Lee Tomboulian

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Lee Tomboulian
Birth name Leland Diran Tomboulian[1]
Born (1960-01-08) January 8, 1960 (age 57)[1]
New York City, New York, U.S.
Genres Jazz, bossa nova, afro-cuban jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, educator
Instruments Piano, accordion
Years active 1980s–present
Associated acts One O'Clock Lab Band
Website www.leetomboulian.com

Leland Diran "Lee" Tomboulian (born January 8, 1960) is an American jazz pianist, accordionist, composer, arranger and educator.

Early life and career[edit]

Born in New York City into a music-loving family[2] (the youngest of four raised by Clyde Tomboulian and sculptor Norma Tomboulian, née Lamb),[3] Lee Tomboulian displayed an affinity for music, and for the piano in particular, by age seven. He was encouraged in this pursuit with several years of private instruction, eventually attending the University of Arkansas, where he earned a BA in composition while minoring in theater arts.[4] He continued to live and work in Arkansas for more than a decade thereafter; it was there that he met his wife-to-be, jazz singer Elizabeth (Betty) Elkins, in the late eighties.[5]

In 1989 he formed the ensemble Circo Verde, featuring original material steeped in the music of Latin America, especially that of Brazil and Uruguay.[2] In fact, a particular inspiration for the group was Brazilian percussionist Airto Moreira's 1973 album Fingers, whose Uruguayan rhythm section would go on to form their own influential jazz fusion trio, Opa. One of Opa's founding members, Hugo Fattoruso, produced the debut recording of Tomboulian's self-described "pop-latin-jazz" ensemble more than a decade later.[6][2]

In 1992, Tomboulian and Elkins were wed,[7] and the following year they departed Arkansas so that Tomboulian could pursue his graduate studies at the University of North Texas, where he earned a Master of Music in Jazz Studies in 1997.[8] At some point during the Tomboulians' 12-year stay in Denton, Circo Verde became simply Circo, the name under which its two albums were recorded.[6][9] While earning his degree, he also performed and recorded with the university's One O'Clock Lab Band, appearing on the CD Lab '97; the album also features one track, "B.B.", composed and arranged by Tomboulian.[10]

In 2005, the Tomboulians moved to Wisconsin, with Lee serving as Instructor of Jazz Piano and Improvisation at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton.[4] He continued to serve in this capacity until 2011, when the couple again relocated, this time to New York City. Since then, Tomboulian has released a solo piano CD, Imaginarium (with a number of tracks also incorporating his overdubbed accordion),[11] and has performed frequently, becoming a familiar presence at such venues as Smalls Jazz Club, the Lenox Lounge, and Kitano Jazz.[8]

Discography[edit]

As leader[edit]

As sideman[edit]

With Kelly Franklin

  • Labyrinth (Sidhe Records, 1993)[15]

With Little Jack Melody and his Turks

  • World of Fireworks (Carpe Diem, 1994), accordion, piano[16]

With Trout Fishing in America

  • Mine! (Trout Records, 1994), accordion, piano[16]
  • Who Are These People (Trout Records, 1994), accordion, organ[16]

With Brian Moore

  • The Signpost (Brian Moore, 1995)[17]

With The One O'Clock Lab Band

  • Lab '97 (North Texas Jazz, 1997)[18]

With The Two O'Clock Jazz Band

  • Two O'Clock Jazz Band (1997, Klavier Records), piano[16]
  • Moon River (1999, Klavier Records), piano[16]

With Al Gibson

  • It's About Time (Al Gibson Music, 1999)[19]

With The UNT Jazz Repertory Ensemble

  • Rockin' In Rhythm (North Texas Jazz, 1999, recorded in 1996)[20]

With Tony Hakim

  • Summer Place (Grasshopper Records, 2000, rec. btw November 1997 and November 1999)[21]

With Pete Brewer

  • Second Wind (Pic Records, 2000), piano – track 3, part 2[22]

With Mary Ellen Spann

  • Little Red Robin (China Alley Records, 2002)[23]

With Susan Colin

  • Shabbat Favorites (Lowell Music, 2003)[24]
  • Every Day: Songs of a Spiritual Life (Jewish Song Service, 2005)[25]

With Faith to Faith

  • Worship (Doxology, 2005), piano[16]

With Colin Boyd

  • Sincerity (Crystal Clear Sound, 2005), organ[16]

With Lisa Perry

  • Tropical Rose (Angel Rose Music, 2005)[26]

With John Adams

  • Trios (Congruent Music Co., 2006), keyboard, tracks 1, 7 & 8[27]

With Wycliffe Gordon

  • Jazz Celebration Weekend, November 11, 2006: Wycliffe Gordon (Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, 2006), piano[28]

With Maria Schneider

  • Jazz Series, June 1, 2007 (Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, 2007), accordion, track 4[29]

With Stuart Dempster

  • Stuart Dempster, trombone w[ith] Brian Pertl, didjeridu & Dane Richeson, percussion (Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, 2009), accordion[30]

With Terrell Stafford

  • Terell Stafford, trumpet: w[ith] Jazz Faculty Trio (Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, 2011)[31]

As arranger/composer[edit]

With The One O'Clock Lab Band

  • Lab '97 (North Texas Jazz, 1997), composer – "B.B."[18]

With Al Gibson

  • It's About Time (Al Gibson Music, 1999), composer – "Rhoda Ribbon" and "Memory Gardens"[19]

With The Lawrence University Conservatory of Music

  • A Concert for Humanity (Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, 2006), composer – "Set for New Orleans" (disc 1, track 16)[12]
  • Hybrid Ensemble and Solo Jazz Singers in Concert (Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, 2009), arranger – "Louva-a-Deus" (Milton Nascimento)[32]
  • Just Jazz: Hybrid Ensemble (Lawrence University Conservatory of Music, 2010), arranger and lyricist – "Nothing Personal" (Don Grolnick)[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Person Details for L Tomboulian 'United States Public Records, 1970–2009'". Family Search. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  2. ^ a b c "Circo in the Media: Article from the Denton-Chronicle (August 13, 2000)". CircoMusic.FaithWeb.com. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  3. ^ NLTSculptor on deviantART. deviantART. "Favorite bands / musical artists: My son, Lee." (Scroll down about 2/5 of the way and click on "Interests".) Retrieved 2014-07-22. See also:
  4. ^ a b Islam, Naveed. "The secret lives of our profs". The Lawrentian. October 17, 2008. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  5. ^ Elizabeth Tomboulian Bio. ReverbNation. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  6. ^ a b Hughes, Dave. "Circo: North/South Convergence". All About Jazz. December 1, 2001. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  7. ^ Tomboulian, Betty (Elizabeth Ann Elkins). Encyclopedia of Jazz Musicians. Retrieved 2014-07-23.
  8. ^ a b Breeding, Lucinda. "Former Denton musician releases ‘Imaginarium’". The Denton Record-Chronicle. June 20, 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  9. ^ Gladstone, Michael P.. "Lee Tomboulian And Circo: Return To Whenever". All About Jazz. February 11, 2008. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  10. ^ "Arkansas Jazz Calendar: Monday Jazz Welcomes Lee and Betty Tomboulian". The Arkansas Jazz Heritage Foundation Newsletter. Vol. 6, No. 2. August 1998. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  11. ^ Lindsay, Bruce. "Lee Tomboulian: Imaginarium (2013)". All About Jazz. March 24, 2013. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  12. ^ a b "North South Convergence (Musical CD, 2000)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "NSC" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  13. ^ "Return to Whenever (Musical CD, 2007)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  14. ^ "Imaginarium (Musical CD, 2012)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  15. ^ "Labyrinth (Musical CD, 1993)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  16. ^ a b c d e f g Lee Tomboulian Discography. CD Universe. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  17. ^ "The Signpost (Musical CD, 1995)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  18. ^ a b "Lab '97 (Musical CD, 1997)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  19. ^ a b "It's About Time (Musical CD, 1999)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  20. ^ "Rockin' in Rhythm (Musical CD, 1999)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  21. ^ "Summer Place (Musical CD, 2000)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  22. ^ "Second Wind (Musical CD, 2000)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  23. ^ "Little Red Robin (Musical CD, 2002)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  24. ^ "Shabbat Favorites (Musical CD, 2003)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  25. ^ "Every Day: Songs of a Spiritual Life (Musical CD, 2005)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  26. ^ "Topical Rose (Musical CD, 2005)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  27. ^ "Trios (Musical CD, 2006)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  28. ^ "Jazz Celebration Weekend, November 11, 2006: Wycliffe Gordon (Musical CD, 2006)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  29. ^ "Jazz Series, June 1, 2007 (Musical CD, 2007)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  30. ^ "Stuart Dempster, trombone with Brian Pertl, didjeridu & Dane Richeson, percussion (Musical CD, 2009)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-22.
  31. ^ "Terell Stafford, trumpet: w[ith Jazz Faculty Trio (Musical CD, 2011)"]. Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  32. ^ "Hybrid Ensemble and Solo Jazz Singers in Concert (Musical CD, 2009)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.
  33. ^ "Hybrid Ensemble concert, May 22, 2010 (Musical CD, 2010)". Worldcat. Retrieved 2014-07-21.

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