Ford Theatres Presents Element Band, Sunday, June 23
Ford Theatres presents Element Band on Sunday, June 23 at 7:30 pm. Element Band's large bodied vocals and contemporary sounds both preserve and refresh traditional Armenian songs. Armenia's Miqayel Voskanyan and MVF Band will open with a set of folk and jazz-fusion combinations.
Element Band's distinctive arrangements of traditional songs celebrate Armenian culture and heritage while infusing them with contemporary sounds. The band's original compositions resonate deeply with listeners yearning for the old world through a modern lens.
"For the past 15 years Element Band has been dedicated to continuing the tradition of Armenian music and bringing that tradition to new audiences around the globe," said Element Band director Ara Dabandjian. "We're very excited to return to the Ford Theatres, one of our favorite venues in Southern California, and to share the stage with Miqayel Voskanyan, who is leading the way for contemporary Armenian music."
Element Band's global soundscape has led them to tour the United States, Canada, Europe and the Middle East, and to grace the stages of such Los Angeles venues as the Hollywood Bowl, Nokia Theater, Kodak Theater, Starlight Bowl and Skirball Cultural Center, as well as Ford Theatres.
Armenian folk musician Miqayel Voskanyan and MVF Band will open the evening with what Miqayel calls their "mostly folk with jazz-fusion combinations." Pairing the tar, an ancient Armenian instrument, with instruments such as the saxophone, drums, and keyboard, their musical style incorporates jazz, Armenian folk, rock, and funk, making them a staple on the world jazz festival circuit.
"We're so delighted to present Element Band and Miqayel Voskanyan as part of our IGNITE @ the FORD! series - a perfect combination of local and global," said Ford Theatres Executive Director Olga Garay-English. "Element Band's concert last year was the runaway hit of our season. We pride ourselves on serving as a cultural home to the many diverse communities of Los Angeles."
"I met Miqayel Voskanyan when we performed together during our tour in Armenia back in 2015 and immediately connected with the soulful sounds that he and his band produce," says Dabandjian. "Miqayel's style of playing the tar is very unique and adding to that are his silky vocals and a group of wonderful jazz musicians."
Element Band's style of world music brings an innovative edge to Armenian musical traditions while performing contemporary compositions with eloquent arrangements and instrumentation. Dabandjian's trademark arrangements and instrumentations, paired with Soseh Aramouni's hypnotic vocals, create a rare chemistry that makes Element Band's performances unparalleled. In addition to Dabandjian and Aramouni, Element Band's musical ensemble includes vocalist Natalie Avunjian, Shant Mahserejian on violin, Aragas Abramian on guitar, Armen Manavazyan, the band's contrabassist, Mahsa Ghasemi on cello, Vahan Bznuni on piano and Ando Harutyunyan on drums and percussion.
Miqayel Voskanyan and MVF Band are ethno-jazz and folk musicians based in Yerevan, Armenia. With the goal of introducing jazz to the tar (an Armenian traditional instrument), Miqayel and MVF immediately stand out as a fresh, modern sound. Although historically heard in traditional Armenian folk music, Voskanyan's band has given the tar a new identity and, as a result, has created a new genre of music that fuses old and new to produce something wholly unique - an alluring concoction of jazz, folk and rock, all inspired by classical Armenian melodies.
This event is part of IGNITE @ the FORD!, a series comprised of world-renowned contemporary artists whose work is thought-provoking and reflects the world in which we live. Proceeds from IGNITE @ the FORD! events benefit the Ford Theatre Foundation. Tickets are available online at FordTheatres.org and by phone (323) 461-3673, Ford Theatres are at 2580 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood, CA 90068.