The Kennedy Center

Tigran Hamasyan


Winner of the 2006 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition, Tigran Hamasyan was born in Gyumri, Armenia in 1987. From an early age he showed an extraordinary interest in music, attempting to accompany himself on piano singing along to Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, the Beatles, and Queen. At the age of 7 he discovered jazz, and soon thereafter began to attend music school, immersing himself in the art of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Art Tatum, Miles Davis, Bud Powell, and others. 

After performing at the First International Jazz Festival in Yerevan in 1998, he received numerous invitations to play in concerts and recording sessions. At the Second Yerevan Jazz Festival in 2000, he became acquainted with jazz stars Chick Corea, Avishai Cohen, Jeff Ballard, and Ari Roland, as well as Stephane Kochoyan who played a pivotal role in presenting and promoting the young musician to the European jazz community.

In 2001 Tigran Hamasyan took part in several festivals in France where he played with Philip and Christophe Le Van, as well as Pierre Michelot and Daniel Humair.  While in France he met Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, John McLaughlin, Joe Zawinul, Danilo Perez, and John Patitucci.  In 2002 Mr. Hamasyan won third prize in the Martial Solal International Jazz Piano Competition held in Paris. In April 2003, he participated in the Juan-les-Pins "Jazz in Juan" International Jazz Festival and won first prize in the category of Jazz Instrumental. He also received First Place and the audience prize at the Montreux Jazz Solo Piano Competition in July 2003.  In March 2005 he participated in the first Moscow International Jazz Piano Competition and won third place, and in June won first place in the Eighth Monaco Jazz Soloist Competition.

His most recent CD, World Passion (March 2006, Nocturne Records), was recorded in Los Angeles with saxophonist Ben Wendel, bassist Francois Moutin, drummer Ari Hoenig, and Rouben Hairapetyan on duduk and zurna. He currently studies music at The University of Southern California in Los Angeles.

Last updated: March 1, 2007
Tigran Hamasyan