Tigran Hamasyan: young and genius

On this day in 1987 Armenian pianist Tigran Hamasyan was born.

He showed unusual interest in music at the age of two, the piano became his favorite toy and at age seven he already started playing jazz melodies and improvisations on the piano all day long.

He moved with his family to the capital Jerevan in 1997 where he began to study the works of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker and to compose. He performed at the Jerevan’s Jazz Festival at the age of thirteen, with many performances to follow and the acknowledgment of established artists like Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, John Mc Laughlin, Joe Zavinul and many more.

A period during which he studied modern jazz and Armenian traditional music followed. Hamasyan won numerous prizes at competitions for young jazz artists, recorded few CDs and performed at major festivals all around the world.

He released an album in March 2006 with saxophonist Ben Wendel, bassist Francois Moutin, drummer Ari Hoenig and multi-instrumentalist Rouben Hairapetyan. He later gathered a quintet named Aratta Rebirth releasing the album Red Hall with it, and performed as a member of Dhafer Youssef’s ensemble.

He premiered in Sarajevo with a solo concert at the 14th Jazz Fest Sarajevo in 2010, and released the album A Fable the following year which was received with delight by audience and acclaimed by critics.

This artist now lives in New York, in August he is going to release Shadow Theater, his sixth release as a band leader.