About Armen Nalbandian
Over the past decade, improvisational/experimental pianist and composer Armen Nalbandian has earned wide-spread notoriety for his achievements in the arts. Nalbandian has composed over 600 original compositions, leads over a dozen music ensembles ranging from improvisational duets to full piece orchestras, and is a highly regarded performer on the piano and Fender Rhodes mechanical piano. Nalbandian's compositions have included music for his trio, string quartets, orchestral music, Japanese folk music, music for theater, Armenian folk music, and "game pieces." Nalbandian's most consistent output over the years has taken place in the trio format.
Nalbandian was born in Manchester, England in 1978, and decided on pursuing a career in music after hearing Leonard Bernstein's Symphony 2 "The Age of Anxiety," and jazz after hearing Elvin Jones for the first time.
Armen Nalbandian is the protégé of Jazz legend John Hicks and has performed with many Jazz legends including: Billy Higgins, Art Farmer, Albert "Tootie" Heath & Han Bennink.
Since 2004, Armen Nalbandian has held the position of Musical Director/Resident Artist for the Fresno Art Museum. In 2004, the art community also witnessed the birth of Armen Nalbandian’s “Rhythms of Art” monthly concert series hosted by the Fresno Art Museum. Since its inception, Nalbandian’s “Rhythms of Art” program has been met with critical acclaim and overwhelming success from Nalbandian’s musical endeavors which range from performance of original compositions inspired by the museum’s artistic exhibitions to expanded “Sound Ensembles” improvising based on Armen’s direction through “game pieces”. Nalbandian has composed music for countless visual artists, most notably Anne Scheid, Olga Seem, Arshille Gorky & Jean-Michel Basquiat.
Nalbandian recently concluded his 4th season as Musical Director/Resident Artist of the Fresno Art Museum. The 2007-2008 “Rhythms of Art” concert season featured Nalbandian performing improvised duets with legendary drummer Han Bennink. With the blessings and support of the composer, Nalbandian performed the music of John Zorn's Masada in May 2008, as a benefit for Zorn's performance venue: The Stone. Nalbandian is also the artistic director of the F.O.R.M. (Festival of Resurrected Music)
Nalbandian's collaborations have included projects with Def Jam poet Sunni Patterson, soul singer Nino Moschella, Tzadik recording artist Derek Keller and poet Lee Herrick among many others. Not only has Nalbandian drawn inspiration from various artists and poets, but many artists and poets have drawn inspiration from Nalbandian and his music for their creations including a painting entitled Manchester Born and a 2007 poem entitled “Jazz,” by Pushcart Prize Nominee, Lee Herrick, which references Nalbandian throughout.
Blacksmith Brother Music (Nalbandian’s own Record Label) successfully released his trio album “Armen” in 2006. Blacksmith Brother Music in partnership with Noise Boutique released the Armen Nalbandian Trio’s follow-up recording “Manchester Born” and Nalbandian’s solo experimental “prepared” Fender Rhodes recording “Young Kings Get Their Heads Cut Off” in late 2007. Blacksmith Brother/Noise Boutique will release numerous other recordings from Armen Nalbandian that continue to span the experimental music spectrum and redefine the art of sound. Nalbandian is currently composing for a new trio recording, solo project, and completing his documentary and book entitled "A Forgotten History: Improvised music from the 1970's.