|Born||July 17, 1987|
Leninakan, Armenian SSR,
(now Gyumri, Armenia)
|Genres||Jazz, jazz fusion, progressive rock, Armenian folk|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, pianist, composer|
Tigran Hamasyan (Armenian : Տիգրան Համասյան; born July 17, 1987) is an Armenian jazz pianist and composer. He plays mostly original compositions, which are strongly influenced by the Armenian folk tradition, often using its scales and modalities. In addition to this folk influence, Hamasyan is influenced by American jazz traditions and to some extent, as on his album Red Hail, by progressive rock. His solo album A Fable is most strongly influenced by Armenian folk music. Even on his most overt jazz compositions and renditions of well-known jazz pieces, his improvisations often contain embellishments based on scales from Middle Eastern/Southwest Asian traditions.
Hamasyan was born in Gyumri, Armenia.His ancestors were from the Kars region. His father was a jeweler and his mother designed clothes. At the age of three he began to play melodies on his family's piano, and he went to a music school from the age of six. As a young child, he dreamed of being a thrash metal guitarist.
He studied jazz from the age of nine, then tried to incorporate local folk melodies into jazz-form improvisations when in his teens.At this stage, Hamasyan was influenced by Armenian composers Arno Babajanian and Avet Terterian. Hamasyan, together with his parents and sister, moved to Yerevan when he was around 10, and then to California when he was 16. He currently resides in Yerevan, Armenia.
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Hamasyan recorded his first album, World Passion, at the age of 18.He spent a lot of 2013 in Armenia, which helped develop his interest in its folk music. He was the leader of the "Aratta Rebirth", with which he performed Red Hail. On April 29, 2022, Nonesuch Records released Hamasyan's first album of American standards - StandArt. The project was recorded in the spring of 2021 in Los Angeles and includes 9 songs from the 1920s through the 1950s, by Richard Rodgers, Charlie Parker, Jerome Kern, David Raksin, and others. Bassist Matt Brewer, drummer Justin Brown, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonist and label-mate Joshua Redman, and saxophonist Mark Turner collaborated with the pianist and contributed to the recording.
|Year||Album||Record label||Peak positions|
| BEL |
| FR || Jazz Albums |
|2007||New Era||Plus Loin||–||–||–|
|2009||Aratta Rebirth: Red Hail||Plus Loin||–||–||–|
|2015||Luys i Luso||ECM||–||–||–|
|2017||An Ancient Observer||Nonesuch||–||191||12|
|2019||They Say Nothing Stays the Same||SEEBEDON||–||–||–|
|2020||The Call Within||Nonesuch||–||–||–|
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Taniel is a multi award winning arthouse short film by British writer and director Garo Berberian, telling the story of the last months of poet Taniel Varoujan until his murder during the Armenian genocide at the age of 31, the day of his son’s birth. The film is the first to deal with the story of a man considered to be one of Armenia’s greatest poets with international fame. The film is loosely based on the memoirs of Aram Andonian, a journalist arrested on the same day as Varoujan, on 24 April 1915, when some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders were rounded up and deported in the first major event of the Armenian genocide.
Mockroot is the sixth album by Tigran Hamasyan, released 17 February 2015. The album mixes traditional Armenian folk music with jazz, in the jazz fusion style. It features Tigran on synths, keyboard and vocals; Sam Minaie on bass guitar; and Arthur Hnatek on drums and electronics. It was the first album he released on Nonesuch Records. The album was planned to be released 26 January 2015, but was delayed and released 17 February 2015.
The Naghash Ensemble is a contemporary music ensemble from Armenia featuring three female singers, duduk, oud, dhol and piano. They perform new music written by Armenian-American composer John Hodian based on sacred texts by the medieval Armenian mystic poet and priest, Mkrtich Naghash. Described as "The sound of ancient Armenia reinvented for the 21st century" by Armenian composer Tigran Mansurian, Hodian's "Songs of Exile" combines "the earthy spirituality of Armenian folk song, new classical music, contemporary post-minimalism and the energy of rock and jazz".
Shadow Theater is the fifth album by Tigran Hamasyan published in 2013. The album contains 12 tracks and is a mix of several different styles, including jazz, jazz fusion, pop and Armenian folk. The album consists of tracks which he had composed many years ago, but not released. He then adapted and changed these tracks over around six years, until the album's release in 2013. This was Tigran's second release on Verve and was released in the US on Sunnyside the following year.
A Fable is the fourth album by Tigran Hamasyan released in February 2011. Tigran uses traditional Armenian hymns, Armenian poetry and Armenian folk music as the basis for the tracks on the album. The album also draws influences from Jazz, Rock and Pop. Tigran in an interview said that he chose the name of the album "... because each composition tells a story ... [and] people can relate to fables because they are both simple, yet deep." He only used his first name on this album's release, but has used his full name in subsequent albums.
Luys i Luso is the seventh album by Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan. It was released to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.
An Ancient Observer is the 8th album by Tigran Hamasyan released 31 March 2017. Two of the tracks on the album are developments of traditional Armenian melodies and all tracks have influences from Armenian folk music. Tigran also draws inspiration from Jazz and Rock music, as well as the natural landscape of Mount Ararat. This was Tigran's second album on Nonesuch Records. The album is mostly solo piano, however, there is sparing use of electronics and vocals. Tigran considers his next release, the EP For Gyumri, to be a companion work to this album.
For Gyumri is the 3rd extended play by Tigran Hamasyan and was released 16 February 2018. Tigran considers this EP a companion work to his 8th album An Ancient Observer, which was released the year before. Similarly to An Ancient Observer, this work is mostly solo piano with use of sparing vocals. The album is named after the city Gyumri and is where Tigran was born. This was his 3rd release on Nonesuch Records, with the two previous releases being An Ancient Observer and Mockroot. Tigran said that this album "... is an ode to my birthplace, the town that nourished my childhood world with great experiences and made me who I am". He performed this EP in Royce Hall at University of California, Los Angeles, and part of the proceeds went to the Children of Armenia Fund.
The Call Within is the ninth album and fourth release on Nonesuch Records by Tigran Hamasyan, released 28 August 2020.
StandArt is the tenth studio album by Tigran Hamasyan. It was released by Nonesuch Records on 29 April 2022. It is Hamasyan's first covers album, and features eight jazz standards and one original composition.
"Kars 1" and "Kars 2 (Wounds of the Centuries)" are written about the town of Kars, the ancestral home of Tigran's maternal grandparents, a place that became part of Turkey in the years that followed the infamous Ottoman genocide of Armenians during the First World War.