3rd June | St George’s

Recently called the ‘hottest pianist in jazz’ by The Guardian, Armenian-born, US-educated Tigran Hamasayan has been hot on the world stage since he won the prestigious Thelonious Monk prize at the age of sixteen. His style embodies the elements and influences, scales and modalities, of Armenian folk music, which he translates into an ethereal, almost cinematic soundscape. But he can also turn up the pace into something more energetic: baroque meets a flowing groove, meets beautiful invention and homage.

Tigran was born in Gyumri, Armenia. His father was a jeweller and his mother designed clothes. He began playing the piano at the age of three and went to music school at the age of six. As a young child he dreamed of being a thrash metal guitarist! He got into jazz at the age of nine, incorporating local folk melodies into jazz-form improvs in his teens, especially influenced by Armenian composers Arno Babajanian and Avet Terterian. After a spell of living in California, he now lives back in Yerevan, Armenia.

While in the US, he established a recording career with the Verve, ECM and Nonesuch labels and collaborated with the biggest names in both US and European jazz. His acclaimed choral work, Luys i Luso (ECM) displays his immersion in the folk traditions of his native country.

His St George’s debut six years ago was a memorable show that left the audience stunned at his talent. This rare solo performance, linked to a headlining date at London’s Barbican, will showcase Tigran’s incredible talents as pianist, vocalist and composer.

See the video for ‘Rays of Light’ here: