LOS ANGELES–Notable musicians Jivan Gasparyan Jr., Vik Momjian and Antranig Kzirian will be performing at the Armenian National Committee-Western Region’s annual banquet set for October 12 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
The group will perform Armenian traditional and classical music during the cocktail hour and silent auction taking place from 3:30-5:30 pm.
Gasparyan, from a young age, was inspired by Armenian traditional folk melodies performed by his grandfather, legendary master duduk player Djivan Gasparyan. He later studied music/piano, vocals, and musical grammar at Yerevan Vocal School. At the same time he was also learning the art of playing the duduk from his grandfather. Being a promising student he worked hard to improve his performance, and a few years later accompanied his grandfather at concerts in Los Angeles, Moldavia, Poland, Moscow and other cities. Most recently, playing a duet melody from the film "Gladiator", together with his grandfather, he was the opening performer of the concert dedicated to Nelson Mandella’s 90th Birthday celebration which took place in Hide Park, London.
Currently, performing with jazz and rock bands, Gasparyan hopes to follow his grandfather’s professional virtuosity in the performance of the duduk, and continue this traditional art in his own unique way.
Momjian is a master of the four, five, and six-string, fretted and fretless electric basses. While his musical roots started on the piano at age nine, Momjian turned to the guitar at age fourteen and ultimately discovered his true voice through the electric bass at age fifteen. Having studied with many significant musicians, three of Vik’s most influential instructors were Jim Lacefield, Steve Bailey, and John Pena. In addition, he has his own line of basses and is endorsed by many notable companies. Over the last few years, Vik has established himself as the first-call musician for many top Middle Eastern and ethno-European artists. When he’s not touring the world with these artists, he spends his days in town doing sessions, teaching, and playing with Excursion. His soulful playing not only brings enormous heart to the project, but it is an integral part of the band’s sound and energy. He has a brilliant sense of groove and is a unique improviser, with his incredible dexterity and slapping techniques.
Kzirian, who serves as the ANC-WR’s Executive Director, performs on the Oud across the United States, Canada and Europe and has performed at festivals and concerts internationally as a member of the Aravod Ensemble and the History Project.
Kzirian’s unique oud interpretation has taken him from Philadelphia to New York, London, Montreal, Boston, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Fresno and Charlotte, among numerous other destinations. His command of the guitar and saz has also garnered him much acclaim in music circles around the country.
Aside from his extensive touring schedule, Kzirian has recorded various works with the Aravod Ensemble, the History Project and has participated in collaborations with other recording artists as a composer, writer and experienced studio musician.
When not instructing guitar and oud to students to pass on Armenian music and culture, Kzirian ventures into fusion and world music projects. He has performed with Gor Mkhitarian, Sonya Varoujan and various other artists.
This year’s ANC-WR Banquet honorees include Vice Presidential Nominee Senator Joseph Biden, Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, President Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Ashkhen Pilavjian. Honorary chairs of the ANC-WR Banquet include Congressmen Adam Schiff, George Radanovich, Ed Royce, Congresswoman Jackie Speier and several others.
Individuals interested in learning more about the ANC-WR banquet are encouraged to contact ANC-WR Banquet Coordinator Aida Dimejian at (818) 500-1918 or visit www.itsmyseat.com. The banquet is slated to begin at 3:30 pm with the cocktail hour and dinner and program set to begin promptly at 5:30 p.m.
The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.