Founder of Pomegranate Music.
Raffi Meneshian was born in Chicago, IL USA to Armenian parents in 1969. He was raised in the North Shore suburb of Glenview, Illinois USA until 1989, when he moved to Boston, MA USA. While attending college in Boston, he worked for Tower Records in the classical department (1989-1990)in addition to a small independent Armenian record label owned by Ohaness Salibian called MEG Recordings (1990-1992). In 1992, Raffi received his BA from University of Massachusetts at Boston with a degree in political science.
In 2001, Raffi started Pomegranate Music, a world music label committed to bringing forth the music of Armenia to the global stage. The music label later went on to produce music from around the world. He produced his first album, "Yeraz" by Gor Mkhitarian at the age of 31 and has release 12 other titles on his label since then. Jumping between producer, executive producer and special consultant on all 13 of his Pomegranate releases, Raffi has visited Armenia 6 times to date searching for hidden local talent. In addition to Gor Mkhitarian, Raffi has worked with the Hover Chamber Choir of Armenia, Iakovos Kolanian (Greece), Bambir (Gyumri, Armenia), and in 2006, Lilit Pipoyan. Pomegranate Music is now considered a critically acclaimed independent music label. In 2003, Pomegranate Music was a delegate at the World Music Exposition (WOMEX) in Seville, Spain. In 2006, Pomegranate Music signed its first non-Armenian act with Italy's SoloDuo comprised of classical guitar virtuosos Matteo Mela and Lorenzo Micheli. Their album Solaria: 20th Century Music for Two Guitar has been proclaimed a masterpiece by Soundboard Magazine and has been given favorable review from around the globe. In 2009, SoloDuo released "Noesis: 19th Century Masterworks for Two Guitars" on Pomegranate Music to similar critical acclaim. The Washington Post called Noesis, "Jaw-Dropping". In 2013, Pomegranate Music released "Surfboard: Solo Guitar Works from Brazil" by Brazilian classical guitarist Joao Kouyoumdjian.
In addition to his music label, Raffi has been a frequent contributor to Global Rhythm Magazine and the Armenian Weekly on areas of music. His most noted interviews for Global Rhythm Magazine have included Jivan Gasparian, Serj Tankian (Serart, System of a Down) and DuOud. Raffi is also a member of the Recording Academy, where he holds a vote for the Grammy Awards. Raffi has also produced live concerts, most notably the Armenstock Festival, as well as tours for SoloDuo (Lorenzo Micheli and Matteo Mela) Gor Mkhitarian, Iakovos Kolanian, and Lilit Pipoyan. He has also worked with Arto Tuncboyaciyan, Ara Dinkjian, John Bilizekjian, Vardan Ovsepian, and John Berberian arranging concerts for each performer. Between February 2006 and January 2009, Raffi was the executive director for YerazArt, a non-profit based in Boston, MA. The purpose of YerazArt was to seek out new musical talents in Armenia and market them to a global stage. On April 27, 2007, Meneshian was interviewed for PRI/BBC's "The World" hosted by Marco Werman. The interview focused on the YerazArt program and reached over 1 million listeners via terrestrial radio, satellite radio, and podcasts.
Raffi received his MBA from University Of Massachusetts- Boston with a concentration in marketing. Raffi is married to Natacha Samedi and is currently living in the Bay Area, California.