Tigran Hamasyan (Armenian: ?????? ????????; born July 17, 1987) is an Armenian jazz pianist. He plays mostly original compositions, which are strongly influenced by the Armenian folk tradition, often using its scales and modalities. In addition to Tigran's folk influence, he is much influenced by American jazz traditions and to some extent, as on his album Red Hail, by progressive rock. His solo album A Fable is most strongly influenced by Armenian folk music. Even on his most overt jazz compositions and renditions of well-known jazz pieces, his improvisations often contain embellishments based on scales from Middle Eastern/South Western Asian traditions.Early lifeHamasyan was born in Gyumri, Armenia. His father was a jeweler and his mother designed clothes. At the age of three he began to play melodies on his family's piano, and he went to a music school from the age of six. As a young child, he dreamed of being a thrash metal guitarist.He studied jazz from the age of nine, then tried to incorporate local folk melodies into jazz-form improvisations when in his teens. At this stage, Hamasyan was influenced by Armenian composers Arno Babajanian and Avet Terterian. Hamasyan, together with his parents and sister, moved to Yerevan when he was around 10, and then to California when he was 16, where, as of October 2013, he continues to live.CareerHamasyan recorded his first album, World Passion, at the age of 18. He spent a lot of 2013 in Armenia, which helped develop his interest in its folk music.Awards2002: 3rd Prize Concours International de Piano-Jazz Martial Solal (Paris).2003: 1st Prize Jazz à Juan Révélations in the jazz instrumental category.2003: 1st Prize Prix de la Critique et du Public, Concours de Piano du Montreux Jazz Festival.2005: 3rd Prize Concours de Piano-Jazz de Moscou.2005: 1st Prize 8ème Concours de Solistes de Jazz de Monaco.2006: 1st Prize Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz.2006: 2nd Prize Concours International de Piano-Jazz Martial Solal.