Musicians | Instrument: Saxophone, tenor | Location: New York City

Updated: November 7, 2023

Born: April 1, 1953

Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi was born to Iranian parents in Switzerland in 1953, but his family soon moved to Germany where he grew up in Hamburg. Early lessons on piano ended abruptly, after his teacher couldn’t stand his style of playing. From 1968-73 he played the drums at his home, causing neighbors to complain about his passionate banging. He also took flamenco lessons and jammed with friends on guitar, but none of this dabbling hinted at the future direction his life would take upon his discovery of the saxophone, culminating in the formation of his free jazz/world music group SoSaLa in NYC.

In 1974 at 19, he decided to move to Japan to study martial arts, eventually settling on Kendo (Japanese martial art of sword-fighting)  as his preferred method. At the time this was a rare move, and he arrived in Osaka, Japan with no understanding of the language, and no taste for the food. This radically different culture left him confused and homesick at times, but he was challenging himself and finding his place in the world.

Only after reaching a higher level through years of study of Kendo did he begin to think about applying his philosophy and hard work to another discipline.

An experience at a live concert convinced him to join a band, and he was surprised to be invited to play by some local musicians as a vocalist, and later saxophone player, even though he had never been trained on that instrument before.

Sohrab has always maintained that without Kendo he wouldn’t have made this switch to become the musician he is today, as it was this training that prepared him for his future as sax player and bandleader.

In 1979, the year of the Iranian Revolution, he began his musical activities in his own group, called Sadato-Ino Group.

Detailed music career here:


All About Jazz Articles

Album Review

SoSaLa: 1993

Read "1993" reviewed by Chris May

Saxophonist SoSaLa--born Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi to Iranian parents in Switzerland, brought up in Germany, martial arts student in Japan, and a New York City resident since 2008--is the sort of wild card we need more of in jazz. Not necessarily because of the actual music he makes, which has limited appeal, but because of the energy he brings to its creation and the free-thinking attitude out of which it erupts. And also, actually, because it does have limited appeal. Jazz ...

Album Review

SoSaLa: Nu World Trashed

Read "Nu World Trashed" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

Per the press release, saxophonist, vocalist SoSaLa (Ornette Coleman, Salif Keita) is the abbreviation of his birth name, Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi. He's a Swiss-born Iranian American and a well-known activist, educator, author and the president of Musicians for Musicians (MFM) who exhibits complete command of his saxophones during two live tracks and seven studio tracks, recorded between 2014 and 2020. As the title describes, the music draws inferences to the “Nu World" created by the Internet, and how some may ...

Album Review

SoSaLa: Nu World Trash

Read "Nu World Trash" reviewed by Glenn Astarita

SoSaLa is the brainchild of vocalist, saxophonist, music activist and native Iranian Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi, who fuses Persian influences with Western instrumentation amid indigenous platforms, summoning the Middle Eastern contingent. A well-travelled musician, Ladjevardi immerses his craft into quite a few projects and multifaceted ensemble-based frameworks. He resides in New York City, and as the story goes, blasted his horn in front of the United Nations as a means for supporting the Green Movement in Iran. “Vatan Kojai?" ...

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