Hrayr Attarian (USA)
Born in Beirut, Lebanon, raised with jazz music, journalist for All About Jazz, Chicago Jazz Magazine and Jazziz. Member of the Jazz Journalist Association.
I was born in Beirut Lebanon in 1968. I got exposed to jazz through my father’s record collection. The first jazz album I heard was also my father’s favorite, John Coltrane’s “Ole”.
I grew up during Lebanese civil war, a time of chaos and music in general and jazz in particular helped keep me sane. After finishing medical school, I moved to the US to pursue advanced training in Neurology. Since then I have been listening to recorded and live jazz both on and reading about it extensively. I have a large library of books on jazz as well as albums and am a self-taught jazz critic.
In 2006 I started writing for All About Jazz and so far I have written 376 CD reviews and 45 articles for them. In 2009 I joined Chicago Jazz Magazine and continue to do record reviews for them with an approximate rate of 25 per year. Finally in 2010 I started publishing in Jazziz and have been writing on average six reviews per year for their print and online issues.
I was asked to participate in Downbeat Critics Poll in 2012 and 2013 and also have been participating in the Jazz Journalist Association annual best of jazz polls.
I am slowly working on a book highlighting obscure jazz heroes.
In November of 2013 I participated with trumpeter Louis Smith in a presentation highlighting the role of improvisation in recovery of speech after a stroke.
Professionally I am a practicing neurologist and a professor of neurology at Northwestern University in Chicago. I specialize in sleep medicine. I live in Chicago with my wife, parrots and cats.