Tag Archives: Jivan Gasparyan

Duduk Quartet Depicts the Armenian Spirit

Jivan Gasparyan Duduk Ensemble – Yeraz (Buda Musique, 2017)

On Yeraz, Jivan Gasparyan presents a new, remarkable perspective of the ancient Armenian duduk. The album was recorded in Geghard, a medieval monastery in the Kotayk region of Armenia that is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The lineup on Yeraz is an all-duduk quartet that performs evocative and bittersweet musical pieces representing the agony, optimism and vivacity of the Armenian people.

Personnel: Jivan Gasparyan on duduk; Jivan Gasparyan Jr. on duduk; Armen Ghazarian on duduk; and Vazgen Makaryan on duduk.

Yeraz is an outstanding recording by the great maestro of the duduk joined by three equally talented duduk players.

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Artist Profiles: Jivan Gasparyan

Jivan Gasparyan

Jivan Gasparyan (his first name is also spelled Djivan) was born in 1928 in Solag, a village near the Armenian capital Yerevan. He began to play the duduk at age 6, gaining much of his knowledge by listening to the great masters.

In 1948 he joined the Tatoo’ Altounian National Song and Dance Ensemble, and also had his first professional engagement as soloist with the Yerevan Philharmonic Orchestra.

Most of Gasparyan’s repertoire features traditional Armenian folk songs. He also is an accomplished composer and a singer in the folk tradition. In addition to his original compositions and arrangements of traditional songs, he has written love songs based on the poetry of Vahan Derian.

Gasparyan won Gold Medals in four worldwide competitions organized by UNESCO (1959, 1962, 1973, and 1980) and is the only musician ever to be given the honorary title of People’s Artist of Armenia, received in 1973 from the Armenian government.

A professor at the Yerevan Conservatory, Gasparyan has prepared more than 70 duduk musicians for professional performance. He greatly enjoys teaching, and it brings him joy to know that through his efforts the tradition of duduk playing will not be lost.

Gasparyan has toured Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. In the United States, he has performed extensively in New York and Los Angeles, appeared with the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, and has received exposure to Western audiences through performances with the Kronos Quartet.

Gasparyan’s album of Armenian folk songs and ballads, I Will Not Be Sad In This World (All Saints, 1989), dedicated to victims of the Armenian earthquake, received worldwide recognition. He has collaborated with Lionel Richie and Peter Gabriel.

Jivan Gasparyan and Michael Brook

His contribution to the soundtrack of Gladiator is only the latest of his continuing collaborations with the film industry both in Hollywood and in Europe: The Russia House, The Siege and The Crowand Atom Egoyan’s film Calendar, as well as for the American-Hungarian cable television co-production Storm and Sorrow.

At the age of 73, Jivan received the WOMEX (World Music Expo) lifetime achievement award of 2002.

Discography

* I Will Not Be Sad in This World (Opal/All Saints)
* Moon Shines at Night (Opal/All Saints)
* Ask me no questions (Traditional Crossroads 4268, 1996)
* Apricots from Eden (Traditional Crossroads 4276, 1996)
* The Crow, soundtrack
* Black Rock, with Michael Brook (Realworld 46230, 1998)
* Djivan Gasparyan Quartet (Libra Music 1998)
* The Seige, soundtrack (1998)
* Heavenly Duduk (Network 1999)
* Armenian Fantasies (Network 34801, 2000)
* Gladiator, soundtrack
* Fuad, with Erkan Ogur (2001)
* Art of the Armenian Duduk (Arc Music, 2002)
* Endless Vision, with Hossein Alizadeh (World Village, 2006)
* Penumbra, with Michael Brook (Canadian Rational/bigHelium, 2008)

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Cross Culture Festival to Bring the Music of the Orient to Warsaw

In September, world music returns for the 8th time to Warsaw’s city center. This year’s theme for the Cross Culture Festival (Warszawski Festiwal Skrzyżowanie Kultur in Polish) is: ‘Inspirations: The Orient’. The Polish capital will host artists from eleven countries, presenting fascinating cultures from the East, from Central Asia to the Far East. Cross Culture Festival will take place between September 23 and 29, 2012.

The event with different expressions of Asia will be completed by a special film program, prepared for the first time in collaboration with Planete Doc Film Festival.

Direction: Asia

Ayarkhaan from Yakutia

During seven days, the festival tent will stand in the center of Warsaw, by the Palace of Culture and Science. Some of the most famous and renowned musicians from the East will perform there. At the invitation from Stołeczna Estrada, the star ensemble of the festival in 2012 will include artists from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, India, Japan, Korea, Russia and Syria.

We will welcome excellent vocalists, virtuosos of traditional instruments, soloists, as well as groups of dancers, singers and musicians,” says the press release. “Among them three cross-generation concerts: Alim Qasimov and his daughter Fargana will perform mughams – classical songs of Azerbaijan, Jivan Gasparyan and his grandson Jivan Junior will present the power of Armenia’s duduk. The group Ayarkhaan from Yakutia, Russia – Albina Degtyareva and her twin daughters will sing songs calling upon natural powers and play khomus.”

The artists invited are living legends and ambassadors of their cultures. In their art, they refer to popular customs, rites, beliefs and mystic. Cultivating the centuries-old traditions, the musicians look after the identity of their regions and communities, revive it and save it from extinction, while at the same time searching for new forms and sounds for it. Inspirations: The Orient is an encounter with real Asia, rooted in tradition but going through significant changes.

Concert Program – September 2012

Day 1 – Sunday 23/09, 19:00 – The Legends of the East: Mugham and Duduk

Jivan Gasparyan from Armenia

Palace of Culture and Science – Festival Tent near PKiN
Alim Qasimov – Azerbaijan
Jivan Gasparyan – Armenia

Day 2 – Monday 24/09, 19:00 – Awakened voices of Asia

Palace of Culture and Science – Festival Tent near PKiN
Ayarkhaan/Yakutia – Russia
Rustavi- Georgia

Day 3 – Tuesday 25/09, 19:00 – The energy of Orient

Palace of Culture and Science – Festival tent near PKiN
Al Kindi Ensemble – Syria

Day 4 – Wednesday 26/09, 19:00 – Tales of the Tiger

Ondekoza from Japan

Palace of Culture and Science – Festival tent near PKiN
Ahn Sook-sun – South Korea
Ondekoza – Japan

Day 5 – Thursday 27/09, 19:00 – Sum of Tradition

Palace of Culture and Science – Festival tent near PKiN
Masters of the Workshops concert – Aleksey Arkhipovskiy – Russia

Day 6 – Friday 28/09, 19:00 – Temples of the Sound

Palace of Culture and Science – Festival Tent near PKiN
Titi Robin – France/India/Morocco/Turkey)
Raza Khan – India

Plenete+ Doc Film Festival – program – September 2012

Monday, 24th September

The Two Horses of Genghis Khan
Directed by Byambasuren Davaa
Germany 2009

Tuesday, 25th September

Hanami – Cherry Blossoms
Directed by Doris Dörrie
Germany, 2008

Wednesday, 26th September

Beyond Grace
Directed by Sara Baur- Harding
United States/India, 2011

Thursday, 27th September

Hair India
Directed by Raffaele Brunetti and Marco Leopardi
Germany/France 2008

28th September

Boubacar Traore: I’ll Sing For You
Directed by Jacques Sarasin
Mali/France, 2001

more information at http://www.festival.warszawa.pl

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Spirit of Armenia! This Summer at the Hollywood Bowl

Jivan Gasparyan

 

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association and KCRW present Spirit of Armenia! on Sunday, July 29, at the Hollywood Bowl. This performance is one of six Sunday evening performances that comprise the 2007 KCRW World Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. This first-ever night completely dedicated to Armenian music and culture features renowned Armenian artists, and the colorful costumes and dancing that symbolize the spirit Armenian. This evening’s host is Tom Schnabel, KCRW personality and the Philharmonic’s Program Advisor for World Music.

Spirit of Armenia! brings together a large group of distinguished local and international Armenian artists. Acclaimed leaders of modern Armenian pop music, Adiss, Andy, Silva Hakobyan and Sako, make their Hollywood Bowl debuts. Musician and composer Jivan Gasparyan performs Armenian folk music playing the duduk, the traditional woodwind instrument of Armenia. Gasparyan is a master of the duduk, having dedicated over 50 years of his life to studying the instrument.

Winds of Passion, comprised of some of the most accomplished duduk players in the world today, performs as a duduk quartet, the first of its kind. Young tenor Hovhannes Shahbazyan sings Armenian traditional folk and gousan music, and classical pianist and composer Vatché Mankerian also performs a specially arranged composition of Armenian folk and classical repertoire.

Los Angeles-based ensemble, Element Band, draws inspiration from widespread and multicultural sources, resulting in a unique Armenian “folk-fusion” sound. In the second half, conductor Roma Kanyan leads a special band created for this Spirit of Armenia! program.

Zvartnots Dance Ensemble and Vartan & Siranoush Gevorkian Dance Ensemble, dressed in rich, colorful costumes, perform high-energy choreography to both traditional and contemporary Armenian music.

Other 2007 KCRW World Festival performances include DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist perform Brain Placement: 7 Inches Of Fury, Carlinhos Brown and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars on June 24;

Café Tacuba and Groove Armada on July 15; Reggae Night VI with Burning Spear, Sly & Robbie and The Taxi Gang with Horace Andy and Cherine Anderson on Aug. 12; Macy Gray, Zap Mama, and the Brazilian Girls on Aug. 26; and Underworld on Sept. 9.

The Hollywood Bowl is located at 2301 N. Highland Ave. in Hollywood. Tickets ($7 – $95) are on sale now at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office, by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, at all Ticketmaster outlets (Tower Records and Ritmo Latino locations), or online at HollywoodBowl.com. Groups of 12 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

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KCRW’s World Music Festival at the Hollywood Bowl 2007

Jivan Gasparyan

The Los Angeles Philharmonic Association partners with KCRW for the 9th consecutive year to present KCRW’s World Music Festival at the Hollywood Bowl. After a record-breaking 2006 season, the series continues to offer one-of-a-kind performances with renowned artists from across the musical globe. Held on Sunday evenings, each concert is hosted by a KCRW DJ: Nic Harcourt, Jason Bentley, Garth Trinidad, Anne Litt, Chris Douridas and Tom Schnabel.

The 2007 KCRW World Music Festival opens on Sunday, June 24 with DJ Shadow & Cut Chemist performing Brain Placement: 7 Inches of Fury, the next installment of the pair’s tag team DJ brilliance. DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist reunite for this debut performance of classic tracks and music from their legendary release Brainfreeze. The Brain Placement: 7 Inches of Fury set is a sampling showcase of lost yet cherished old school funk, soul, rock and jazz singles for both the old school fan and the uninitiated record spinner. This is the only U.S. performance among European tour dates planned for this summer.

After his electrifying debut performance in 1999, Carlinhos Brown returns to the Hollywood Bowl in support of his 2007 release, A Gente Ainda Não Sonhou . An invigorating performer, Brown mixes music from his native Bahia with pop, rock, Latin, soul and funk, producing carnival-inducing music for the masses. The show opens with West Africa’s reggae ensemble Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars. Living through unimaginable tragedy, Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars’ triumph is an inspiration and symbol of the healing power of music. Their songs are told from the band’s personal experiences, but the messages delivered are universal. Their debut record, Living Like a Refugee, is comprised of songs written during their years in exile and serves as a musical document of the band’s incredible journey.

Remaining World Festival concerts include:

Hailing from Mexico, alternative rock en español pioneers Café Tacuba make their first return since 2003 on Sunday, July 15, along with London’s electronica duo Groove Armada. Café Tacuba performs in support of their sixth full-length studio album due out in September, and Groove Armada gives U.S. fans their first live taste of Soundboy Rock, the follow-up to 2003’s Lovebox.

On Sunday, July 29, Spirit of Armenia! brings together a large group of distinguished local and international Armenian artists. Acclaimed leaders of modern Armenian pop music, Adiss, Andy, Silva Hakobyan and Sako, make their Hollywood Bowl debuts. Musician and composer Jivan Gasparyan performs Armenian folk music playing the duduk, the traditional woodwind instrument of Armenia. Gasparyan is a master of the duduk, having dedicated over 50 years of his life to studying the instrument. Winds of Passion, comprised of some of the most accomplished duduk players in the world today, performs as a duduk quartet, the first of its kind.

Young tenor Hovhannes Shahbazyan sings Armenian traditional folk and gousan music, and classical pianist and composer Vatché Mankerian also performs a specially arranged composition of Armenian folk and classical repertoire. Los Angeles-based ensemble, Element Band, draws inspiration from widespread and multicultural sources, resulting in a unique Armenian “folk-fusion” sound. Conductor Roma Kanyan leads a special band created for this Spirit of Armenia! program, which backs the Armenian pop singers in the second half. Zvartnots Dance Ensemble and Vartan & Siranoush Gevorkian Dance Ensemble, dressed in rich, colorful costumes, perform high-energy choreography to both traditional and contemporary Armenian music.

Now in its sixth year, the annual Reggae Night returns on Sunday, August 12, welcoming back to the Hollywood Bowl one of the most respected roots artists in history, Burning Spear. Since his 1969 debut recording “Door Peep” for the legendary Studio One label, Burning Spear continues to produce records that evoke the struggle, passion and strength of Rastafarian culture. Also hailing from Jamaica, the prolific drum and bass duo Sly & Robbie and The Taxi Gang make their Bowl debut, accompanied by acclaimed vocalist Horace Andy, last heard at the Hollywood Bowl with Massive Attack, and dancehall songstress Cherine Anderson. The Wailing Souls, reuniting after a 22-year absence, open the show.

Macy Gray returns to the Hollywood Bowl on Sunday, August 26, in support of Big, her first release in nearly four years. Zap Mama, whose acclaimed signature sound blends soul, gospel, pygmy song and Afro-cuban rhythms, also performs for their only scheduled appearance in Southern California. Making their debut and opening the show is Brazilian Girls, an all-male ensemble with the exception of multilingual (but not Brazilian) front woman Sabina Scuibba.

Leading the dance world with their inspired mix of dub, techno, and classic house, the UK’s Underworld promise an epic evening on Sunday, September 9, as they showcase their new record at the Hollywood Bowl. Joining Underworld for this evening of electronica heavyweights is Paul Oakenfold, one of the most important DJ artists in modern club culture, and Carmen Rizzo, a Grammy-nominated producer, composer, and remixer who adds Persian influences to the DJ set.

One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the Hollywood Bowl has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California.

The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California’s youngest patrons enjoy “SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl,” the Southland’s most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 39th season.

Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2007, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the third year in a row at the 18th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards.

Tickets ($7 – $95) are on sale now at HollywoodBowl.com, at the Hollywood Bowl Box Office (Tuesday – Saturday, 12 p.m. – 6 p.m.), or by calling Ticketmaster at 213.480.3232, and at all Ticketmaster outlets (Macy’s, Tower Records and Ritmo Latino locations). Groups of 10 or more may be eligible for a 20% discount, subject to availability; call 323.850.2050 for further details. For general information or to request a brochure, call 323.850.2000.

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Tracing Armenian Links to Persian Classical Music

Hossein Alizadeh and Jivan Gasparyan - Endless Vision
Hossein Alizadeh and Jivan Gasparyan – Endless Vision

Los Angeles (California), USA – On Endless Vision, Armenian duduk virtuoso Jivan Gasparyan and Iranian instrumentalist Hossein Alizadeh have recorded a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Within Iran, this album has already caused a commotion amongst certain social conservatives. While the live concerts that led to Endless Vision were allowed by Tehran’s department of public programs, initial attempts to issue the recording in Iran ran aground of the nation’s Ministry of Culture, which must approve all audio recordings to be released in the country.

In the case of Endless Vision, permission to release the album in Iran was delayed two years because a female singer, the sweet-voiced Afsaneh Rasaei (a longtime pupil of Alizadeh), performed alongside a male ensemble-a situation still controversial in Iran. That decision has only recently been reversed, finally giving a wider Iranian public access to this magical event. (Alizadeh’s concerts are anxiously awaited amongst his countrymen; before a recent series of massively popular Masters of Persian Music concerts, fans were sleeping outside ticket offices in Tehran.)

Endless Vision was recorded live during a series of concerts the virtuosos gave in the gardens of Tehran’s Niavaran Palace in September 2003. “The gardens are located in the northern outskirts of Tehran,” says Alizadeh. “There, in the foothills of the Alborz mountains, the air is cool and fresh; it has a lushness and peacefulness far removed from the noise, traffic and pollution of the city.”

The palace’s tranquil environment was the perfect ground for a summit meeting between two standard-bearers. In these concerts, performed for crowds of thousands, the soloists’ masterful playing was elegantly framed by Mr. Alizadeh’s Hamavayan Ensemble, a group featuring female and male vocalists, strings and percussion performing the Persian classical tradition, and two Armenian duduk players.

The music of Iran and Armenia is a language shared between the two nations,” says Alizadeh. “It’s a mirror reflecting history in each phrase.” This is music at the crossroads of three traditions, and three peoples: Armenian, Azeri, and Persian.” This concept is entirely organic, especially given the presence of a large and vibrant ethnic Armenian community within Iran whose presence reaches back to the early 16th century. With that in mind, Mr. Alizadeh adds, “we dedicate this project to Iranians and to Armenians, and especially to Iranian-Armenians.”

The opening selection, “Birds,” is a composition by Alizadeh which sets verse by Iranian poet M. Azad (b. 1933): “Birds/soar high into the air/looking after the winds…” the poem says. “Earth remains uncovered/and gardens full of illusions/Back to me comes your graciousness/more generous than the sun.”

The second track, “Armenian Romances,” is an evocative improvisation by Gasparyan. The following “Sari Galin (Yellow Bride)” is a beloved traditional Armenian song that nearly all Iranians know. As such, it’s a microcosmic look at the cultural interplay that underpins Endless Vision. “Iran has a large Armenian community,” observes Gasparyan, “who live side-by-side with other ethnicities. There is an instinctual closeness between Armenia and Iran.”

An instrumental written by Alizadeh returns to the avian theme: titled “Call of the Birds,” the piece shows off the Persian musicians’ virtuosity, accompanied by vibrant percussion. “Mama,” whose lyrics and music were composed by Gasparyan, is a song full of tenderness; his vocals on this track are full of love and a nostalgic evocation of times gone.

For Endless Vision, Alizadeh uses a new instrument, a six-stringed plucked lute called the shurangiz, which combines aspects of three other Iranian lutes (the plucked, six-stringed tar, the four-stringed setar, and the Kurdish tanbur instrument). Although the shurangiz was first created about 50 years ago, Alizadeh has experimented with the lute and modified it to the point of making it his own. The unique sound of this new instrument-at once delicate and richly voiced-comes to the fore in “Shurangiz Improvisation.”

The album’s final track, “Tasnif Parvaneh Sho…” makes use of poetry penned by Sufi mystic Rumi.

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