borrowed from Persian cuisine. The Teleet Trio is the embodiment of programming music which is a collage of styles and innovative approaches to traditional music from diverse regions of the world with original tunes added to the mix.  The instrumentation is also a mix of western instruments with those from the Middle East (specifically Iran). Canadian, Iranian, Appalachian Mountain folk songs mixed with ancient Swedish cattle calls and instrumental works played on a mix of western and middle eastern instruments.  From classical to folk singing the scope of their song choices range from the Appalachian Mountains to the farmlands of Iran.  The Teleet Trio is an expression of the desire to reinterpret musical styles with exciting and surprisingly refreshing arrangements.

Nava Band

Nava is a Canadian-Iranian band based in Halifax. We play Classical and traditional Iranian music.

DRUM! represents the musical heartbeat of Nova Scotia and of all of Canada. It is a spectacular musical production featuring musicians, dancers, drummers, and singers from four principal cultures – Aboriginal, Black, Celtic, and Acadian – brought together in a heart-pumping fusion of music, dance, poetry, video, rhythm, and song.

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