Nooshi Navidi is CMC’s new Accounting Assistant. Read on to learn why she fits in so perfectly here!
Q: What drew you to CMC?
Music has always been a part of my life. I come from a musical family, play music, and sing. I also wanted to work for a nonprofit, since I’ve enjoyed this work the most.
When I first came to CMC, I loved the building right away. Hearing the music wafting through all of the rooms just made me happy. My heart sang! Also, someone was playing Chopin, whose music I love.
CMC is also just five blocks from my house, so I am enjoying my new commute!
Q: Tell me about your musical life.
I grew up in Iran listening to Stevie Wonder, Django Reinhardt, jazz standards, and classical music. I started playing guitar when I was ten, then took cello lessons as an adult. Playing the piano is on my bucket list now.
My family always played music and sang together. We sang in church, too. There are a few renowned musicians on my mom’s side of the family. Singer/songwriter and producer Gordon Bahary is my cousin. He’s worked on Stevie Wonder’s Songs in the Key of Life and The Secret Life of Plants, as well as Herbie Hancock’s Feets, Don’t Fail Me Now. Bahary has also produced and engineered albums for Ramsey Lewis and Raven-Symone, among others. My second cousin is composer and conductor Richard Danielpour who has been commissioned by musicians including Yo-Yo Ma, Dawn Upshaw, Emanuel Ax, Gil Shaham, and Frederica von Stade, and institutions such as the New York Philharmonic, Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and many more. He also collaborated with Toni Morrison on his first opera, which premiered in 2005 and had a second production with New York City Opera.
I go to a hear a lot of live music. I’m a big fan of going to SFJAZZ and the San Francisco Symphony, and I will be coming to CMC a lot more for concerts!
Q: Tell me more about life before CMC.
Our family moved from Iran to La Jolla, CA when I was fourteen. I studied International Business at San Francisco State and lived here for 20 years. During that time, I sold real estate here for about eight years. I moved to Austin next, then to Atlanta, then to New Bedford, MA, then to San Diego to care for my elderly parents. I’m glad to be back in San Francisco now. I am a city person, and I love all of the culture it has to offer.
Besides my accounting work, I am also a freelance graphic designer and a web designer. I have a line of whimsical greeting cards that I illustrate myself called MUSE Cards. I like to describe them as clever, edgy and witty. For 13 years, this was my main business. I had sales reps and a national line. I sold to Gumps and other department stores and boutiques in San Francisco, including Papyrus.
I also had an art gallery in New Bedford, MA, a block away from the art museum where I was bookkeeping. So I am definitely both left and right brained!
Q: What was it like to attend our Performathon early on in your time here?
I spent five hours at the event: from 1:00 pm until the very end. I was so uplifted by the Performathon, that I skipped a workshop I’d signed up for to stay and watch the end of it! I couldn’t tear myself away from the Concert Hall.
The event affected me on many levels. The sense of community was so moving for me. And obviously the music and the heart of everyone in it was amazing. I also didn’t know that so many people on our staff played music!
I left wanting to take up the stand-up bass. It was the performers who inspired me: the jazz duo earlier in the day and the YMP jazz ensemble bass players just thrilled me. I stood and watched them for a long time as the party finished.
Would love to take the Djangology 101 class and thought about joining a choir, but I decided I need to focus!
I am going to try to come to as many music events at CMC as possible. I’m immersed in music now, and I really treasure the opportunities here.