Multi-instrumentalist/producer Levon Ichkhanian is currently in Beijing to participate in a historic event uniting Western and Eastern stars with artits living with disabilities on the world stage between the Olympic and Paralympic games.
Levon will join Shiela E, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Oliver Jones, Taylor Dane and others on the Marriage of Excellence Tour in China. The musical and cultural tours will deliver the highest quality entertainment performances with specially taped messages from Celine Dion, Chaka Khan and Itzhak Perlman. Held during the 10 days between the Olympics and Paralympic games, the tour will demonstrate the power of the Arts in fostering cross-cultural understanding and excellence that can be achieved when we live the notion of "One World, One Dream" … the slogan for the 2008 Olympics. One of only 3 Canadians invited to participate, Levon will represent his Armenian-Canadian heritage in his performance.
A versatile musician with large international appeal and experience, Levon’s musical travels have connected him with a diverse group of talented people from all cultures and styles of music from around the world (A.R. Rahman, Hariharan, Peter Murphy, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Janne Lappalainen from Varttina, among others). This has inspired Levon to incorporate many different sounds in his music (e.g. Armenian, Middle Eastern, Brazilian, Indian, etc) earning his recognition for his efforts in blending cultural influences both in his live performances and on his CDs, "travels" and "after hours". He is a sought after clinician and teacher, having delivered hundreds of sessions across Canada, United States and Europe, and was awarded the International Association of Jazz Educator’s Award for "Outstanding Service to Jazz Education".
"I have always believed that music is the common voice for all cultures, so it was an honor to be asked to perform and represent my culture during the Tour" states Levon. He will be performing "Siroun" a traditional Armenian piece, as well as one of his own compositions commissioned by the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, "the Ark" with the Beijing Symphony Orchestra.