WATERTOWN, Mass.—The Armenian Cultural and Educational Center (ACEC) recently announced the launch of its summer jazz concert series, “Jazz in the Courtyard.”
The series of three events, which is co-sponsored by the Boston chapter of the Hamazkayin Educational and Cultural Society and held on alternating Fridays in July and August, will bring acclaimed, modern interpretations of jazz to the center’s outdoor courtyard space in Watertown.
The first concert of the series, to be held on July 21, features The Yulia Musayelyan Quartet. The group’s leader, originally from Moscow, is a versatile multi-genre performer. A graduate of the Manhattan School of Music as well as New York University, Musayelyan is also a recipient of the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts Award. She leads her jazz quartet and Macayú Trio, and performs regularly with MOZIK, Fernando Huergo Quintet, and Marta Gomez, among others. Her chamber compositions have been premiered at Symphony Space in New York City and featured in the 2006 film Natalie Bonn.
Musayelyan’s compositions combine modern jazz harmonies and improvisation with folkloric styles from Argentina, Armenia, Russia, and Brazil. The result is a colorful and distinct sound that seeks to bridge distant traditions. Yulia has toured the U.S., United Kingdom, Europe, and Central and South America with various musical projects. Read more about her projects at http://yuliamusayelyan.com.
The second concert, to be held on Aug. 4, will feature the critically acclaimed folk-jazz ensemble MUSANER. Led by composer and pianist Ara Sarkissian, MUSANER has performed widely at top venues in Boston, New York, Italy, and Switzerland. The New York Music Daily referred to their last recording “Once Upon a Time” as “one of the most picturesque, intensely vivid albums of the year,” while Boston’s own WBUR referred to their sound as “something that bridges east and west, that’s both familiar and exotic, delicate and powerfully high energy,” More information on MUSANER is available at http://musaner.com. The ensemble will appear in its five-person lineup for an evening that promises to be memorable.
The third concert, to be hold on Aug. 18, will feature the young guitarist Shahan Nercessian and his new trio, SMB-3. This latest project of Shahan’s is a jazz trio with subtle Armenian folk undertones. The group is comprised of musicians who met while studying jazz at Tufts University and who have played extensively in the Boston area in various different musical settings.
The band plays original compositions drawing influences from jazz, rock, world music and beyond. They will be releasing their first full-length album, “Echoes from a Distant Past,” in the summer of 2017.
All three concerts will be held in the outdoor courtyard at the ACEC, located at 47 Nichols Ave., Watertown. In case of rain, the event will be held indoors.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at http://hamazkayinboston.org or by calling 617-926- 6067.
There will be refreshments, drinks, and snacks available for purchase.