JAG BAMBIR ENSEMBLE:
Founded by Jag Barseghyan in the 1970s in Gyumri, Armenia, Bambir was lauded as one of the best rock groups in the Soviet Union, performing original material, traditional Armenian songs, and modern arrangements of Komitas and medieval Armenian music.
In the sixties Jag began traveling to the city of Gyumri, traditionally Armenia’s city of arts and one of the cultural centers of the Soviet Union. While there weren’t many people listening to rock music in Yerevan at the time, an underground scene seemed to be thriving in Gyumri. It was there that he began to find like-minded individuals and appreciators of the music he loved. He started jamming with Robert Kocharyan (not the former Armenian president) on bass, Suren Martirosyan on guitar, and Levon "Watts" Nouroyan on drums, calling themselves Angin Qarer ("precious stones", in the Armenian language), playing hard rock. They soon morphed into their folk "bard rock" style, arranging pieces by Komitas and moving on to their own original material, changing their name to Bambir. Performances and many albums followed and they toured Armenia, Russia, Europe and the United States. Members of the original band reunite for special concerts, and Jag continues to actively record and collaborate with local and international artists. He has been awarded by the Armenian Ministry of Culture for his achievements in Contemporary Armenian Music.
Today, Jag Barseghyan records solo albums, ensemble albums, and performs with original members of The Bambir and other international musicians. In 1982 Bambir won the Folk Music Award at the International Festival in Lida, Belarus.
They celebrated their 20th anniversary in Moscow in 1998 and in Gyumri at their first Biennial. On their 30th anniversary, they released Armenian Scotch, an album dedicated to the 140th anniversary of Hovhannes Tumanyan and the 250th anniversary of Robert Burns.
Discography and Releases
- 1999 – Quake
- 2003 - Quake - remixed and released by Raffi Meneshian/Pomegranate Music Label
- 2003 – J&G
- 2005 – Blind Alley
- 2008 - Alexandropol- recorded with “Dietmar Bonnen" (Live)
- 2011 – Armenian Scotch