Award-winning, Armenian-born jazz pianist and composer Samvel Gasparyan presents his EP ‘Morning in Yerevan’ with label Universal Music Group MENA. The album is a smooth mix of contemporary jazz with elements Armenian folk music and is released in celebration of Yerevan’s 2800th Birthday.
“My music is always based on a story, an inspiration or idea. Music, for me, is love and understanding that illuminates dark times and the serenity during great times. It is a form of communication that transcends space and time, touching the hearts of people worldwide”.
Samvel compiled the tracks through different moments of time with the help of: Kory Riker, the sax player on the tracks, which the artist met a few years ago at the Dubai Jazz Festival. Bahraini born Sri Lankan-native, Anthony Muthurajah, a young bass sensation; who can be found performing alongside Samvel quite regularly due to their great musical chemistry. Satya, an Irish rock drummer, who adds an interesting touch and edge to the mix.
Morning In Yerevan
The title of the tune ‘Morning in Yerevan’ reflects Gasparyan’s hometown memories. He tries to imitate the hustle of Yerevan’s busy morning and buzzing nightlife, while maintaining its historic presence which dates to 782 B.C. The 2800 year old city is deeply rooted in the artist’s identity, as he describes “while playing this piece I can always feel the spirit and energy of the city.”
Paco De Lucia
The second track of the album is dedicated to Paco De Lucia, the great Virtuoso Flamenco guitarist and composer. A leading proponent of new Flamenco style, Samvel felt it was necessary to create a piece in admiration of Paco’s work. Gasparyan also mentioned how deeply inspired he has been by the Spanish language and culture.
Forgotten Dream Part 1 & Changing Universe Part 2
‘Forgotten Dream’ is about the lack of unity, peace, and love in the last few decades. In these two tracks, he expresses his thoughts about the different types of freedom he has experienced throughout his life in different countries and continents. Samvel says, “The universe is changing, as well as its people. It is getting harder and harder to love someone as they continue to change, even though we are constantly changing ourselves”.

Drunk Dragon
This track is about a modern Asian Dragon who lived in a congested Asian city. The dragon used to drink excessively and spent time walking wobbly on the streets. Despite his addiction to alcohol the dragon was harmless and a symbolic creature.
On the Way to Sevan
Samvel closes his album with a song about Sevan, a beautiful lake in Armenia. The artist tries to recreate the excitement of driving to this landscape; and the memories that took place by the backdrop of Sevan’s heavenly scenery.
Samvel was born in 1982 Yerevan, Armenia to a musical household. With his brother a multi-instrumentalist, and mother a folk singer, Samvel was inspired to start singing in different languages at the age of three. At 16 he played the piano with the Armenian State Jazz Big Band, which was a crucial role in his growth as a jazz musician.
Gasparyan travelled and resided in different continents getting a good feel of the cities and testing the impact it could have on his music. He resided in LA, the East Coast, and then moved to Tennessee to experience the music scene in the south. In the US he studied gospel, bluegrass and country music while playing in churches and intimate country shows.
Samvel was the prize winner of the Montreux International Jazz Competition in 2012 and the 2011 Nottingham International Jazz competition. He also received ‘The Best Compilation Album of the year 2000’ award and the Armenian Music Award in 2001. With the Armenian State Jazz Big Band, Samvel appeared in 11 studio albums and toured in more than 40 countries. He also performed in numerous prestigious venues such as the Disney Hall in Los Angeles, Kremlin Palace in Moscow, Emirates Palace Abu Dhabi and MGM Grand in Las Vegas…to name few.
Samvel moved to Dubai in 2012 and has been part of the local music scene ever since.

Eliane El Hajj

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