Andrew Sperandeo

Podcast Release Date: Monday, October 31, 2022

Andy is an experienced and well-versed musician in many disciplines of music including guitar, singing, composing, arranging, teaching, and music producing, and has been performing for over 25 years. He has selected a number of his musical compositions for the interview that feature his guitar virtuosity and his singer-songwriter abilities. We also talk about his pursuit of becoming a musical therapist. Visit Andy'sTube Channel to hear more of his music.

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Olya Roohizadegan

Podcast Release Date: Sunday, September 18, 2022

Olya grew up in Iran under the severe persecution of the Iranian Islamic regime after the 1979 Revolution. She along with 10 other women were arrested soon after, for being Baha'is. All of her 10 women companions were eventually hanged and Olya believes she was spared so that she could share their story with the world. One of these women was a 16 year old, named Mona, who was arrested for being a teacher at Baha'i children's classes. She eventually escaped Iran and published Olya's Story: A Survivor's Dramatic Account of the Persecution of Baha'is in Revolutionary Iran. Since the release of the book in 1993, exactly 10 years after the execution of her 10 women companions, she has presented herself in over 1000 public venues telling this story. She wants to write a 2nd book demonstrating how the death of these women allowed her to spread their message of love and unity throughout the world.

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Winnona Merritt

Podcast Release Date: Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Winnie grew up as a poor northern girl who married into a well-to-do Southern family and started raising a family in the early 1960's. Before becoming a Baha'i, she was involved in promoting racial justice in her own small way. After becoming a Baha'i, her vision broadened, and she and her husband moved to Barbados and lived there for 12 years. Ironically it was her husband who studied agriculture in college, but it was Winnie that became the self-taught agriculturalist helping the agricultural efforts in the Caribean islands as well as in the States. She recently published a book, "Food, Farmer and Community: Agriculture and the Reconstruction of the World". She explains how agriculture is fundamental to a stable society.
Song List:
1. Toward The Sun - Amy Stephen Haghighi
2. Tree of Peace - by Jacqueline Odess-Gillett

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Nadema Agard

Podcast Release Date: Sunday, August 21, 2022

Nadema is a Native American artist with her own business called Red Earth Studio Consulting / Productions. Before creating her own consulting and curating business, she had done important work by helping create the Southeastern Native Arts Directory and being the Repatriation Director for Standing Rock. Visit her website.

Song List:
1. The Photograph Music and words Alan McKay and Sonbol Taefi;
2. This Is The Day by Mana;
3. This Newborn Child by Ramine Yazhari;
4. Thou Art The Rich by Nabilinho;
5. Thy Love by Kelsey Bulkin;
6. Thy Name Is My Healing by JB Eckl;
7. To Be Close To You (Anis) by Tara Ellis

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June Manning Thomas

Podcast Release Date: Wednesday, August 10, 2022

June is the Centennial Professor Emerita of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of Michigan's Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, where she also is the Mary Frances Berry Distinguished University Professor Emerita of Urban Planning. She was one of the first black teenagers to break the segregated white high school in her home town starting in the 10th grade. She describes how difficult and traumatic that experience was for her. Her website is:
Song List:
1. The Most Hidden by Luke Slott
2. The Mountain by Jacqueline Odess-Gillett

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John Clark

Podcast Release Date: Monday, July 25, 2022

John is a jazz horn player and composer. He invented his unique horn with the same range as the french horn, called the hornette. He's released 7 albums. We feature songs he has composed in the interview. Sit back, relax, and listen to some wonderful jazz. You can find his music at

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Lisa Haese Smith

Podcast Release Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Lisa is a musical composer, performer, teacher, and film scorer. In 2001 she put together her earliest piano compositions and has since produced 4 other CDs. When I asked Lisa to select six musical pieces to feature on the interview, she did something I had no other musical artist do, she selected pieces that were created by others that she found as an influence to her musical career. And I have to admit, the pieces she selected are amazing. She selected two pieces that she composed, "Brocaded Tent" and "Light Revealed", which we feature at the end of the interview, and are also very beautiful. You can visit her website.

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Ben Guterson

Podcast Release Date: Friday, July 1, 2022

Ben is an author of middle-grade novels, and had recently published his fourth book, The Einsteins of Vista Point. His previous work is the Winterhouse trilogy which has been translated into ten languages and even received notice from some state, national, and international awards. Visit his website at

Song List:
The Earth and the Eagle by David Hunt
Blessed is the Spot by The Humming Birds
The Light Of Thy Love by Nabil Moghaddam
The Light Of Unity by Luke Slott

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Vivian Bartlett

Podcast Release Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2022

The tragic death of Vivian's brother when he was a teenager was the impetuous to Vivian and his mother searching for a spiritual reason for this traumatic loss that led them to the Baha'i Faith. Vivian is now retired from being a secondary school teacher. At the end of 1999, he got involved in a youth empowerment program started by the Baha'is in Swindon, England that was transformative and successful and was instituted in a number of schools there. He wrote about the experience in his book Nurturing a Healthy Human Spirit in the Young. Vivian wrote a 2nd book entitled Navigating Materialistic Minefields. He had a dear friend who was an atheist and they would have wonderful deep conversations and after his friend passed away, Vivian decided to write this book dedicated to his friend that would answer some of the questions from a different perspective than the one his friend held.

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Carolyn Sparey Fox

Podcast Release Date: Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Carolyn is a professional musician, published author, and painter. She was principal viola with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, based in Edinburgh and a member of the BBC orchestra. She wrote a play called Threads which she was able to produce, which then turned into a book called "The Half Of It Was Never Told: Three men . . . three continents . . . one passion". She has also written two children's books called "Little Acorn"  and "Abdu'l-Baha's Little Brown Cat".

1. Tell The Rich by Eric Dozier
2. Refresh and Gladden My Spirit by JB Eckel (The Badasht Project)
3. The Balance by Taraz Nosrat
4. The Bird Which Soareth by Elika Mahony
4. One World by The Children's Theatre Company

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KC Porter

Podcast Release Date: Friday, May 27, 2022

KC is an American record producer, singer-songwriter, arranger and composer. He was nominated for more than six Grammy Awards and winner of 1, and winner of two Latin Grammy Awards. His father is the famous arranger Bob Porter. KC has selected a number of songs to feature in the interview and explains the significance of each. One in particular is La Pared (The Wall) which became an animated video. You can find his work on his website.

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Dorothy Marcic

Podcast Release Date: Sunday, May 15, 2022

Dorothy is a professor at Columbia University, author and playwright. She served as advisor to the US Ambassador of the Czech Republic and was a delegate to both the United Nations Economic and Social Develop Summit in Copenhagen and the UN Commission on the Status of Women. She is the author of 15 books, and we talk about three of her books in the interview. From one of them she created a musical production that had 3200 performances in over 70 cities. You can find her work at
Song List:
1. Sweet Singing Birds by Gustaff Besungu (album The Flight)
2. Sweeten Their Souls by Elika Mahony (album Infinite Bounty)
3. Spiritual Revolutionary performed by Tallis, Karim, Jose, Jomei
(album Badasht Vol. III - Visionaries

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Mary Perkins

Podcast Release Date: Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Mary was born and raised in the west of Wales and has worked for eight years in Africa - in Lesotho, in Uganda where she became a Bahá'í, and in Cameroon where she met and married Richard Gray, an American astronomer. She is an author, poet, and storyteller. Mary has focused on writing books, in simple English, on the history and teachings of the Bahá'í Faith. Her first title, The Bahá'í Faith, was co-authored with Philip Hainsworth, published by Ward Lock Educational in their series on Living Religion in 1980, and subsequently translated into Danish, German, Hungarian, Lithuanian, Russian and Braille. In 2016 she created a volume of her poetry titled Turning Toward Home. We have a friend of Mary's read two of her poems near the end of the interview. Mary is currently working on a book on storytelling.

Song list:
1. Sorrow Not - ninepointedstarmusic(
2. Strive (
3. Suffer Me by Nabil & Karim
4. Sweet Neighbors Come in All Colors - adapted from Dick Grover's song Good Neighbors... by Sweet N all Singers (

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Podcast Release Date: Saturday, April 30, 2022

Shameem is an Australian singer-songwriter, whose diversity in heritage (her father is Chinese-Malaysian and her mother is Iranian) influences her eclectic approach to music. She has produced a number of albums and she has selected songs from three of them for the interview. The three albums we feature selections from include the self-titled album, Shameem, her next album after that, The Second City, and her most recent album, Time Does Not Reverse.

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Gary Fleming

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, April 23, 2022

Gary holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Cultural Anthropology as well as a degree in Law. He has been involved in international development projects in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, and Australia. Gary now has a private consulting and training company specializing in federal assistance law and other areas related to assistance agreements.

Song list...
Make My Prayer by Shoghi Agbortoko and Max Weigert
The Covenant by Smith & Dragoman
Something More by Martin Kerr
Radiant Within by Janet Kayzer
Soon Love Soon by Vienna Teng

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Zarrin Caldwell

Podcast Release Date: Sunday, April 10, 2022

Zarrin is a journalist and one who as worked in international affairs, As part of her attraction to the world's wisdom and spiritual traditions, she created The Soul Salons podcast and website showcasing teachers and works that she wanted to learn more about and passages that inspired her. We talk about her podcast and play one of her episodes in the interview.

Sands Of Time by Tadia (Poems of Tahirih)
Say by Eric Harper
Say Say Say by Kiskadee
Service by David Hunt
Moth to a Flame by Shadi Toloui-Wallace

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Colby Jeffers

Podcast Release Date: Sunday, March 27, 2022

Colby is a musical artist from the Phoenix area, who has been making Baha'i-inspired hip hop since around 2012. He has produced five albums and his most recently released album is entitled "Created Noble". The album explores the themes of nobility, fatherhood, and contributing to the betterment of the world. We feature tracks from this album in the interview. Colby also produces a podcast called Elevated Conversations, which we also refer to in the interview.

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Bruce Koerber

Podcast Release Date: Monday, March 7, 2022

Bruce was a student of Austrian economics at Auburn University shortly after the Ludwig von Mises Institute was established. In 2004 he had a dream of an economic model that he called the Divine Economy Model. From this model, he formulated the theory for the Divine Economy based on the teachings of the Baha'i Faith. He has written a number of books expounding on the various aspects of the model. We talk about the Divine Economy Model and theory in the interview.

Song Credits:
The River by Jacqueline Odess-Gillett

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Tara Jabbari

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, February 26, 2022

For over 10 years Tara has worked in all aspects of digital media, from videos, social media to podcasting. Working as a podcast producer, she has connected experts and entrepreneurs with podcasters to promote and educate listeners across the globe. In her work she has told the stories of people escaping persecution and violence, inventors and entrepreneurs in the east and the west, and the influence of youth working on community building all over the world. One of the podcasts she worked on is called Baha'i On Air which is an extension to the original New Zealand YouTube series Baha'i On Air. Tara has also started an individual podcast initiative entitled Who Is She?, featuring the stories of Baha'i women historical figures. Musical Credits:
Afshin Toufighian & Ali Youssefi - RiseTadia - Poetry of Tahirih - Rise Up and SingMooji (Embrace 2) - River of Love

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Wolfgang Klebel

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, February 19, 2022

Wolfgang was born in Vienna, Austria shortly before World War II. He became a Catholic priest, studying at the best Catholic universities in Rome and Austria. Eventually, however, after moving to California, he left the priesthood and became a psychologist treating mental disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder. His work included a women's prison run by the State of California. He is owner of City of the Heart Psychological Services. He recently published a book called The Human Heart: One and Undivided which we talk about in the interview. Song credits: Remover of Difficulties by Taraz Nosrat
Rhythm Of The Universe - Berklee College of Music.

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Robert Weinberg

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, February 5, 2022

Rob has worked as a broadcast journalist and produced radio programs for both the BBC and independent radio in the United Kingdom. He is also the author of several major biographies including Ethel Jenner Rosenberg in 1995, Lady Blomfield in 2012 and most recently a testimony to the personnage of Abdu'l-Baha called Ambassador to Humanity which we discuss in the interview. From 1994-2008, he was Senior Producer and On-Air Editor—for the popular national classical music station Classic FM, during which time he made programs with Sir Edward Heath, Paul McCartney, the Three Tenors and countless other leading figures from the art world. He is a regular writer on art, and reviewer of exhibitions, for the Telegraph newspaper, Apollo magazine, The Art Story website and The British Art Journal. Since 2020, he has been producing and presenting podcasts and documentary films for historian Dan Snow's History Hit network.

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Taraz Nosrat

Podcast Release Date: Monday, January 24, 2022

Taraz is a recent graduate of Texas A&M University, where he studied biomedical engineering. However his first passion was always music. During a year off university studies, Taraz produced his first musical album of spiritual songs called The Divine Spark: A Baha'i Inspired Soulful Devotional. He says the title of the album comes from the inspiration that an artist taps into when he or she creates music. The music on the album is a blend of traditional Persian music, woodsy folk tunes, native american flute music, reggae, and classical orchestra. We feature selections from The Divine Spark in the interview.

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Felipe Duhart

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, January 15, 2022

Felipe is a guitarist, composer and musical producer living in Santiago, Chile. Primarily an improvisational musician, his style is influenced by jazz, Latin American music and rock. He has recorded as a guitarist on 10 CDs and 2 DVDs of live performances, and has worked as a producer on 7 CDs to date. We play six musical compositions that Felipe selected for the interview.

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Fereshteh Bethel

Podcast Release Date: Saturday, January 1, 2022

I had interviewed Fereshteh before on this program and we reconnected. She proposed that we talk about the gun culture here in the US. We had been planning this interview for many months, so it is a coincidence that this interview comes out just weeks after, on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, when a 15 year old comes to his school with his new Christmas present, a semiautomatic handgun, and kills four classmates, and wounds seven others including a teacher. Fereshteh has a PhD in psychology and was a licensed clinical psychologist. She has made presentations on psyco-social and religious topics around the world.

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