Tigran Hamasyan

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Tigran Hamasyan
Background information
Born (1987-07-17) July 17, 1987 (age 29)
Gyumri, Armenia
Genres Jazz
Occupation(s) Musician, composer
Instruments Piano, vocals
Years active 2001–present
Website tigranhamasyan.com

Tigran Hamasyan (Armenian: Տիգրան Համասյան; born July 17, 1987) is an Armenian jazz pianist. He plays mostly original compositions, which are strongly influenced by the Armenian folk tradition, often using its scales and modalities. In addition to Tigran's folk influence, he is much influenced by American jazz traditions and to some extent, as on his album Red Hail, by progressive rock.[1] His solo album A Fable is most strongly influenced by Armenian folk. Even on his most overt jazz compositions and renditions of well-known jazz pieces, his improvisations often contain embellishments based on scales from Middle Eastern/South Western Asian traditions.[2]

Early life[edit]

Hamasyan was born in Gyumri, Armenia.[3] His ancestors were from the Kars region.[4] His father was a jeweler and his mother designed clothes.[5] At the age of three he began to play melodies on his family's piano, and he went to a music school from the age of six.[5] As a young child, he dreamed of being a thrash metal guitarist.[5]

He studied jazz from the age of nine, then tried to incorporate local folk melodies into jazz-form improvisations when in his teens.[5] At this stage, Hamasyan was influenced by Armenian composers Arno Babajanian and Avet Terterian.[5] Hamasyan, together with his parents and sister, moved to Yerevan when he was around 10,[6] and then to California when he was 16. He currently resides in Erevan, Armenia.[7]


Hamasyan recorded his first album, World Passion, at the age of 18.[5] He spent a lot of 2013 in Armenia, which helped develop his interest in its folk music.[5]


  • 2002: 3rd Prize Concours International de Piano-Jazz Martial Solal (Paris).
  • 2003: 1st Prize Jazz à Juan Révélations in the jazz instrumental category.
  • 2003: 1st Prize Prix de la Critique et du Public, Concours de Piano du Montreux Jazz Festival.
  • 2005: 3rd Prize Concours de Piano-Jazz de Moscou.
  • 2005: 1st Prize 8ème Concours de Solistes de Jazz de Monaco.
  • 2006: 1st Prize Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.[8]
  • 2006: 2nd Prize Concours International de Piano-Jazz Martial Solal.
  • 2013: Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Contemporary Music[9]
  • 2016: ECHO Jazz Awards.[10]



As lead artist

Year Album Record label Peak positions

2006 World Passion Nocturne  –  –
2007 New Era Plus Loin Music  –  –
2009 Aratta Rebirth: Red Hail Plus Loin Music  –  –
2011 A Fable Verve  – 70
2013 Shadow Theater Verve 127 63
2015 Mockroot Nonesuch Records  –  –
2015 Luys i Luso ECM Records  – 68


  • EP No. 1 (2011) Released exclusively on vinyl and digital download
  • The Poet - EP (2014)



  1. ^ Red Hail, Progarchives.com
  2. ^ Tigran Hamasyan, Armenian Pulse
  3. ^ True, Chris. "Tigran Hamasyan: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 March 2013. 
  4. ^ Facebook post on July 10, 2015 "...in Kars, the region where all my ancestry comes from."
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Lewis, John (October 24, 2013) "Tigran Hamasyan, the Pianist Giving Jazz an Armenian Twist". The Guardian.
  6. ^ "Tigran Hamasyan Trio". Monterey Jazz Festival. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  7. ^ http://www.tigranhamasyan.com/
  8. ^ allaboutjazz.com Biography
  9. ^ "Jazz Articles: Pianist Tigran Awarded Vilcek Prize - By Jeff Tamarkin — Jazz Articles". jazztimes.com. Retrieved 2015-11-11. 
  10. ^ Tigran Hamasyan wins ECHO Jazz Award 2016, Armradio, 19 Apr 2016
  11. ^ "Tigran discography". ultratop.be/fr/. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 
  12. ^ "Tigran discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 September 2013. 

External links[edit]