Vahagn Hayrapetyan was born in Yerevan, Armenia on August 30, 1968. Graduated from the music school after P.I. Tchaikovsky and Yerevan State Conservatory as pianist and composer. Vahagn's exceptional manner of playing has evolved for years - carried away with jazz in his early years, he learnt from such jazz be - bop legends as Barry Harris and Frank Hewitt in New York and worked and share stages with many legendary jazz musicians,such as Elvin Jones,Jimmie Lovelace,Leroy Williams,Ari Roland,Zaid Nasser, Chris Byears, Yaala Baalin, Keith Baala, Jason and Delfeo Marsalis and many more. He recorded and released three albums in NEW ORLEANS - ”Love for sale” with Clarence Johnson III, “Tripp to New Orleans” with Johnny Vidakovich and Ed Wise and “Bop it up” with Wendell Brunious,Brice Winston, Bill Huntington and Jason Marsalis.
Vahagn participated in many international jazz festivals such as Jazz Jamboree, St. Petersburg International Jazz Festival, Moscow vocal International Jazz Festival (in 1997, 1998 and 1999, accordingly), New Orleans Jazz Fest du Maurier, Montreal Jazz Festival etc.
Since 1998 pianist and keyboard player of world famous ARMENIAN NAVY BAND. In 2004 organized his own band “Katuner” (the "Cats"). Gave a lot of concerts all around the world both as a solo performer and together with different ensembles, performing with many prominent jazz musicians. Since 2008 - the Honored Artist of Armenia.
In 2010 recorded his first solo album “Singin’ and Swingin”, “Strike up the band” with his “NEW YORK - YEREVAN’’ jazz quartet/quintet, including Ari Roland ( acc. Bass), Keith Baala (drums), Zaid Nasser (alto saxophone) and Yaala Baalin (vocals), all leading N.Y. jazz musicians. The band gave concerts in Armenia, Russia, N.Y., San Francisco, Boston, Cyprus,playing their own arrangements of Armenian evergreens of 40’s - 70’s as well as traditional jazz standards of 40’s and 50’s.
Since 1980's the leader of his JAZZ TRIO AND QUARTET in Yerevan, performing locally and internationally in different music clubs and concert halls. Vahagn often appears in Moscow jazz clubs and plays with the leading Russian jazz musicians such as Igor and Oleg Butman, Sergey Golovnya, Yakov Okun, Sergey Vasilyev, Pavel Temofeev, Peter Vostokov and others. A regular and most welcome guest in one of his most favorite Moscow jazz clubs 'Esse'.
Often performs around the Russia together with one of the Russia's leading jazz pianist Daniil Kramer with whom they released their first duo album “ Live in Yekaterinburg” in 2013.
Besides his career as a jazz piano player, Vahagn has been teaching jazz in Yerevan, Syria, Iran, Lebanon and Jordan. He teaches and performs with Ari Rolland, one of the greatest bassist in the world, and his band within yearly “Jazz futures” program, organized by US embassy in Cyprus.
Vahagn is the author of the sound tracks for such movies as “Bounded Parallels”, “If Only Everyone” and “Shor and Shor Shor”. For the music in "If Only Everyone" Vahagn won the award of Beijing International Movie Festival.
Vahagn's exquisite sound and outstanding performances always giving the audience unforgettable pleasure made him one of the most popular jazz piano players in Armenia.
(jazz pianist, singer, composer - Armenia)
“Perfect pitch and training ...That clever transition using the bells and their ability to mix a capella with piano and jazz were impressive... My hat goes off to them.” Kenneth Hamrick
This project was initiated as Dreyer-Gaido label presented one of the currently most exciting Armenian jazz bands in a magnificent live recording of audio guru Walter Quintus in autumn 2016.
Project by Jivan Gasparyan Jr.; Armen Hyusnunts; Vahagn Hayrapetyan; Alex Baboian
While Aragats music is deeply rooted in jazz, it contains elements of many other influences such as 20th century classical, blues, soul, free improvisation, and folk music as well as the arrangements of Sayat-Nova and Komitas.
The combined sound is original, unique, passionate, exotic and spiritual- wrapped in Armenian fusion.
MEET THE ARTISTS
Q: Armenian folk music seems to be an eternal musical inspiration to so many performers. How does it relate to you and your audience?
A: Music is forever changing, taking the spirit of new times, adapting new sounds and techniques; but it’s always rooted in the rich traditions of our culture. We can improvise and keep the spirit of Armenian folk music, at the same time propelling the music in new directions. The most important thing is to create a sacred communion, an understanding with the audience”.
Aragats: the Arrival
Vahagn Hayrapetyan Trio