September 18, 2012, 5:30-9:30 pm, Elisa Pruett (bass), Armen Boyajian (piano) at Sullivan's, 1928 South Boulevard, Charlotte, NC 28203.  Half-price appetizers until 7:00 pm in the bar, come by and catch some straight-ahead jazz on a rainy night!

October 6, 2012, the Popcorn Sippers, 2:00 pm, Fiddler's Grove, see www.fiddlersgrove.com for specifics; 6:00 pm, Providence Racquet Club, 5630 Sharon View Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226

Stay tuned for other events to be announced...


Armen Boyajian's interest in jazz blossomed in 1970 when he saw Miles Davis perform in Binghamton, NY with a very electric band including Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, Steve Grossman, Airto and Dave Holland.  Armen was blown away by this concert and the fusion music of that era.  He studied classical violin while attending University of Rochester at Eastman with Oliver Steiner, played in the All-University Symphony, and took a jazz improvisation class.  He was exposed to great musicians like Phil Markowitz and Alan Broadbent (both were at Eastman during this era).  Following graduation from Rochester in 1975, Armen received his MA from State University of New York, played jazz with pianist Lee Musiker, studied classical violin with Peter Marsh of the Lennox Quartet and served as principal second violin in the Harpur Orchestra under such conductors as the late Judith Somogi of the New York City Opera. After graduate school, he moved to Washington, DC in 1978, sharing a group house with fellow pianist Dan Latt.   In Washington, Armen began playing with guitarist Paul Bollenback, who introduced Armen to 15-year-old bassist Ed Howard, and Air Apparent began.   When Armen heard NC pianist Frank Kimbrough at a jam session at One Step Down, he made a change of personnel.   Joe Link was the first Air Apparent drummer but replaced not long after by Steve Williams.  In 1982, Steve joined Shirley Horn for 25-year association with the late singer/pianist from DC -- see http://www.abrushfire.com  Ed went on to play with Roy Haynes, Clifford Jordan, Bob Berg, Steve Wilson, Randy Brecker, Joe Locke, Shirley Horn., and many others.    Frank Kimbrough has lived in New York since 1982 and has received significant critical acclaim on his own, playing in solo, duo and trio formats and as an integral member of the Maria Schneider Orchestra, see http://home.earthlink.net/~fkimbrough/

Between 1978 and 1982, Air Apparent had a great run in DC, playing  Blues Alley, Carter-Barron Amphitheater, and the Wharf, in Alexandria, VA.  Armen moved to New York in 1982.  Curtis Lundy, Clifford Barbaro, Onaje Allan Gumbs, and Stafford James played with Air Apparent between 1982-1985 in New York.  Armen moved to Baltimore in 1985 and made the transition to piano around that time, having used the piano to hear and understand jazz voicings and chord changes.  Armen learned a great deal from Kimbrough and Marc Copland (see http://www.marccopland.com) ,  who had studied with Lennie Tristano. Beginning in 1986 Armen led a quartet featuring Sheila Ford on vocals at the Inner Harbor Hyatt, and also played with Dennis Chambers, Vince Loving, Gary Thomas, George Colligan, Tim Murphy, Paul Gill, and Bob Butta. Armen lived in Augusta, GA from 1993 to 2007, playing with the Word of Mouth Band with former James Brown bassist David Weston.  He's also played at the Partridge Inn (1997-2002), Augusta Country Club, West Lake Country Club, the Pinnacle Club and the Aiken Jazz Festival, among other venues.  In Charlotte, Armen has played at the Village Tavern, Village Bistro, Sullivan's, Johnson C. Smith University, and the Marriott SouthPark.

Thanks to Mike Rhoden for web design --  m_rhoden@hotmail.com -- he is also a jazz guitarist, composer and recording engineer, who recorded and mastered the music you hear on this site.  Armen also thanks Erik Hargrove ( www.erikhargrove.com), George Sykes, Eric Hillman, Michael Peele, Rick Hawkins, Andrew Clemons (www.dispatch.com) Wycliffe Gordon, Buzz Clifford, Chris Mangelly, Greg Alewine, Tim Blackwell, Michael Dease http://www.mikedease.com,  Wayne Preston, David Weston, David Heath, James McIntyre, Kevin Hyde, Todd Edmunds, Craig Butterfield, Mike West, Joel Cruz, Travis Shaw, Fabio Mann, Joshua Marks, Jeff Ward, the Thompson Brothers, Jim Garrett, Jeff Ward and undoubtedly a few I've forgotten!

Armen's operating philosophy is quite simple: find the best musicians you can, challenge them with originals and fresh arrangements, but lead with a light touchAir Apparent was an incubator for some of the best jazz musicians of today!  One night around 1982, great trumpeter Wallace Roney (then around 18 years old) came up to Armen at a gig they were co-headlining at American University in DC.  Wallace said, “Who are these guys?” (referring to Frank, Ed and Steve).  Are they from New York?” Armen said no, Ed’s from Northeast DC, Frank's from Roxboro, NC, and Steve is from Silver Spring.  Wallace said “Well, they sound like they’re from New York!” That pretty much summed it  up!


Some links

Music Samples (double click below)
Waltz for Bill Evans.mp3


Nothing Personal.mp3

Freedom Jazz Dance, Eddie Harris-(head).mp3

Don't Let Me Be Lonely, James Taylor (excerpt).mp3

(featuring Patrick Blanchard, vocal)

Old and new photos....



ABOVE LEFT: Wynton Marsalis w/Air Apparent at the Partridge Inn, Augusta, GA 1998.  L-R: George Sykes, Erik Hargrove, Armen, Wynton Marsalis, Jeff Andrew Simpson, Carl Brown;  ABOVE RIGHT: Jazz violin press kit photo from 1982; RIGHT PHOTO: Armen's press kit photo, 1982 (w/Ed Howard on RIGHT)

Check out the band photos of past members and present in the Gallery Section. And please check out the MP3 music samples on this page - and remember, we're available, from solo violin or piano on up to a quintet!

Armen and Ed Howard, circa 1983, NYC



This site was last updated 09/18/12   

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