Variously described as “ethno-jazz”, “world-jazz”, and “folk-jazz fusion”, Zela Margossian’s music rises above all these labels as a product of her own unique constellation of influences and lived experiences.
Raised in Beirut of Armenian heritage, her childhood years were marked by the conflict and political instability of the region; themes she would later explore in her music. In her early twenties, Margossian moved to Yerevan, Armenia to study classical piano at the Komitas Conservatorium. But it was after class, in the local jazz-clubs listening to artists of the likes of Arto Tunçboyacıyan and Vahagn and the Cats, that her love for jazz was stoked. A move to Australia some years later saw her take the bold step to fully transition from her classical roots and find recognition among her jazz peers, as a composer and improviser of note.
In 2017, the Zela Margossian Quintet (ZMQ) was formed and quickly found a warm embrace in the Sydney jazz scene. Comprising of renowned, versatile performers: Stuart Vandegraaff (woodwinds), Jacques Emery (double bass), Adem Yilmaz (percussion) and Alexander Inman-Hislop (drum kit), the band has appeared on Australia’s mainstages and internationally including at: the Beirut International Jazz Festival (2018), SIMA’s Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival (2017, 2019 and 2020), Wangaratta Festival of Jazz & Blues (2020), the Sydney Opera House (2020), and Sydney Festival (2021).
In 2019 the band’s debut album, Transition, was released by Art As Catharsis to critical acclaim, also receiving an ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) nomination for Best World Music album.
The Road is their much anticipated second album, promising the rich instrumental textures, the distinct compositional voice, as well as the narrative and thematic depth Margossian is known for.More information Artist website