Arto Tunçboyacıyan (Armenian: Արտո Թունջբոյաջյան) (born 4 August 1957) is a Grammy winning American musician of Armenian descent. An avant-garde folk artist (singer, multi-instrumentalist), he appeared on more than 200 records in Europe before arriving in the United States, where he went to work with numerous jazz legends including Chet Baker, Marc Johnson, Al Di Meola, and Joe Zawinul as well as a semi-regular stint with Paul Winter and the Earth Band. Arto fronts his own group called the Armenian Navy Band. He also worked with Turkish singer Sezen Aksu and the Greek singer Eleftheria Arvanitaki. His brother Onno Tunç was also a musician. He is also a member of the band Night Ark.
|Birth name||Arto Tunçboyacı|
|Born||4 August 1957|
|Genres||Avant-garde, jazz, folk, Armenian folk, rock|
|Occupation(s)||Musician, songwriter, record producer|
|Instruments||Vocals, percussion, duduk, sazabo, bular|
|Labels||Columbia, Serjical Strike|
Arto Tunçboyacıyan was born in Istanbul, the son of a poor shoemaker of Armenian descent. Since childhood, music has been Arto's fundamental element of life, by which he has tried to communicate his greatest values: "love, respect and truth". The greatest musical influence of his life was his brother, the musician and composer Onno Tunç. Onno was not only his brother, but his mentor, friend, supporter and one who encouraged Arto to develop his character.
At the age of 11, he began his career playing and recording traditional Anatolian music with great legendary musicians and his brother, thus establishing himself as a professional musician throughout Turkey and Europe.
In 1981 Arto moved to the United States and settled in New York. Here he performed and recorded with many well-known musicians including Paul Motian, Chet Baker, Joe Zawinul, Arthur Blythe, Wayne Shorter, Dino Saluzzi, Marc Johnson, Al Di Miola, Jim Pepper, Bob Berg, Gerardo Nunez, Mike Stern, Paul Winter, and System of a Down.
Arto started a meaningful cooperation with the Armenian American oud player Ara Dinkjian. In 1985, the quartet Night Ark was founded and led by Ara Dinkjian. Arto recorded the duo project with Ara Dinkjian "Tears of Dignity" (1994) and "Onno" (1996) homage to his brother Onno who died in a plane crash in 1996. These compositions were a clear expression of Arto's memories of his brother. In 1988, his first solo albums "Virginland" and "Main Root" were released.
In 1997 "Aile Muhabbeti" was released in Turkey and used as a movie soundtrack. Arto composed the songs of this new album with various Armenian and Turkish musicians. In 2000 was brought to life the next album "Every Day is a New Life".
After 35 years of exploring music on all important stages of the world, Arto Tunçboyacıyan realized that he was looking for open minded and enthusiastic musicians, with a sense of his cultural tradition, something he hadn’t found in either the Western jazz scene nor in his Anatolian homeland. Through his long-lasting and exciting musical research, Arto understood that he needed to work with musicians who were able to make his “sound worlds” finally audible in the form he had wanted for a long time and which fit his identity. Looking for answers, Arto decided to visit Armenia, the country of his ancestors. Two years later, in 1998, he returned to the capital, Yerevan and met pianist and keyboardist Vahagn Hayrapetyan, son of a well-known Armenian violinist. He asked Vahagn to introduce him to other musicians in town to find out, if eventually, he could start a new band project with them. Ten musicians got together for a first rehearsal and soon become what today is called The Armenian Navy Band. Some months later, in 1999, the band recorded their first album “Bzdik Zinvor” in Yerevan. The recording was followed by their first European tour in 2000, where they gained the hearts of the audiences in Italy, Germany, Austria and Spain with their Avant-garde Folk Music. The band then performed concerts in France, Belgium and the Netherlands. During a 2001 stopover in Istanbul, The Armenian Navy Band recorded their second album “New Apricot” in 2001. Since the release of their first album, the band tours regularly in Europe.
Arto's next album was "Türkçe Sözlü Hafif Anadolu Müziği" (Light Anatolian music with Turkish words) (with the Armenian Navy Band) recorded in the winter of 2001.
Tunçboyacıyan's 2001 album Aile Muhabbeti was used as soundtrack in two films: Hemşo (2001) and Mon père est ingénieur (2004).
Serart is one of his latest efforts, a collaboration between himself and Serj Tankian (singer of System of a Down), who have found common ground in shared Armenian backgrounds and a passion for sonic explorations in creating music that is claimed to be "completely new."
In the fall of 2003, a new project was born in a Yerevan studio. It was the beginning of a large sound project called “Sound of Our Life – Part One: Natural Seeds”. The project was put together by Arto and the Armenian Navy Band, who joined their talents one more time in the fall of 2006 for Part Two. Arto considers these albums his music diaries. They are one-hour-long compositions for the ANB and choir & string orchestras. Arto's original compositions express the sound of the past generations along with today's life. This is what he calls "avant-garde folk". We can say that the Armenian Navy Band represents the synthesis of Arto's musical journey and life experiences. As an ensemble with particular virtuosity, the band has great ability in performing live music and compositions taken from the tradition and from the current culture of Armenia. The Armenian Navy Band is to be considered the most comprehensive expression of Arto Tunçboyacıyan’s 46-year-old musical journey, of his virtuosity as a composer, multi-instrumentalist and singer, as well as of his life experience and philosophy.
In 2004 Arto Tunçboyacıyan opened the “ANB Avant-garde Folk Music Club” in the historical heart of Yerevan. A year later, the band released their first Armenian album,[which?] urging the world to protect natural habitat of Armenia. In 2006, the Armenian Navy Band was nominated for Best Band of Europe and the Audience Award at the 2006 BBC World Music Awards.
There is a hidden track on the album Toxicity by System of a Down (right after the song "Aerials"), where Arto contributed, with the band playing a traditional Armenian Church hymn, Der Voghormya (Lord Have Mercy). This track is commonly known as Arto, seeing as he was a significant part of it. He also played the instrumental part of "Science" in the same album, and his voice can be heard a couple of times in the interlude of "Bubbles", from Steal This Album!
In February 2011, Arto Tunçboyacıyan, as a band-member of The Paul Winter Consort, won the Grammy for the "Best New Age Album" for “Miho: Journey to the Mountain”. "Music is the time of my life. I don’t give direction to anybody. I let you imagine for yourself, but what I try to give you is Love, Respect, Truth. I believe this is the simplest form of wealth in this world for the path to trust and this is what we need."[attribution needed][This quote needs a citation]
The Armenian Navy Band lineup varies from traditional (duduk, zurna, kemanche, kanun) to contemporary (trombone, alto sax, tenor, soprano sax, trumpet, bass, drums, keyboard and piano). The band leader's unique vocals, percussion and bular intertwine to create a world where past and present are mixed.
Arto Tunçboyacıyan (percussions, vocals, bular), Anahit Artushyan (kanun), Armen Ayvazyan (kemanche) Armen Hyusnunts (tenor & soprano sax), Ashot Harutiunyan (trombone), David Nalchajyan (alto sax), Tigran Suchyan (trumpet), Norayr Kartashyan (blul, duduk, zurna), Vardan Grigoryan (duduk, zurna), Arman Jalalyan (drums), Vahagn Hayrapetyan (piano, keyboards), Artyom Manukyan (bass, cello), Vardan Arakelyan (bass), Gagik Khodavirdi (guitar), Vahram Davtyan (trombone).
|2000||Petals on Your Path||EmArcy|
|Year||Album||With other artist(s)||Label|
|1989||Virgin Land||Keytone/Svota Music|
|1996||Tears of Dignity||Ara Dinkjian||Svota Music|
|Triboh||M. P. de Vito and R. Marcotulli||PoloSud|
|Avci||Svota Music/Imaj Müzik|
|2000||Every Day Is a New Life||Living Music/Earth Music Production|
|2001||Aile Muhabbeti||Svota Music|
|2003||Serart||Serj Tankian||Serjical Strike/Columbia|
|2004||Türkçe Sözlü Hafif Anadolu Müziği||Imaj Müzik/Svota Music/Heaven and Earth|
|2005||Artostan||Svota Music/Heaven and Earth|
|Love Is Not in Your Mind|
|1999||Bzdik Zinvor||Svota Music|
|2004||Sound of Your Life Part I - "Natural Seeds"||Svota Music/Heaven and Earth|
|2006||How Much Is Yours||Svota Music|
|2009||Under Your Thoughts||Svota Music|
|2009||Nefrete Kine Karşı||Arma Music|
- Circle the Line (GM, 1986), Bass: Ed Schuller
With Arthur Blythe
- Night Song (Clarity, 1997)
With Marc Johnson & Right Brain Patrol
With Al Di Meola
- World Sinfonia (Tomato, 1991)
- World Sinfonia II – Heart of the Immigrants (Tomato, 1993)
- World Sinfonía III – The Grande Passion (Telarc, 2000)
With Hank Roberts
- Little Motor People (JMT, 1993)
With Paul Winter & The Earth Band
- Journey With The Sun (Living Music, 2000) - nominated for a Grammy as “Best World Music Album”
With Human Element
- Human Element (Abstract Logix, 2011)
- You Are In You (Human Element Music, 2018)
|2001||System of a Down feat. Arto Tunçboyacıyan||"Science"||Toxicity|
|2002||"Bubbles"||Steal This Album!|
|2003||Wax Poetic feat. Norah Jones and Arto Tunçboyacıyan||"Angels"||Nublu Sessions|
|2011||Kargin Studio||«Alabalanitsa»||«Alabalanitsa Soundtrack»|
|2017||Nice Evening (Լավ Երեկո)||Special guest|
- The profile of Arto's album "Everyday is a new life" on FolkWorld CD Reviews
- Ziflioglu, Vercihan (4 July 2009). "Melodies flow with cool water of Bosphorus". Hurriyet.
- "Singing songs of fraternity in New York for peace". Hurriyet Daily News.
The ensemble lineup will also feature Istanbul's Arto Tunçboyacıyan, the Grammy-winning musician of Turkish-Armenian descent on percussions and vocals.
- "System's Tankian Explores His Roots With Serart". Billboard.com. March 13, 2003.
For the 46 year-old Tuncboyaciyan, whose Armenian heritage placed his family in the minority of Turkey's contentious political environment,...
- "Artists against hatred, animosity". Hurriyet.
ISTANBUL – Arto Tunçboyacıyan, a famous musician and composer of Armenian origin who lives in the United States,
- "Arto Tuncboyaciyan and Armenian Navy Band". Rge Moscow News.
Born in Turkey of Armenian descent, the multi-instrumentalist Tuncboyaciyan emigrated to the United States about 30 years ago and set up one of the best folk and ethnojazz bands of its time.
- Tchilingirian, Hratch (1999). "The Navy Band" (PDF). Armenian International Magazine. 10 (6): 67.
- "Arto Tunçboyaciyan (Mr. Avant-Garde Folk)". Official Website of Arto Tuncboyaciyan.
- "ARTO TUNÇBOYACIYAN". Moon and Stars Project.
- Cartwright, Garth. "Armenian Navy Band". BBC.
- "Türkçe Sözlü Hafif Anadolu Müziği". Idelfix.
- "Arto Tuncboyaciyan". Hommes & migrations: 113.
- "YASH-AR nefrete ve kine karşı" (in Turkish). Taraf. Archived from the original on 2014-10-21.
- "About Yasar Kurt".
- "Kardeş Türküler" (PDF).
Tunçboyacıyan is the music director of Kardeş Türküler’s latest album Cocuk Hakli (The Kid is Right). He was recently afforded the honor of the 2011 Grammy® Award for Best New Age Album, Miho: Journey to the Mountain with Paul Winter Consort. Kardeş Türküler and Arto Tuncboyaciyan had several concerts in İstanbul, Diyarbakır, Antep, İzmir, Mersin, Eskişehir, Berlin, Mülcheim and New York.
- on YouTube
- Official website of Arto Tuncboyaciyan
- Official website of Armenian Navy Band
- Arto Tuncboyacian and Armenian Navy Band concert in Moscow 19 May 2012
- Arto on SOADfans
- Arto & ANB on BBC website
- Armenian Navy Band on Armenian Jazz