Guitarist Aram Bajakian has performed and worked with some of the most aesthetically diverse artists of our time.
He had the distinct honor of playing beside rock legend and Velvet Underground frontman Lou Reed during his final final two tours in 2011 and 2012. Bajakian also performed over 100 concerts alongside multiple Grammy winner Diana Krall during her Glad Rag Doll Tour in 2012 and 2013.
He has also shared the stage with saxophonists John Zorn and Yusef Lateef, guitarists Marc Ribot and Nels Cline, saxophone virtuoso James Carter, bass legend Jamaaladeen Tacuma, violist Mat Maneri, the original Can singer, Malcolm Mooney, Polaris Prize winner and Inuk singer Tanya Tagaq, and Canadian super group, the Barenaked Ladies.
Bajakian is a member of bassist Shanir Blumenkranz’s group Abraxas. The band has released two albums on John Zorn’s Tzadik label, the first being the heralded Book of Angels Volume 19. In February of 2014 the band released Psychomagia, a book of music written especially for Abraxas by John Zorn.
In the summer of 2014, Bajakian performed in Grammy winner Frank London’s (Klezmatics) new band the Glass House Project, which recreated the musical culture of Hungarian Jewish communities destroyed by the Holocaust.
Bajakian leads several of his own groups, including Kef, a chamber string trio that plays arrangements of traditional Armenian Songs. Kef’s first album is featured on the Tzadiks’s Spotlight Series, and was listed as one of the Best World Music Albums of 2011 by PopMatters.
Bajakian’s latest solo album, there were flowers also in hell (2014, Sanasar Records), has received universal praise, and was called “One of the best instrumental rock records of recent years,” by New York Music Daily. Critic Robert Christgau said of the album, “Every track singular, every track strong. A MINUS.”
In October of 2014, Bajakian and his wife, vocalist Julia Ulehla, released a new album of Moravian Folk Songs entitled Dálava. The album has been called “groundbreaking” by Vancouver’s Georgia Straight, “a masterpiece” by acousticmusic.com, “a work of creativity and imagination par excellence” by Inner Magazine, and is described as combining “the richness of the old with the freshness and boldness of the new like no one else has done before” by Something Else Reviews. The music takes Czech folk melodies transcribed by Ulehla’s great-grandfather, Dr. Vladimir Ulehla, over 100 years ago, and reinvents them in a contemporary musical context that is an “extremely stirring, avant garde and ambient look into global sounds.”