Vocalist Sarine Balian performs enchanting music reflective of her textured cultural background and spirituality. Born of Armenian descent, she was raised in both Lebanon and the Unites States. Sarine has long been a lover of music that crosses the same cultural boundaries she experiences.
During her study of jazz and world music at San Francisco State University, Sarine paired with two influential mentors - vocalist Sandy Cressman and Persian instrument expert and saxophonist Dr.Hafez Modirzadeh. In addition to her university training, sarine studied Middle Eastern percussion with master percussionist Ms. Mary Ellen Donald.
When asked about the combination of American jazz standards with traditional Armenian songs and the use of both jazz and Mid. Eastern instrumentation, Ms. Balian said, "My music is an expression of who I am and what I am inspired by; music that allows multiple cultures to exist in the same space."
In addition to several Bay Area performance groups she is a member of the Sweetwater Singers, a pan-Indian northern plains style Powwow drum group that sang regularly at San Francisco Bay Area community events. As a member of the Oakland Jazz Choir and The High Seas Sarine performed in San Francisco, Oakland and the greater Bay Area.
Sarine's previous projects include developing and arranging music for theatre productions, including Tamam and Abaga, Armenian music consultation for Golden Thread Production's presentation of 9 Armenians, and composing for and performing with SFSU's Creative World Ensemble.
As a guest panelist and lecturer Sarine has been involved with Arts and Culture studies in univeristies nationally, as well as the Armenian Library and Museum of America (ALMA).