MP3 Levon Ichkhanian - Travels
Contemporary Jazz with grooves and melodies from the Middle East to Brazil, combining Guitar with Nay and Bansuri Flutes, Accordion, Percussion.
10 MP3 Songs in this album (46:35) !
Related styles: JAZZ: World Fusion, WORLD: Middle East Contemporary
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Travels "is a real tour de force - Levon''s most ambitious album yet" MUZIK ETC
"Travels is a worthwhile listen for any musician out there. Featuring contributions from heavyweights such as Alain Caron and Wilson Laurencin, the album blends many styles seamlessly together for an enjoyable listen" CANADIAN MUSICIAN MAGAZINE
Fusion as we knew it in the ''70s hasn''t disappeared, but it isn''t as plentiful as it was back then -- for every new fusionist who comes along, there are a lot more people playing smooth jazz and crossover jazz. Levon Ichkhanian is among the guitarists who, in the ''90s and 2000s, has done his part to keep fusion alive. It isn''t hard to see why his second album is called Travels; this sophomore outing, like his 1996 debut, After Hours, has a very global, multicultural outlook. Travels underscores the Toronto-based Ichkhanian''s interest in Latin music (Afro-Cuban and Spanish as well as Brazilian), but it also incorporates elements of Middle Eastern music -- which isn''t surprising when you consider his background. When a musician is born in Lebanon and is of Armenian descent -- and when his father is a well-respected pianist who has a long history of working with Armenian pop singers -- it stands to reason that some of that Armenian/Middle Eastern influence would assert itself. But multiculturalism isn''t the only thing that Ichkhanian has going for him; he also brings a strong sense of lyricism to the table. While Ichkhanian has impressive chops, he isn''t beating listeners over the head with them. Ichkhanian is obviously smart enough to realize that the chops-for-the-sake-of-chops approach has its limitation -- thus, an Ichkhanian solo typically has feeling, warmth, and emotion as well as technique. This jazz-rock CD (which he produced with his father, pianist Edouard Ichkhanian) isn''t the work of an exhibitionist; it''s the work of a storyteller. After Hours remains Ichkhanian''s most essential album; nonetheless, Travels is a rewarding sophomore effort for the talented guitarist. ~ Alex Henderson, All Music Guide
Contemporary jazz with world beat overtones aptly describes the music of Canadian/Armenian multi-instrumentalist/composer Levon Ichkhanian. A third generation musician and artist of great versatility, Levon is proficient on the fretted and fretless guitars, oud, bouzouki, mandolin and banjitar. Levon''s musical odyssey first took shape in Lebanon.
"I had several monumental experiences growing up which had a rich influence on me culturally and musically. My Dad exposed me to jazz and continental music letting me sit in during his band rehearsal, and as the musical director for shows. The family would travel with him to places like Yemen, Jordan and Cyprus. My Uncles Joseph and Jacques introduced classical and flamenco guitar music to me. Joseph would often host gatherings filled with musicians, dancers and painters celebrating their art. I also have vivid memories of spending summer trips with my family to the Northern part of Lebanon. At night there would be parties filled with traditional Armenian and popular Arabic music (Adiss and Fairuz were the favorites), dancing and lots of food that went on until the small hours of the night. These experiences have influenced me profoundly in my music and in my person, as I continue to further explore the future"
Levon studied classical guitar under the direction of his uncle, Professor Joseph Ichkhanian. At the age of twelve, his family immigrated to Canada. One year later, he gravitated to the electric guitar and began his professional performing career, playing in a band with his jazz pianist father Edouard. Levon’s first professional gig was at the age of 13 with Adiss, the pioneer modern Armenian singer.
Levon''s talent was sufficiently recognized throughout his formative years by various awards, most notably by the Canadian All Star Jazz Award received at the age of sixteen. Private studies with many different teachers followed suit, as did several scholarships, in particular one bestowed by the Ontario Arts Council, granting him the opportunity to attend workshops at the University of Toronto. Later, Levon had the opportunity to study with world-renowned musicians Pat Martino, Jim Hall Steve Khan and Simon Shaheen.
Over the past 30 years, Levon''s scope of knowledge has spanned over all areas of music - performing, composing, recording, touring, and producing in several genres including Jazz, World and Traditional music.
A recipient of the Governor General of Canada''s acknowledgment for musical excellence, Levon has been recognized as a musical ambassador to Canada. He recently shared the stage with Dee Dee Bridgewater, Oliver Jones, Taylor Dane and others on an Olympic Tour of China. He has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe, performing at festivals and concert halls such as Peter Gabriel''s WOMAD, MIDEM (Cannes), Chet Atkins Musician Days (Nashville), All Star Guitar Night (Los Angeles), Montreal Jazz Festival and Pizza Express Jazz Club (London, UK) to name a few, in addition to touring with notables as Peter Murphy (of Bauhaus fame), Marisa Lindsay (singing sensation from Barbados) and A.R. Rahman''s (multiple award winner for Slumdog Millionaire) 3D World Tour which took Levon to India, Singapore, Dubai and the United Kingdom.
As a session musician, Levon has played on over one hundred diverse commercial recordings including The Canadian Idol''s gold selling C.D., India''s renowned singer Hariharan''s latest Waqt Par Bolna, soprano and multiple Juno Award winner Isabel Bayrakdarian''s Tango Notturno. He also performed on numerous soundtracks for films, commercials and television, including environmentalist David Suzuki''s Nature of Things, the CBC documentaries Daughters of Afghanistan and Robbing the Cradle of Civilization (New York Festival''s Silver World Medal winner for Television Documentary [International]), and AR Rahman''s Guru, Sivaji and Rang De Basanti. He has also composed for the Nashville Chamber Orchestra and the Atlantic Jazz Society, scored soundtracks for the likes of acclaimed filmmaker Atom Egoyan, as well as produced artists C.D.s, concerts and performed / deputy contracted stage productions as The Lord of the Rings, My Fair Lady, 3 Mo’ Divas and Spamalot. Levon is currently performing in the Toronto production of Jersey Boys.
Levon has appeared on Bet on Jazz (the 24 Hour Jazz Station) and has been featured on the CBC, TNN, TVO, CITY TV and Global Television. He has published articles in such magazines as Guitar Player and Canadian Musician, and has also been the subject of cover features for magazines as Canadian Musician, Musicopro and most recently Muzik Etc.
With this wealth of experience, the decision to record a CD of his own was inevitable. His debut, "after hours", blends Armenian/Middle Eastern melodies with contemporary jazz, featuring instruments from around the world, including the doudouk (Armenian wind instrument), tabla, bouzouki, and accordion. Featured musicians include Grammy award winners and world-renowned artists John Patitucci (bass) and Paquito D''Rivera (sax/clarinet). Distributed by Mediterrano Productions, "after hours" was an Armenian Music Award nominee for Best Jazz Album, and reached #1 Indie and Top 10 Jazz on HMV Charts.
Levon’s follow up C.D. “Travels”, winner of the best in jazz/fusion category 2002 Armenian Music Awards, is a collection of Levon’s compositions encompassing styles from Middle Eastern to Brazilian grooves and melodies, and features Alain Caron on fretless bass and Ernie Tollar on Ney and Bansuri flutes. Both CDs received rave reviews in All Music Guide to Jazz, Jazztimes, The Jazz Report, Canadian Musician, Gitarist, Horizon and Nor Gyank magazines to name a few.
As of late two CDs that Levon played on have been nominated for Junos; one of which he is also the producer. Next, Levon will be returning to the studio to record his next CD and is putting the finishing touches to an improvisation method book.