To Learn More About: Hrayr Attarian

Born in Beirut, Lebanon, raised with jazz music, journalist for All About Jazz, Chicago Jazz Magazine and Jazziz. Member of the Jazz Journalists Association. He has recently organized and headed the selection committee for the 2018 edition of Jazz Journalists’ Association’s Jazz Photo Contest.

How do you see the state of jazz in your country? In which direction is it going?
I am really hopeful. Jazz is doing a modest comeback in the USA. I think the popular trends for jazz in the USA is to merge with other popular genres including hiphop, electronics etc

Make three names of musicians that innovated jazz music in your country
If you mean in the history of jazz then it would be Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. If you mean currently I think the most innovative musicians working today are Kamasi Washington, Tyshawn Sorey, and Vijay Iyer

What’s the name of a new talent you are particularly fond of?
I think the young vibraphonist, who won 7 virtual jazz under 25 category in 2022, Sasha Berliner has immense potential. I like her style and her creativity

What’s your favorite genre within jazz? Why?
Free/Avant Garde Jazz. It is stimulating and dynamic and truly liberating.

Do you think that schools can teach improvisation?
Schools can teach how to harness the natural talents and maximize it. It does not teach improvisation but uncovers people’s hidden talents. I think it is very important to ge the education to allow proper channeling of the imagination.

Name a record that every jazz lover should own
I would say John Coltrane Ole on Atlantic

What are your future projects?
I am trying to finish a book that I started writing in 2009 but have long neglected. It is about obscure masters of jazz.

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