World Fusion Musician
Host: Said & Dari
Air Date: Wednesday 9.17.08 - 10:00-11:00 PM EST
Listen to the archived program...
Armen Chakmakian, a GRAMMY®-nominated keyboardist, orchestrates a musical journey spanning new territory with his intoxicating fusion of world textures and contemporary jazz influences.
A prodigy with a gift for playing by ear, Armen’s musical education was extensive. A native of Glendale, California, he attended Berklee College of Music, UCLA and USC where he studied the “History of Armenian Music”. Also, he studied jazz with John Novello, a world acclaimed music educator, and learned improvisation from keyboardist, Chuck Wild of Missing Persons fame and composer of the Liquid Mind stress-relief music series. Soon he found himself embarking on a successful career in Hollywood performing, composing and arranging for singer/songwriters with former Rick James’ Stone City Band members, Richard and Lorenzo Shaw. Chakmakian went on to form his own jazz-fusion ensemble.
In 1991, the break of a lifetime occurred when Armen joined the GRAMMY® Award-winning band, Shadowfax as the keyboardist. The following year, the album, Esperanto co-written by Chakmakian was nominated for a Grammy as Best New Age Album of 1992. Following Esperanto was Magic Theater, Shadowfax Live, and a 90-minute concert video of the Live album. The next five years were spent co-writing, recording and touring with Shadowfax and were instrumental in shaping Armen’s signature keyboard stylings.
A new era began in 1998 when he founded TruArt Records. Armen’s debut solo album, Ceremonies was released that year to rave reviews and debuted #1 on the New Age/World radio charts (NAV Top 50). Airplay was received on over 600 stations worldwide. Two tracks from Ceremonies were featured on the European compilation CD series, Buddha-Bar I & IV, and have to date sold over 700,000 units.