“My music is always based on a story, an inspiration or some kind of idea. Music for me is love and understanding that illuminates dark times and the serenity during great times. It’s a form of communication that transcends space and time, touching the hearts of people worldwide”
Born in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1982, Samvel grew up in a household of musicians.His brother more of a multi instrumentalist. Mother amateur folk singer. When he was just a 3 years old kid Samvel was singing in kindergarten in multiple languages. Samvel started performing along with his brother at the age of 8.While studying classical music at school his father introduced him to jazz. Once his father played vinyl of Oscar Peterson & Count Basie “Satch” and “Josh” it was his early jazz taste.
Samvel was 16 years old when he became a pianist of Armenian State Jazz Big Band. Playing in the big band was essential growth for him as a musician and jazz pianist. He performed at the Second International Jazz Festival in Yerevan in 2000 when he met Chick Corea, Jeff Balard, Avishai Cohen and others. He use to perform regularly at the local jazz joint “Paplavok” run by jazz veteran Levon Malkhasyan.
Working four years in the big band was an opportunity for Samvel to record two award wining big band studio albums. He participated in many projects ,concerts in Yerevan, Los Angeles, Fresno, Moscow elsewhere. In 2002 Samvel was a music director of benefit concert organized by All Armenian Fund in MGM Grand Las Vegas which involved fifty artists.
Moving to USA in 2003 was another push for Samvel’s music career.“ First time I travel to USA with big band in 2000. We had a two shows in Glendale Alex Theater. I was so eager to go to local jazz clubs to see my musical heroes. I got blown away when I went to Tribal Tech gig in Bake Potatoes jazz club. I knew immediately that I am coming back to LA” says Samvel While residing in LA he was involved mainly in commercial projects and studio work. Writing arranging and recording music. Moving to east coast after two years in LA was second phase of his journey in USA. “Moving to Tennessee was a huge musical and cultural change. I wanted to experience music scene in south. I was studying gospel, bluegrass and country music. I have played in church and country shows. I was driving to New York often to hang with musicians and attend to jam sessions. I remember once waiting till 4am in Smalls jazz club for my turn to play. New York is an incredible place ” says Samvel
Returning to Armenia in 2009 he focused more as a solo artist. He started traveling frequently to Europe, Middle East, North Africa and Asia. Playing in jazz festivals and participating international competitions such as Montreux and Nottingham jazz piano competitions.From 2012 he is actively involved middle eastern music scene especially in UAE. “ I spent lot of time in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Throughout those years I had an opportunity to met, perform and record with many great musicians and International artists such as Grammy Wining instrumentalist Vishwa Mohan Bath, jazz singers Deborah Davis, Eddie Cole, harmonica giant Frederic Yonnet, saxophonist Korey Riker and many more. I was playing in the band Abri&FunkRadius .We were constantly gigging. It was good energy and lot of fun” says Samvel In 2015 he recorded as organist in album “TIME” - A.R.S trio. “ it was experimental for me to play Hammond B3 organ. Tone wheel-organ and piano are different instruments. I always wanted to play an organ and possibly have a professional recording “ says Samvel One of Samvel’s original compositions “Vibration in 7” from album was included in “Anthology of Armenian jazz 75” Anniversary Edition 10 CD set release. His latest project was recorded in Dubai. Scheduled to release in February 2019 by Universal Music Group MENA. The EP is dedicated to 2800th anniversary of Yerevan.