Armen Nalbandian (born April 6, 1978 in Manchester, England) is a jazz pianist, composer, author, and activist from Los Angeles, California.
Highly influenced by Thelonious Monk, Nalbandian performs jazz, free & avant- garde jazz, improvised and experimental music. While his primary ensemble is the Armen Nalbandian Trio, he has led more than 30 different ensembles and composed over 1200 works ranging from music for string quartets, chamber music, orchestral music, electronic music, scores for theater, experimental hiphop, ‘Conduction’ pieces inspired by Butch Morris’ approach, new Japanese & Armenian inspired folk music, and John Zorn inspired game pieces,” in addition to having performed a solo piano concert of Zorn’s Masada music with the encouragement and blessing of the composer. His active groups include the Armen Nalbandian Trio (w. Eric Revis & Nasheet Waits), Armen Nalbandian V (w. Jeff Parker, Chris Speed, Eric Revis, & Alex Cline), and the Armen Nalbandian 3 (w. Steve Lehman & Guillermo E. Brown)
Nalbandian cites witnessing a Cecil Taylor performance at LA’s Jazz Bakery when he was 19 years old as a major revelation and turning point in his life and career.
Armen Nalbandian is the protege of jazz pianist John Hicks, but also credits Bill Dixon, McCoy Tyner, as being important teachers in his artistic development in addition to learning invaluable lessons from jazz greats Charlie Haden, Jackie McLean, Horace Silver, Cedar Walton, Billy Higgins, Art Farmer, John Handy, and Harold Land.