Yesterday I was lucky enough to see in concert a new young emerging pure piano talent who responds to the name of Tigran Hamasyan.
Tigran Hamasyan, born in 1987 (which means he’s only 24!), is an Armenian jazz pianist.
Even if saying “jazz” is perhaps a little simplistic since his music is much more complex.
He infact plays mostly original compositions, which are strongly influenced by the Armenian folk tradition, often using its scales and modalities. Even on his jazz compositions (or renditions of well-known jazz pieces), his improvisations often contain embellishments based on scales from Middle Eastern/South Western Asian traditions.
At the age of 3 he was singing the great deal of Led Zeppelin’s, Deep Purple’s, Beatles’, Louis Armstrong’s, and Queens’ songs trying to accompany himself on the piano. At the age of 7 he entered the world of jazz.
Today he has won many international prizes (including the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition) and his fans include Chick Corea and Brad Mehldau. He’s so astonishingly virtuosic and sensitive, that Herbie Hancock told him “Wow Tigran, amazing…now you are my teacher!”.
This dynamic soloist ranges from graceful refinement to energetic experiments, for example the usage of a “beatboxing” syncopated and rhythmic voice over a piano solo which created an atmosphere that reminded me somehow “The Eraser” by Thom Yorke (Radiohead).
He’s definitely an amazing and astonishing piano talent, if you’ll have the chance to see him playing live in your city, I wouldn’t miss it.
The only person you can rely on is your…lef hand.