Among Jivan Gasparyan’s pupils is someone who seems destined to become his successor: his grandson, Jivan Gasparyan, Jr.
Jivan Gasparyan, Jr. (born October 23, 1982 in Yerevan, Armenia) has always been inspired by traditional Armenian folk melodies performed by his grandfather. Later he studied music, piano, vocals and musical grammar at Yerevan Vocal School, where he excelled as a student.
At the same time he was also learning the art of playing the duduk from his grandfather. At his early teens he moved to Los Angeles, California and found that his interests lay in music only. He worked hard to improve his performance, taking the most valuable lessons from his grandfather.
After making sure that Jivan Jr. was ready for stage appearances, the elder Gasparyan changed his trio to a quartet, including Jivan Jr. A few years later Jivan Jr. accompanied his grandfather at concerts at the Los Angeles Hollywood Bowl, in Moscow at the Kremlin Concert Hall, in London, Poland, Italy, Russia, and many other cities around the world, having great success everywhere.
In 2009 he took part in Abu Dhabi’s WOMAD festival, organized by Peter Gabriel. He performed a duet of a melody from the film “Gladiator” with his grandfather, as the opening performance of the concert for Nelson Mandela’s 90th birthday celebration, which took place in Hide Park, London on June 27, 2008.
Jivan Jr. took part in the celebration of his grandfather’s 80th birthday anniversary on November 11, 2008 in Yerevan. He performed with a trio of duduks, and accompanied guest musicians for three days of concerts. He has performed with musicians and bands such as Zucchero, Andreas Vollenweider, Boris Grebenshikov, the Alan Parsons Project, Planet X, Michael Brook and various other renowned artists from around the world.
He has also performed with the band Viza, combining elements of traditional music in a modern setting. Viza’s music features original, unique, passionate, exotic and spiritual elements of rock, jazz and pop, wrapped in Armenian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern fusion. A recent collaboration features Jivan with Viza bandmate and oud player Andrew Kzirian, releasing the track “Escape” in honor of the Armenian Genocide’s Centennial in 2015. The combination of oud and duduk is very symbolic in Armenian culture, bringing together representative instruments from the 2 of the main musical Armenian traditions.
Jivan Jr. continues to work on new recordings and projects with his grandfather. His major goal is to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps, achieve recognition in the performance of the duduk, and continue this traditional art in his own unique way.
His music appears in “The Soul of Armenia” double CD, produced by Netwoek Medien GMBH (Germany), and the CD “Penumbra” produced by Michael Brook (USA), and several recordings with Viza. Visit www.jivanduduk.com for more information.