Firehouse 12 is pleased to welcome veteran pianist/composer Armen Donelian back to Firehouse 12. On Friday September 23rd, Donelian will be celebrating the release of his ninth album on the Sunnyside label, Leapfrog, which was recorded, mixed and mastered at Firehouse 12 by owner/chief engineer Nick Lloyd. He returns with a stellar lineup of musicians, including Dean Johnson (bass), Marc Mommaas (saxophone), Mike Moreno (guitar), and Tyshawn Sorey (drums).
Donelian’s last album, 2008's Oasis (Sunnyside Records), was called "a rewarding listen" (Scott Albin, Jazz.com), "enjoyable and thoughtful" (Scott Yanow, AllMusic.com) and "honest, multifaceted, breathing music" (Francis Lo Kee, AllAboutJazz.com). JazzTimes' Thomas Conrad adds, "Oasis quickly establishes a high level of musical discourse and never falters from it. Donelian’s poise makes everything sound measured and unhurried. His sweet spot is a particular, springy, slow-to-mid-tempo, like the title track and 'Lady of Ghent.' [The] originals here [are] all fresh, elegant forms that retain their shapeliness even as Donelian freely embellishes them, his right hand often flowing into luminous treble cascades."
Donelian, a 35-year veteran of the international jazz scene, has performed in more than 20 countries, both with his own bands and with such jazz legends as Chet Baker, Sonny Rollins and Mongo Santamaria. Since the mid-1980's, he has also worked as a prominent educator, teaching at institutions such as The New School and William Paterson University, and delivering lectures and master classes at major conservatories around the world. Along the way, he has authored two volumes of his book, Training The Ear (Advance Music), earned numerous fellowships from the Fulbright Scholarship Program and National Endowment for the Arts, and celebrated his Armenian heritage in a variety of musical projects.