Wed 20 11 2024    20:00
Tigran Hamasyan
Wed 20 11 2024    20:00   
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Jazz musicians taking inspiration from folk music sources may be no new thing, but few artists do it as masterfully as Tigran Hamasyan – the pianist who taught jazz to speak the language of Armenian music.

Hamasyan first touched a piano at the age of three, and by six had begun to learn the instrument formally, even though as a boy he was more interested in heavy metal guitarists and wanted to become one himself. He began stuying jazz at the age of 9 – both its demanding compositional structures and the art of improvisation. As a teenager, he began to find ways of incorporating the musical motifs of Armenian folk into his improvisations and compositions, an approach that he further developed during his later studies in the USA. 

Hamasyan soon became a regular competition winner and award recipient, and the world began to realise that an exceptional talent had emerged from an unexpected corner of the world. At 16, he won first prize in the French competition Jazz à Juan Révélations, and in the same year the Critics' Prize in the piano competition at the prestigious Montreux festival. At 19, he was a winner at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz in Los Angeles. By that time, he'd already recorded his first album, World Passion, released on the independent label Nocturne.

'A phenomenal piano player, an irrepressible entertainer, a promising experimenter with hi-tech gizmology and a creative world-music composer.'



This marked the start of a very active recording career – Hamasyan so far has ten albums to his name, mostly made up of his own compositions built on the fusion of jazz and Armenian music forms, with occasional steps into territories such as progressive rock. He's recorded for such renowned labels as Verve, ECM, and Nonesuch. The latter released his most recent album StandArt, Tigran's journey into the Great Amerian Songbook, featuring interpretations of songs by Richard Rodgers, Charlie Parker, and Jerome Kern, among others. In reviewing the album, The Times wrote: 'Standards are melodies whose harmonic richness and rhythmic flexibility make them ideal vehicles for improvistation, regardless of changing trends in jazz. Tigran Hamasyan tests their resilience on this fascinating and demanding album.' 

Whether Tigran's solo concert at Prague Sounds features standards or not, it promises to be an exceptional experience for the audience at Rudolfinum.


Tigran Hamasyan - piano


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