Armenian Navy Band

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Led by Arto Tuncboyaciyan.

Armenian-navy-band-DCP 0264.JPG

Play at Avant-Guarde Folk Music Club
34 A Pushkin Street, Yerevan Armenia Tel: (374-10) 56 14 97

The Armenian Navy Band was founded by the percussionist/vocalist of Armenian descent, Arto Tunçboyaciyan. Music is a fundamental element of his life, by which he tries to communicate his greatest values: "love, respect and truth".

The group is composed of twelve Armenian musicians, among the best that live in Armenia at the moment. The compositions are all original of Arto Tunçboyaciyan which -using his words - "have the sound of my life".

This music is pervaded by sonorities taken from the Armenian and Anatolian tradition fused with elements coming from different musical experiences, amongst them jazz.

Arto's original compositions express the sound of the past generations along with today's life; this is what he calls "avant-garde folk". We can say that the Armenian Navy Band represents the synthesis of Arto's musical journey and life experiences. As an ensemble with particular virtuosity, it also has great ability in performing live music and compositions taken from the tradition and from the current culture of Armenia.

The musicians of this ensemble range from ages 20-45. The instruments vary from traditional: duduk, zurna, kemanche, kanun to contemporary: trombone, alto sax, tenor, soprano sax, trumpet, bass, drums, keyboard and piano. This ensemble together with the unique vocals and percussion and sazabo of Arto creates a musical journey of the past and present, bringing the sound into the future.

MUSICIANS

  • Arto Tunçboyaciyan Percussions, vocals, sazabo
  • Anahit Artushyan Kanun
  • Armen Ayvazyan Kemanche
  • Armen Hyusnunts Tenor & soprano sax
  • Ashot Harutiunyan Trombone
  • David Nalchajyan Alto sax
  • Tigran Suchyan Trumpet
  • Norayr Kartashyan Blul, duduk, zurna
  • Vardan Grigoryan Duduk, zurna
  • Arman Jalalyan Drums
  • Vahagn Hayrapetyan Piano, keyboards
  • Vardan Arakelyan Bass

BBC Award

ARMENIAN NAVY BAND BBC AWARD NOMINEE By Tamar Minasian

Armenia is a nation that invokes many descriptions: landlocked, ancient, nestled in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains and bearer of many tragic events. Yet Armenia is also celebrated for its music, especially the duduk, a flute carved from apricot wood with a cane reed whose range is barely one octave. When played by a master such as Djivan Gasparyan the duduk creates one of the loneliest, most moving sounds ever heard.

Yet Armenia is not land locked in the past; instead, it has maintained a connection with Western thought and culture - this has been helped by a huge Armenian diaspora, many of whom live in the USA - and The Armenian Navy Band are the most brilliant example yet of how an ancient culture can comfortably blend with a contemporary one.

The Armenian Navy Band was founded by the percussionist/vocalist of Armenian descent, Arto Tunçboyaciyan. Arto likes to describe The Armenian Navy Band as 'avant garde music from Armenia' which suggests something of the band but is a little limiting. The band have a strong jazz influence and to this they bring in all manner of folkloric instrumentation so building an organic creation that, well, swings.

Along with others of the Armenian diaspora, Arto Tuncboyaciyan grew up on the outskirts of Istanbul. Arto turned to music to celebrate his culture and here he managed to keep alive the spirit of Armenia. The sorrow and loneliness, also to be found in African-American jazz and blues, are mixed here with the melancholy Armenian spirit. Yet there is also joy, love and solace.

The Navy Band is composed of twelve Armenian musicians and the compositions are all Arto originals which - using his words - 'have the sound of my life'. The instruments vary from traditional: duduk, zurna, kemanche, kanun to contemporary: trombone, alto sax, tenor, soprano sax, trumpet, bass, drums, keyboard and piano. The Armenian Navy Band have released 3 CDs: 1999's Bzdik Zinvor, 2001's New Apricot and 2004's Natural Seed.

'I don't give direction to anybody,' says Arto. 'I let you imagine for yourself but what I try to give you is Love, Respect, Truth. I believe this is the path for trust. Trust is one of the simplest forms of wealth in this world. This is what we need.'

Garth Cartwright ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/worldmusic/a4wm2006/a4wm_armenia.shtml )


Arto Tuncboyaciyan is working with Armenian musicians with whom he founded his new group THE ARMENIAN NAVY BAND, a small orchestra rooted in Armenian and Anatolian traditional music with the inspiration and sound of today. The project was born in 1998 after the meeting in Yerevan with young Armenian musicians coming from different music experiences (ethnic and contemporary Armenian music). Since then the idea to create a group which could represent the sound of Armenia of today became concrete. The two albums that represent the current aspects of Arto's music search are Avci, a movie soundtrack composed by the artist, and Bzidik Zinvor. Bzidik Zinvor has been recorded in Armenia and is the result of the very first meeting with several musicians from Yerevan. Arto's original compositions express the sound of the past generations along with today's life: this is what he calls "avantgarde folk".

During the year 2000 THE ARMENIAN NAVY BAND has been touring Europe receiving great acclaim from the audience and enthusiastic music criticism. This experience will be collected in the next CD recorded in Istanbul for the Turkish label Imaj Müzik.

Discography (selected)

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