Open Borders

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.

Open Borders band

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.

open borders bands

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.


Lukas Pears

Lukas Pearse has worked with many of Halifax’s most creative musicians across diverse genres as an acoustic and electric bassist, active in different facets of the Halifax music scene for over 30 years. His love of both traditional and original music, especially improvised music of all sorts, ensures that his ears are kept open wide. Jazz, classical, rock, folk, hip-hop, pop, indigenous, experimental, and various world music all find space in his broad aesthetic palate, while his studio work includes electric and acoustic guitars, basses, and both contemporary and vintage analog synthesizers. Balanced with his award-winning work as a film composer and sound designer. Lukas is the Artistic Director of the Upstream Music Association.

Yousef Mousavi

Yousef Mousavi is an award-winning Canadian/Iranian guitarist and composer. After graduating from Berklee College of Music, he formed ANIMYZE, a lecture series on the music featured in Japanese animation. He is the guitarist and writer for NEW RUINS, a Halifax-based post-hardcore outfit for whom he has produced two albums. His efforts as guitarist and mixing engineer with the popular video game band Tournament Arc have resulted in streams in the millions and one Game Audio Network Guild Remix award. He is currently producing a solo album as well as the soundtrack for a new video game by Canadian developer Sprite Knights.


Behrooz Mihankhah

Behrooz Mihankhah Iranian composer, pianist, and singer/songwriter Behrooz Mihankhah started performing professionally as a singer/songwriter in India in 2011. In 2013 he shifted his focus to piano and composition when he went to Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in Tamil Nadu, India 2013. Along with a major in piano and composition, he studied jazz, western harmony, Carnatic music, and Konnakol. While in India, he played, toured, and had multiple television performances with various ensembles. He toured throughout India (New Delhi, Bangalore, Chennai, Rajasthan, Mumbai) and Eastern Canada (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI). Behrooz holds a Bachelor of Music from St. Francis Xavier University in Jazz Studies and a Music Arts Diploma from the Nova Scotia Community College. Since 2015 Behrooz has lived in Halifax where he has been writing, producing, performing, and touring with local bands such as Superfluid, Lazeez, and Open Borders Lately he is in the process of creating his debut full-length Jazz album as well as a bi-lingual singer-songwriter album.



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