The founder of Katuner, Vahagn Hayrapetyan, is one of the most famous and popular jazz musicians performing on today’s Armenian stage. For a long time, he has been delivering his brand of close harmony by performing in a swing and pop style and also by playing in a trio he created.
At the end of 2004, Vahagn suddenly changed his musical image and created a new band called “Katuner” (Cats). The original members of the band were Vahagn Hayrapetyan (keyboards), Tigran Suchyan (trumpet), David Nalchajyan (alto saxophone), Artyom Manukyan (bass, cello) and Tigran Sanoyan (drums). Later, Ashot Haroutiunyan (trombone) joined the band. Ashot’s presence added more power and harmony to the music. His trombone sounded like a human voice. The next to join was Norayr Kartashyan, who performs on various folk wind and percussion instruments. With his arrival, the sound of the ensemble gained a folk spirit. Norayr is a storyteller and added the sound of nature to the music. Drummer Arman Jalalyan joined the band at the beginning of 2006 and brought with him a very creative touch.
Originally all members of the Armenian Navy Band (BBC World Music Audience Award Winners, 2006), Katuner proves to be a very powerful band, playing original compositions yet bringing with it an already recognizable and much loved sound.
Their first album Norevan (Ararat Pro Digital 2007) was released in March 2007.Album was nominated for Armenian Music Awards 2007,in Best Jazz Album nomination. KATUNER’s performance on “JAZZ & DRAM” 2007 JAZZ FESTIVAL nominated on ARMENIAN NATIONAL MUSIC AWARDS,as THE BEST JAZZ PERFORMANCE OF THE 2007. ON 2008 KATUNER RELEASE FIRST VIDEO “OROR”,DIRECTED BY DAVID SAHAKYANTS On 2008 band leader of Katuner Vahagn Hayrapetyan has received the honorary title of the honorary artist of the Republic Of Armenia. Katuner’s performances: Yerevan’s 2005 and 2006 Jazz Appreciation Month (organized by the State Department of the USA ). Yerevan,Armenia. The 1st and 2nd International Festivals of Avant-Garde Folk Music. Yerevan,Armenia. Caucasus Music Meeting (organized by the British Council in 2005). Tbilisi,Georgia. The 3rd International Jazz Festival “Yerevan-2006”. Yerevan,Armenia. Moskovski Dom club 2006.Moscow,Russia. Usadiba Jazz Festival 2008. Moscow,Russia. Za Jazz Fest 2008.Kharkov,Ukraine. Jazz & Dram festival 2008.Yerevan,Armenia. Dubai International Jazz Festival 2009. Diagilev seasons festival 2009.Perm,Russia.
Artur Grigoryan: alto saxophone
Tigran Suchyan: trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals
David Minasyan: trombone
Artyom Manukyan: bass,cello
Shahan Nercessian: guitar
Norayr Kartashyan: blul, zurna, vocals
Arman Jalalyan: drums
Vahagn Hayrapetyan: keyboards, Fender Rhodes, acoustic piano, vocals