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Armenian jazz genius Tigran Hamasyan to perform in Oxford
2019-01-24 18:35:45

Master of jazz piano, Tigran Hamasyan will perform at St John the Evangelist Church in Oxford on January 25, Oxford Mail reports.

Hamasyan will be performing favorites from his surprisingly lengthy repertoire (given that he is still only 30) along with tunes from 2017’s An Ancient Observer – in which he reflects on his return to Armenia after more than a decade of living in the United States.

Tigran left his hometown of Gyumri and moved to Los Angeles as a teenager, acquiring his own piano – an upright Yamaha – at the age of 16. There he developed his unique style of Armenian-accented jazz.

He has been back in independent Armenia for five years and is one of its greatest cultural ambassadors. His journey inspired latest album An Ancient Observer – on which he reflects on his return to Armenia after more than a decade of living in America. the album will form the basis for tomorrow’s concert.

“Armenia is Eden on earth,” he told Oxford Mail's Tim Hughes. 

 “It’s a mountainous country with rich nature from high altitude desert-like places to lush green mountainous regions."

“It is full of ancient and new culture. It’s a place where, up until industrialization, every single bit of daily life was accompanied by music. It’s the place where people first embraced Christianity – it’s the state religion."

“It is also a country where there are water fountains everywhere for people to drink spring water; a place where numerous poets, musicians and architects created masterpieces that are still standing and are part of our daily life; a place where monasteries were built on unreachable mountain tops and where a poor person will invite a stranger in and offer all he has.

 “It’s the place where Noah’s ark landed.”

Tigran says he is not putting Armenia on the musical map.

“It’s the country that’s putting me on the map.”