Tigran Hamasyan

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Tigran Hamasyan
Background information
Born (1987-07-17) July 17, 1987 (age 36)
Leninakan, Armenian SSR,
(now Gyumri, Armenia)
GenresJazz, jazz fusion, progressive rock, Armenian folk
Occupation(s)Musician, pianist, composer
Instrument(s)Piano, vocals
Years active2001–present

Tigran Hamasyan (Armenian: Տիգրան Համասյան; born July 17, 1987) is an Armenian jazz pianist and composer. He plays mostly original compositions, which are strongly influenced by the Armenian folk tradition, often using its scales and modalities. In addition to this folk influence, Hamasyan is influenced by American jazz traditions and to some extent, as on his album Red Hail, by progressive rock. His solo album A Fable is most strongly influenced by Armenian folk music. 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/Southwest Asian traditions.[1]

Early life[edit]

Hamasyan was born in Gyumri, Armenia.[2] His ancestors were from the Kars region.[3] His father was a jeweler and his mother designed clothes.[4] 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.[4] As a young child, he dreamed of being a thrash metal guitarist.[4]

He studied jazz from the age of nine, then tried to incorporate local folk melodies into jazz-form improvisations when in his teens.[4] At this stage, Hamasyan was influenced by Armenian composers Arno Babajanian and Avet Terterian.[4] Hamasyan, together with his parents and sister, moved to Yerevan when he was around 10,[5] and then to California when he was 16. He currently resides in Yerevan, Armenia.[6]


Hamasyan recorded his first album, World Passion, at the age of 18.[4] He spent a lot of 2013 in Armenia, which helped develop his interest in its folk music.[4] He was the leader of the "Aratta Rebirth", with which he performed Red Hail. On April 29, 2022, Nonesuch Records released Hamasyan's first album of American standards - StandArt. The project was recorded in the spring of 2021 in Los Angeles and includes 9 songs from the 1920s through the 1950s, by Richard Rodgers, Charlie Parker, Jerome Kern, David Raksin, and others. Bassist Matt Brewer, drummer Justin Brown, trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, saxophonist and label-mate Joshua Redman, and saxophonist Mark Turner collaborated with the pianist and contributed to the recording.[7]



As leader[edit]

Year Album Record label Peak positions

Jazz Albums
2006 World Passion Nocturne  –  –  –
2007 New Era Plus Loin  –  –  –
2009 Aratta Rebirth: Red Hail Plus Loin  –  –  –
2011 A Fable Verve  – 70  –
2013 Shadow Theater Verve 127 63  –
2015 Mockroot Nonesuch  –  – 11
2015 Luys i Luso ECM  –  –  –
2017 An Ancient Observer Nonesuch  – 191
2019 They Say Nothing Stays the Same SEEBEDON  –  –  –
2020 The Call Within Nonesuch  –  –  –
2022 StandArt Nonesuch  –  –  –


  • EP No. 1 (2011) Released exclusively on vinyl and digital download
  • The Poet (2014)
  • For Gyumri (2018)

As sideman[edit]


  1. ^ "Tigran Hamasyan". Armenian Pulse Radio & Entertainment. April 13, 2012.
  2. ^ True, Chris. "Tigran Hamasyan: Biography". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 March 2013.
  3. ^ "Mockroot Track by Track from Tigran Hamasyan". Nonesuch Records. Archived from the original on 4 December 2020. Retrieved 2 March 2021. "Kars 1" and "Kars 2 (Wounds of the Centuries)" are written about the town of Kars, the ancestral home of Tigran's maternal grandparents, a place that became part of Turkey in the years that followed the infamous Ottoman genocide of Armenians during the First World War.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g Lewis, John (October 24, 2013) "Tigran Hamasyan, the Pianist Giving Jazz an Armenian Twist". The Guardian.
  5. ^ "Tigran Hamasyan Trio". Monterey Jazz Festival. Retrieved October 25, 2013.
  6. ^ "Tigran Hamasyan – Official website".
  7. ^ "StandArt by Tigran Hamasyan". Bandcamp. Retrieved 2022-04-29.
  8. ^ Jazz, All About. "All About Jazz". All About Jazz. Archived from the original on May 14, 2008.
  9. ^ "Jazz Articles: Pianist Tigran Awarded Vilcek Prize - By Jeff Tamarkin — Jazz Articles". jazztimes.com. Retrieved 2015-11-11.
  10. ^ "Winner Paul Acket Award Tigran - Mockroot | NN North Sea Jazz Festival". www.northseajazz.com.
  11. ^ "Tigran Hamasyan wins ECHO Jazz Award 2016". Public Radio of Armenia. April 19, 2016.
  12. ^ "Tigran discography". ultratop.be/fr/. Hung Medien. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  13. ^ "Tigran discography". lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 5 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Tigran Hamasyan: Chart History". Billboard charts. Retrieved 5 June 2019.[dead link]
  15. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums – SNEP (Week 14, 2017)" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved 10 April 2017.

External links[edit]