AGBU Arts Presents: Armenians in Jazz – Summer EditionRegister
August 04, 2022
425 Lafayette Street
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An evening of jazz with Armenian musicians based in New York City, featuring vocalist Lucy Yeghiazaryan, guitarist Eric Zolan, trumpeter Michael Sarian, pianist Liya Grigoryan, bassist Noah Garabedian, and drummer Nathan Ellman-Bell. Click here for the playbill.
Lucy Yeghiazaryan is an American Armenian vocalist who has become a leading voice in American straight-ahead jazz by bringing the real richness of her heritage together with her love for the ultimate American artform. She is a recipient of grants from the Doris Duke Foundation, Chamber Music America and the New York Foundation for the Arts. She has shared the stage with Harold Mabern, Houston Person, Grant Stewart, Terell Stafford, Bernadette Peters, Arto Tuncboyaijian and many more. She regularly works with the Emmet Cohen trio and can be found performing in and outside of The United States with regular appearances at Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, Mezzrow, Symphony Space and more. She was a top ten finalist in the 2015 Thelonious Monk Competition and holds a degree in World History in addition to being a skilled classical violinist. Her debut album, Blue Heaven, was released in 2019 on Cellar Live Records and was followed by the album In Her Words on La_Reserve Records in 2021 which was sponsored by The Women’s Fund of NYFA. Her third album, Lonely House will be released in late 2022.
Zolan graduated from William Paterson University (‘16) where he studied with the likes of Mulgew Miller, Harold Mabern, Bill Charlap, Gene Bertoncini, and Steve La Spina. Upon graduation, Eric moved to NYC and has had the opportunity to collaborate with many gifted and renowned musicians such as Winard Harper, Brian Charette, and is the guitarist and arranger for the Armenian ensemble Xarib lead by vocalist Lucy Yeghiazaryan.
Liya Grigoryan is an Armenian- born pianist, that has started her music career at a very young age, studying piano when she was only 5 years old. Liya has won high-profile international competitions and awards, including the Getxo Jazz Award and the Keep an Eye International Jazz Award. In 2018 she was selected as one of the semifinalists of the prestigious Thelonious Monk Competition. Liya actively performs in the United States and across Europe.
Born in Toronto and raised in Buenos Aires, Michael relocated to New York City in 2012, where he studied with Laurie Frink, Alan Ferber, Brad Shepik, Ralph Alessi and Mike Rodriguez. Michael has performed at some of the most iconic international stages, including the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland, the Kennedy Center in Washington DC, Teatro Colón in Argentina, and at some of New York City's most beloved venues such as the Blue Note Jazz Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, BRIC JazzFest, The Beacon Theater, and Central Park SummerStage. He has appeared on WNYC's Soundcheck with John Schaefer, NPR's World Cafe, and many more. In 2020, Michael was a semifinalist at the prestigious DCJazzPrix, a 2020 Performer-Composer in Residence at Westben Centre for Connection & Creativity, and artist in residence at Culture Lab LIC for the winter/spring 2022 season. Michael's artistic output is as diverse as his background: his second quartet album is set for release in 2022 with ears&eyes Records, has released several duet recordings with pianist Matthew Putman on 577Records, electronic avant-garde music with Barcelona based pianist Olec Mün on piano and coffee records, and several albums with his septet Michael Sarian & The Chabones.
Bass player and composer Noah Garabedian seeks the human connection in the collaborative aspects of art, and is informed by the folkloric traditions and stories. He holds a BA in Ethnomusicology from The University of California Los Angeles and a Master's of Music Performance from New York University. Noah is a 2022 Calouste Gulbenkian In View Grant recipient; 2021 Fellow for Creative Armenia/AGBU; 2016 Fulbright Specialist Grant recipient; 2011 ISB Double Bass Competition finalist; 2007 finalist for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz graduate program; 2006 John Coltrane National Scholarship recipient. Additionally, he is a two-time Arts Envoy Grant recipient with the US State Department where he performed and taught throughout Asia and the Middle East. In October 2020 he premiered a commission from the Peace Resource Center at Wilmington College, entitled “The Tragedy of Hate.” As an educator Noah has worked with Jazz at Lincoln Center’s Jazz For Young People program, the Stanford Jazz Workshop, NYU, and The New School. He has performed and toured with numerous artists including Ravi Coltrane, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Andy Milne, and Kris Davis.
Nathan Ellman-Bell is an acclaimed drummer, producer and composer living in New York City. A graduate of the Peabody Conservatory, Nathan has been featured on many studio albums and performed at notable NYC venues such as Highline Ballroom, Blue Note, Brooklyn Bowl, Birdland, Joe’s Pub, Smalls and many more. Current projects include Wild Idol, Snack Cat, Michael Sarian Quartet, Olli Hirvonen, as well as Brass Against who’s cover of Wake Up was featured in the Matrix 4 film, and who are also fresh off of an 11 week tour through Europe where they opened for Tool and played many headline shows and festivals.