LOS ANGELES—Lebanese musician, composer and pianist, Guy Manoukian, has been a key musical player both locally and internationally for the last decade. Not only has he worked with the biggest names in the US, but his fusion of oriental melodies with modern arrangements has taken him all over the world, selling out concerts in Singapore, Santiago de Chile, and the Sydney Opera House.
Guy Manoukian will be performing live in concert in Los Angeles on Saturday, Nov. 29, at 8 p.m. at the San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. Event details and tickets can be found at itsmyseat.com/guy.
Manoukian started playing piano at the age of four. Mentored by the best classical music teachers, he first appeared on television when he was six years old and was only seven when he performed at the presidential Palace. He started composing music a year later, winning his first competition.
While attending an Armenian school, Guy also joined a music school where he participated in concerts. Though his original dream was to become a professional basketball player, Guy was dedicated to his craft, and at 16, he played his first solo concert. Expecting 400 people, he was surprised to find the venue packed with over 1000 attendees. This first taste of success made him realize that music was truly his calling. Little did he know then, that he’d later be the first artist from the Middle East to get endorsed by Yamaha pianos and be their brand ambassador.
He started performing professionally in 1997: now in his early twenties, he played at the Jeita grotto followed by two sold-out concerts at the UNESCO palace. The turning point in Manoukian’s career came when he started fusing Arabic with modern contemporary arrangements. He attributes the unique flavor of his music to his rich culture. “Armenian culture was at the core of my existence and hence my music”, he says. “My music is modern in arrangement but very classical in spirit; my albums which are studio recorded are very club oriented whereas my performances are live and directed for a broader audience.”
Guy is the recipient of many awards but the ones he cherishes the most are the Armenian Music Award that he received in Los Angeles for Best Dance Album, and the Best Arabic Tune of the Year Award for “Harem” which he earned in Lebanon in 2002 in addition to the Best Dance Album at the Arabian Music Awards held in Dubai in 2003.
Performing all over the globe, from Yerevan to Cairo, Manoukian still finds time to work with the biggest pop acts: he recorded “On Tour” with Wyclef Jean, worked with 50 Cent, French rapper Diams, Raul Di Blasio and Mario Reyes of the Gipsy Kings family.
Recently signing to Sony music, Guy released his first album with them in December 2013. Split into two parts, ‘From East’ and ‘To West,’ signifying his fusion sound, Nomad made it to the top of the Lebanese charts and achieved gold status 4 weeks after its release.