“Dynamic, Exhilarating, Haunting New Armenian Sounds” –New York Music Daily
Carved from a single block of mulberry wood, the long-necked tar has been the faithful companion of generations of Armenian bards. It’s found a new life as a front-and-center jazz voice, thanks to the innovators of MVF Band (short for Miqayel Voskanyan and Friends). Sometimes sharp and percussive as a banjo, sometimes subtle and soft-spoken, in the capable hands of band leader and singer Miqayel Voskanyan the tar speaks powerfully of contemporary life’s struggles and joys.
Set as a standard jazz quartet of sax, keys, bass, and drums — plus the Tar — MVF Band has spent the last decade together exploring new directions in Armenian music and perfecting their on-stage connection. Moving across genres, they have played major jazz festivals around Eastern Europe and Central Asia, represented Armenia at music industry events like MIDEM in France, and performed at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and the Ford Theatre. Known for intertwining ancient folk idioms with progressive arrangements and original compositions, MVF Band challenges conventional thinking about the crosspollination of Eastern and Western sounds and genres.
MVF Band is part of Center Stage, a public diplomacy initiative of the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs with funding provided by the U.S. Government, administered by the New England Foundation for the Arts in cooperation with the U.S. Regional Arts Organizations. General management is provided by Lisa Booth Management, Inc.