LOS ANGELES — The University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) announces the return of pianist and composer Tigran Hamasyan in a solo performance featuring works from his latest album, “For Gyumri,” to benefit the Children of Armenia Fund (COAF) on Sunday, October 14 at 5 p.m. at Royce Hall.
Considered one of the most remarkable and distinctive jazz-meets-rock pianists of his generation, Hamasyan fuses potent jazz improvisation with the rich folkloric music of his native Armenia.
A companion to last year’s “An Ancient Observer,” “For Gyumri” (February 2018, Nonesuch) is dedicated to his hometown of Gyumri, where he was born in 1987 before relocating with his family to Los Angeles in 2003. He currently resides in Yerevan.
Hamasyan describes the songs as “musical observations about the world we live in now, and the weight of history we carry with us.” All About Jazz hailed “For Gyumri” as “a loving tribute to his home city” and The Guardian raved, “he’s the hottest pianist in jazz, and he likes to mix things up, whether it’s bebop, thrash metal or dubstep. But his heart is in the folk music of his native land, Armenia.”
Hamasyan began playing piano at age 3 and won the 2003 Montreux Jazz Festival’s piano competition at age 14. He released his debut album, “World Passion,” in 2005 and the following year won the prestigious Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. In addition to awards and critical praise, Hamasyan has built a dedicated international following, as well as praise from Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Brad Mehldau.
Additional albums include “New Era” (2007); “Red Hail” (2009); “A Fable” (2011), for which he was awarded a Victoires de la Musique (the equivalent of a Grammy Award in France); “Shadow Theater” (2013); “Luys i Luso” (2015); and “Mockroot” (2015), for which he won the Echo Jazz Award for International Piano Instrumentalist of the Year.