"I'm not fond of the government there, says Kalhor, "but we have to do something to change the system, and informing people about our culture and our music and our past before this 22-year-old government existed is part of that.
In Ghazal, the group he formed with New Delhi-based sitarist Shujaat Hussain Khan, Kalhor has reached eight centuries into the past, to the time when the Persians exported their musical system to North India.
"I think Persian culture in general is really underviewed, because, for the most part, it's been associated with Islamic/Arab culture, he says, which it actually preceded by several millennia in what is now Iran. "And that's the way the West has been undermining and forgetting it.
Ghazal performs Sun., Sept. 23, at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. Show time 7:30 p.m. $25-$30. 770-623-4966, ext. 122.