The founder of Katuner, Vahagn Hayrapetyan, is one of the most famous and popular jazz musicians performing on today’s Armenian stage. For a long time, he has been delivering his brand of close harmony by performing in a swing and pop style and also by playing in a trio he created.
At the end of 2004, Vahagn suddenly changed his musical image and created a new band called “Katuner” (Cats). The original members of the band were Vahagn Hayrapetyan (keyboards), Tigran Suchyan (trumpet), David Nalchajyan (alto saxophone), Artyom Manukyan (bass, cello) and Tigran Sanoyan (drums). Later, Ashot Haroutiunyan (trombone) joined the band. Ashot’s presence added more power and harmony to the music. His trombone sounded like a human voice. The next to join was Norayr Kartashyan, who performs on various folk wind and percussion instruments. With his arrival, the sound of the ensemble gained a folk spirit. Norayr is a storyteller and added the sound of nature to the music. Drummer Arman Jalalyan joined the band at the beginning of 2006 and brought with him a very creative touch.
Originally all members of the Armenian Navy Band (BBC World Music Audience Award Winners, 2006), Katuner proves to be a very powerful band, playing original compositions yet bringing with it an already recognizable and much loved sound.