Acclaimed Pianist & 2005 Thelonious Monk Competition Winner Plays His First New York Show Since August 2008
VIDEO: Tigran Plays Solo on WBGO’s The Checkout
In its ever-evolving state, jazz invites into its fold imaginative artists who freely and courageously pursue their own vision, not only built on tradition but also infused with their own personality and passion. In the case of New York-based pianist/keyboardist Tigran, potent jazz improvisation fuses with the rich folkloric music of his native Armenia. Tigran’s fresh sound is marked by an exploration of time signatures beyond 4/4 into 5/4 and 9/8, charged dynamics, the shifting between acoustic and electric modes of expression, the use of exotic instrumentation including duduk, shvi and zurna, and, in the case of his latest CD, Red Hail, the enlisting of a singer well-versed in Armenia folks songs to deliver alluring vocals that complement the band’s stretch.
“When I was 13, I began to understand the rich culture of Armenia,” says Tigran. “I thought, it’s in my blood. I grew up with this incredible music without realizing it. Slowly I began to listen more to the folk music, and it shocked me how much it had been completely ignored. The more tunes I learned—listening to recordings from the Armenian Folk Radio channel—the more I saw the rich potential for merging those with improvised music. That started me on a lifetime journey.” Continue reading