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Armenian Navy Band

ARMENIAN NAVY BAND The Armenian Navy Band was founded by the percussionist/vocalist of Armenian descent, Arto Tunçboyacıyan. Arto likes to describe The Armenian Navy Band as 'avant garde music from Armenia' which suggests something of the band but is a little limiting. The band have a strong jazz influence and to this they bring in all manner of folkloric instrumentation so building an organic creation that, well, swings. Along with others of the Armenian diaspora, Arto Tuncboyaciyan grew up on the outskirts of Istanbul. Arto turned to music to celebrate his culture and here he managed to keep alive the spirit of Armenia. The sorrow and loneliness, also to be found in African-American jazz and blues, are mixed here with the melancholy Armenian spirit. Yet there is also joy, love and solace. The Navy Band is composed of twelve Armenian musicians and the compositions are all Arto originals which - using his words - 'have the sound of my life'. The instruments vary from traditional: duduk, zurna, kemanche, kanun to contemporary: trombone, alto sax, tenor, soprano sax, trumpet, bass, drums, keyboard and piano. The Armenian Navy Band have released 3 CDs: 1999's Bzdik Zinvor, 2001's New Apricot and 2004's Natural Seed. 'I don't give direction to anybody,' says Arto. 'I let you imagine for yourself but what I try to give you is Love, Respect, Truth. I believe this is the path for trust. Trust is one of the simplest forms of wealth in this world. This is what we need.' Garth Cartwright Musicians of the Armenian Navy Band: Arto Tunçboyaciyan - percussions, vocals, sazabo Anahit Artushyan - kanun Armen Ayvazyan - kemanche Armen Hyusnunts- tenor, soprano sax Ashot Harutiunyan - trombone David Nalchajyan - alto sax Tigran Suchyan - trumpet Norayr Kartashyan - blul, duduk, zurna Vardan Grigoryan - duduk, zurna Arman Jalalyan - drums Vahagn Hayrapetyan - piano, keyboards Vardan Arakelyan - bass ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Armenia is a nation that invokes many descriptions: landlocked, ancient, nestled in the foothills of the Caucasus mountains and bearer of many tragic events. Yet Armenia is also celebrated for its music, especially the duduk, a flute carved from apricot wood with a cane reed whose range is barely one octave. When played by a master such as Djivan Gasparyan the duduk creates one of the loneliest, most moving sounds ever heard. Yet Armenia is not land locked in the past; instead, it has maintained a connection with Western thought and culture - this has been helped by a huge Armenian diaspora, many of whom live in the USA - and The Armenian Navy Band are the most brilliant example yet of how an ancient culture can comfortably blend with a contemporary one. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Biographical Sketch of Arto Arto Tunçboyacıyan (Armenian: Արտո Թունչբոյաջյան) (b. 1957 in Istanbul) is a Turkish-Armenian musician. A famous avant-garde folk artist (singer, multi-instrumentalist), he appeared on more than 200 records in Europe before arriving in the United States, where he went to work with numerous jazz legends including Chet Baker, Al Di Meola, and Joe Zawinul as well as a semi-regular stint with Paul Winter and the Earth Band. Arto fronts his own group called the Armenian Navy Band. He also worked with Turkish singer Sezen Aksu and the Greek singer Eleftheria Arvanitaki. His brother Onno Tunç was also a musician. He is also a member of the band Night Ark. His 2001 album Aile Muhabbeti was used as soundtrack in two films: Hemşo (2001) and Mon père est ingénieur (2004). Serart is one of Arto Tunçboyacıyan's latest efforts, a collaboration between himself and Serj Tankian (singer of the alternative metal band System of a Down), who have found common ground in shared Armenian backgrounds and a passion for sonic explorations in creating music that is claimed to be "completely new." There is a hidden track on the album Toxicity by System of a Down (right after the song Aerials), where Arto contributed, with the band playing a traditional Armenian Church hymn, Der Voghormya (Lord Have Mercy). This track is commonly known as Arto, seeing as he was a significant part of it. He also played the instrumental part of Science in the same album, and his voice can be heard a couple of times in the interlude of Bubbles, from Steal This Album!

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