Contemporary jazz with world beat overtones aptly describes the music of Canadian/Armenian multi-instrumentalist/composer Levon Ichkhanian. A third generation musician and artist of great versatility, Levon is proficient on the fretted and fretless guitars,oud, bouzouki and banjitar. Levon's musical odyssey first took shape in Lebanon.
This is how he describes it: I had several monumental experiences growing up which had a rich influence on me culturally and musically. My Dad exposed me to jazz and continental music letting me sit in during his band rehearsal, and as the musical director for shows, the family would travel with him to places like Yemen, Jordan and Cyprus.
Classical and flamenco guitar music were introduced to me by my Uncles Joseph and Jaques. Joseph would often host gatherings filled with musicians, dancers and painters celebrating their art.
I also have vivid memories of spending summer trips with my family to the Northern part of Lebanon. At night there would be parties filled with traditional Armenian and popular Arabic music (Adiss and Fairuz were the favorites), dancing and lots of food that went on until the small hours of the night.
These experiences have influenced me profoundly in my music and in my person, as I continue to further explore the future
He studied classical guitar under the direction of his uncle, Professor Joseph Ichkhanian. At the age of twelve, his family immigrated to Canada. One year later, he gravitated to the electric guitar and began his professional performing career, playing in a band with his jazz pianist father Edouard. Levon’s first professional gig was at the age of 13 with Adiss, the pioneer modern Armenian singer).