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|Genres||Jazz, world, traditional|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, producer, composer|
|Instruments||Acoustic and electric guitars, oud, bouzouki, banjitar, ukulele, mandolin, glissentar|
Levon Ichkhanian is a Toronto-based guitarist/world stringed instruments specialist, versed in Jazz, World and Traditional music.
Ichkhanian was born in 1964 in Beirut, Lebanon, of Armenian descent. He is the son of Edouard Ichkhanian, renowned Musical Director of Middle Eastern artists, nephew to Professor Joseph Ichkhanian, founder of the classical guitar program at the Beirut Conservatory of Music, and cousin of Hovannes Darbinian, the world leading scholar and performer of the Armenian Tar. As a youngster, Levon lived in and traveled to Jordan, Cyprus and Isfahan. In 1977, his family immigrated to Canada during the Lebanese Civil war.
Ichkhanian performing his first professional gig at the age of 13 with Adiss Harmandian. At age 17 he won a scholarship to study on the jazz programme at the University of Toronto. Since then, he has become a recording and touring artist, composer and producer.
He has released 3 solo CDs, played on over 100 commercially released and diverse recordings (e.g. Waqt Par Bolna Hariharan, Tango Notturno Isabel Bayrkdarian, Canadian Idol: Greatest Moments BMG Music Canada), performed on soundtracks for the likes of Atom Egoyan and David Suzuki, and is an orchestra member in theatre stage productions (including Jersey Boys, Lord of the Rings and Spamalot).
Immediately following the 1988 Armenian earthquake, Levon played an integral role in the development of a benefit concert in Toronto to raise funds for an Armenian medical clinic. Levon was the musical director, bringing together the top Armenian musicians to participate in the event.
He has toured throughout Canada, United States, Caribbean, South America and Europe, both with his own world/jazz group, as well as with other notable international musicians/groups as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Sattar, Svik Apik, Hariharan, Shankar, Mahadevan, A.R. Rahman, and Peter Murphy. Levon is an avid explorer of improvisation, which forms the basis for his workshops, masterclasses and clinics. Levon has published articles in Guitar Player Magazine and is a regular contributor to Canadian Musician Magazine.
- After Hours – Armenian/Middle East melodies in a contemporary jazz setting featuring Grammy Award winners Paquito D'Rivera and John Pattituci. Nominated Best Jazz Fusion – Armenian Music Awards
- Travels – Grooves and melodies from the Middle East to Brazil, featuring Alain Caron. Winner Best Jazz Fusion Album – Armenian Music Awards
- Kick-n' Jazz with Master Drummer Bernard Purdie
- The Ark, Nashville Chamber Orchestra
- The Wedding, Atlantic Jazz Society
Awards and Distinctions
- Acknowledgment for musical excellence from Governor General of Canada
- Canadian All Star Jazz Award
- Outstanding Service to Jazz Education – International Association of Jazz Educators
- Unisong International Song Contest Entry of Merit – “the Gift”
- Hamazkain music award
- Marash music award
- Henderson, Alex. "Levon Ichkhanian: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 2010-09-25.