Ulikhanyan quintet

Ulikhanyan Quintet was formed in 1997. The band’s fundamental idea is the synthesis of jazz with progressive music in the classical form. The band’s first concert was held in November 1997 and was dedicated to Franz Schubert’s 200 birthday anniversary. Their next program consisted of jazz interpretations of Claude Debussy’s music. A year later came their second program consisting of 2 parts: Duke Ellington-100 and Dave Brubeck-80. With this program the quintet toured Lebanon. In 2000, an International Art Festival was held in Kazakhstan, where Armenia was represented by Ulikhanyan Quintet, along with the puppet theater and the ensemble of folk instruments. In 2001 on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia, the band created a program presenting the creative work of Komitas, the founder of Armenian academic music. The band performed this program in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and France. For the next year the quintet prepared another program called “Night Serenade”, consisting of compositions by classical and modern composers dedicated to this part of the day. Immediately after that “Ulikhanyan Quintet Live” was released, a unique “report” on the work the band carried out during 1997-2002. The band’s style and performance manner changed with time. In 2003 the world celebrated the 100 birthday anniversary of the great Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian. Ulikhanyan Quintet offered their own tribute to the great compatriot: a program of jazz interpretations of Khachaturian’s compositions. Several episodes from the concert were included in the documental film, “The Age of Khachaturian” shot by the Russian TV channel “Kultura” (Culture). In 2003 some of the quintet members were drafted to active military service. Consequently, the band suspended its activities until the return of the musicians. Resuming their work, the band underwent some changes – double bass was replaced with bass, inevitably changing the band’s sound. In 2006 the band started recording a new album, “The Way to the Temple”, which would include compositions by the artistic leader of the quintet, Martin Ulikhanyan. They exclude the improvisational elements and are presented as composed. The academic structure of the music is the basis of the album. The presentation of the album took place in the summer of 2007 in the Yerevan Puppet Theater.

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