Armen Donelian

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Armen Hrant Donelian (born December 1, 1950)[1] is a jazz pianist, composer, educator and author.

Donelian was classically trained at the Westchester Conservatory of Music in White Plains, New York. He has appeared since 1975 as a featured soloist and bandleader, and with an array of jazz musicians, including Sonny Rollins, in international venues. A composer of over 100 works reflecting Classical, Middle Eastern and jazz influences, Donelian has produced 13 albums. He has received multiple awards as a Fulbright Senior Scholar and Specialist and an NEA Jazz Fellow. An educator at several New York institutions for 30 years, including The New School and William Paterson University, Donelian is also the author of Training The Ear Vol. 1 & 2 and offers master classes at leading throughout the world. A graduate of Columbia University and private student of Michael Pollon, Carl Bamberger, Ludmila Ulehla, Harold Seletsky and Richie Beirach, Donelian is the co-founder with Marc Mommaas of the Hudson Jazz Workshop.


As leader/co-leader[edit]

Year recorded Title Label Notes
1980? Stargazer Atlas w/Eddie Gomez & Billy Hart
1984? A Reverie: Solo Piano Sunnyside Solo piano
1988? Secrets Sunnyside Sextet, with Dick Oatts (tenor sax, soprano sax), Barry Danielian (trumpet, flugelhorn), Anthony Cox (bass), Bill Stewart (drums), Arto Tunçboyacıyan (percussion)
1988? Trio '87 Odin w/Carl Morten Iversen & Audun Kleive
1990? The Wayfarer Sunnyside Sextet, with Dick Oatts (tenor sax, soprano sax), Barry Danielian (trumpet, flugelhorn), Anthony Cox (bass), Bill Stewart (drums), Arto Tunçboyacıyan (percussion, vocals)
2000? Wave Sunnyside Solo piano
2002? Mystic Heights Sunnyside Solo piano
2003? Quartet Language Playscape w/Thomas Chapin, Calvin Hill & Jeff Williams
2005? Full Moon Music Sunnyside Solo piano
2006? All or Nothing at All Sunnyside Duo, with Marc Mommaas (sax); in concert
2007? Oasis Sunnyside Trio, with David Clark (bass), Georges Schuller (drums)
2010? Leapfrog Sunnyside Quintet, with Marc Mommaas (tenor sax), Mike Moreno (guitar), Dean Johnson (bass), Tyshawn Sorey (drums)
2014? Sayat-Nova: Songs of My Ancestors Sunnyside One disc solo piano; one disc trio, with David Clark (bass), George Schuller (drums)

As sideman[edit]

With Billy Harper

  • Trying to Make Heaven My Home (MPS, 1979)
  • The Believer (Baystate, 1980)
  • The Billy Harper Quintet (Poljazz, 1981)
  • Jazz Jamboree 1980 Various Artists (Polskie Nagrania Muza, 1983)

With Mongo Santamaria

  • Afro-Indio (Vaya/Fania, 1975)
  • Sofrito (Vaya/Fania, 1976)
  • Mongo and Justo (Vaya/Fania, 1976)
  • A La Carte (Vaya/Fania, 1976)

With Night Ark

  • Moments (RCA/Novus, 1987)
  • In Wonderland (PolyGram/EmArcy, 1996)
  • Petals on Your Path (PolyGram/EmArcy, 1999)

With Bobby Vince Paunetto

  • Commit to Memory (Pathfinder, 1976; Bomba, 1998)
  • Composer in Public (RSVP, 1996)
  • Reconstituted (RSVP, 1999)

With Rory Stuart

  • Nightwork (Cadence, 1984)
  • Hurricane (Sunnyside, 1987)

With Datevik Hovanesian

  • Listen to My Heart (Sony, 1998)

With Julie Lyonn Lieberman

  • Mixing America (Huiksi, 1996)
  • With Roy Ayers
  • Step into Our Life (Polydor, 1978)

With Cosmology

  • Cosmology (Vanguard, 1978)


  1. ^ "Armen Donelian Biography". Retrieved 2016-04-30.
  • Leonard Feather, Ira Gitler: The Biographical Encyclopedia of Jazz. Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York 1999; ISBN 978-0-19-532000-8
  • Thomas Staudter: "Armenian Music Inspires A Jazz Pianist" New York Times, February 10, 2002

External links[edit]