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Jazz in Soviet Armenia

Datevik Hovanesian

A fascinating look at the development of jazz in Armenia, from the country's "First Lady of Jazz."

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January 2018


Jazz in Soviet Armenia

Renowned jazz singer and educator Datevik Hovanesian gives an interesting overview of the development of jazz in Soviet Armenia. Despite limited opportunities and restrictions on cultural exchange with the West, jazz artists continued to create and thrive in the Soviet Union even during the Cold War years. Today, they are the inspiration for a new generation of artists and music lovers.


Datevik Hovanesian is an internationally renowned jazz singer, educator, recording artist, and arranger, once called the “First Lady of Jazz” in the Soviet Union. She has performed in concert halls, some of the most prestigious International Jazz Festivals, television and radio across 30 countries. Datevik also specializes in ethno-jazz music, and her album “Listen to My Heart” (Sony/France) is a combination of Armenian folk music and jazz, produced by the legendary George Avakian. She has performed, recorded, and collaborated with such giants of jazz as Frank Wess, Ben Riley, Larry Willis, Paquito D’Rivera, and many others. Datevik has been living and teaching master classes, workshops, and private students in New York City for over 20 years.