Armadi Tsayn: A fusion of traditional melodies and modern flair hits Toronto this month

The ensemble will play at The Oud & the Fuzz on May 26 and at DROM Taberna on May 27

Prepare to embark on a musical journey as Armadi Tsayn takes the stage in Toronto this month. This contemporary folk ensemble, founded by Alek Surenian and Sam Sjostedt, is making a name for itself thanks to its captivating blend of traditional melodies and modern influences. In an exclusive interview with Surenian, we learned about the band’s origins, past performances, and upcoming concerts in Toronto.

Armadi Tsayn, which means “Sounds/Voice of the Roots” in Armenian, pays homage to the rich musical heritage of the Armenian Highlands and the captivating melodies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The band’s unique style draws inspiration from these regions and infuses them with a touch of modernity, resulting in a mesmerizing musical experience.

The journey of Armadi Tsayn began when Surenian and Sjostedt, alumni of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF-YOARF) Internship in Armenia program, connected through mutual friends. A shared passion for music led them to start jamming and exchanging ideas. As their sonic exploration progressed, they discovered elements that resonated deeply with their vision of preserving and celebrating ethnic folk music. “The chemistry between us felt unique,” Surenian explains about the dynamic and cohesive musical partnership.

Over time, Armadi Tsayn expanded its lineup to include other talented musicians who bring their unique contributions to the ensemble’s evolving sound. The current formation features Sam on the Oud, Alek on percussion instruments, Süeda Çatakoğlu on Piano, and Filippo Novi-Goller on bass. This collaborative approach allows the band to adapt and diversify their music, ensuring each performance is a fresh and immersive experience.

Armadi Tsayn has had the privilege of captivating audiences in Armenia (Yerevan, Kapan, Goris, Lijk), Boston, and Toronto; the band’s previous visit to the city was met with resounding success, leaving both Armenian and non-Armenian listeners enthralled. Alek and Sam’s performance as a duo at The Oud & the Fuzz, owned and operated by Toronto-Armenians Shaunt and Raz Tchakmak, marked a significant milestone. Inspired by the warm reception and the hosts’ dedication to preserving Armenian culture, Armadi Tsayn eagerly returns to Toronto this month.

The upcoming sets in Toronto promise to be extraordinary events where audiences will be immersed in the sounds of the Armenian Highlands and beyond. The band’s unique fusion of traditional melodies and modern elements creates a captivating musical tapestry that transcends borders and resonates with listeners of diverse backgrounds.

The first performance will take place at The Oud & the Fuzz, the familiar, intimate venue known for its commitment to showcasing diverse musical traditions. “Shaunt and Raz Tchakmak, both supporters of Armadi Tsayn’s mission, have created a space where the band’s cultural heritage can be shared and cherished. The band members are thrilled to play at The Oud, knowing that their music will continue to reach new listeners,” Surenian explains.

The journey will continue the following day at DROM Taberna; the vibrant atmosphere and dedication to hosting eclectic performances make it an ideal venue for Armadi Tsayn to enchant the crowd with its unique blend of traditional and contemporary sounds.

Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in the captivating world of Armadi Tsayn. Join them on this musical odyssey on May 26 at The Oud & the Fuzz (21 Kensington Ave.) and May 27 at DROM Taberna (458 Queen St. W).

Armadi Tsayn: A fusion of traditional melodies and modern flair hits Toronto this month (Flyer courtesy of Armadi Tsayn)