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Tigran Quintet Shines at the Angel City Jazz Festival

Candice Helen Hakimfar |
October 2, 2011 | 7:56 a.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

(Tigran Hamasyan/Vahan Stephanyan)
(Tigran Hamasyan/Vahan Stephanyan)
e Tigran Quintet gave a stellar performance at the Angel City Jazz Festival on Saturday night at the Ford Amphitheatre.

The quintet included French Grammy-winning artist Tigran Hamasyan on piano, Ben Wendel on saxophone, Nate Wood on drums, Sam Minaie on bass and Areni Agbabian on vocals.

All the musicians on stage were totally in sync with each other and created a balanced harmony among all of the instruments. It was particularly pleasant to watch Tigran express himself as the raging tiger to the sweet staccatoist on the piano.

His profound expressionism left the crowd in awe. His long sets, a little bit too long for my liking, were composed of a variety of tempos and musical dynamics. The differentiation between movements was very subtle.

Vocalist Agbabian had a serene and seductive voice, leaving the language she was singing in barely audible. Her rose-imprinted leopard skirt was symbolic of the variety of musical vibes from Armenia to Latin America.

Overall, they gave an outstanding performance that left everybody wanting more.

Being that it was first time going to the Ford Amphitheatre, I blown away by the level of intimacy — considering that the venue seats about 1,200 people.

The backdrop of the natural greenery, in addition to the strong aroma of garlic and tiramisu, made me feel as though I were relaxing in a private European garden in the summertime. Additionally, the beautiful warm breeze accompanied by the music that sounded like a cross between Yanni and Kenny G made the entire experience a night to remember.

The Ford Amphitheatre is comparably better than the Hollywood Bowl in regard to audibility and aesthetic surroundings. With its location in Hollywood's backyard, reasonably priced parking ($5), fantastic acoustics and inviting atmosphere, the Ford will definitely be a favorite venue of mine.

Reach Reporter Candice here.

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