Armenian born keyboardist Vahagn Stepanyan follows the call of smooth jazz. After his study at the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory he toured in some States in America having the opportunity to perform with Eric Marienthal, Nathan East, Don Moen, Greg Adams, Melvin Lee Davis and more.
Although still residing in Armenia Vahagn Stepanyan is focused on the American music market. Here he sees his future. Encouraged by the successful crowdfunding of his debut album Moonlight he plans a sophomore project especially in connection with the modern possibilities of internet and to move to the United States to build there his career. A bold venture given the current state of the music market and particularly the smooth jazz genre.
His debut album Moonlight (2015) shows collaborations with Eric Marienthal (sax), Adam Hawley (guitar), Melvin Lee Davis (bass), Anthony Crawford (bass), Cleverson Silva (drums), Tony Guerrero (trumpet) to name a few.
Gonna Fly starts the album with great vigor and youthful creativity. Stylistically the music is comparable with keyboardists like Brian Culbertson or Nate Harasim.
Image features singer/songwriter Heanon Tate with an ardent love ballade backed by R&B flavored rhythm and some corny keyboard sounds. Give More unleashes the primal forces of bassist Anthony Crawford, keyboardist Stepanyan, drummer Weerachat “Note” Premananda and guitarist Felipe Praino.
I Believe In You is a musical cakewalk with the sweet voice of singer Marta Kirakosyan. Someday comes easy with an elegant piano flow. Tony Guerrero on muted trumpet flatters himself gentlely, while Leslie Johnson on slap bass sets own accents. Loving You has a real hit potential. Heanon interpreted fervently the thrilling melody and achieved thus the audience with straightforwardness.
Anyone who thinks the moonlight triggers tranquility, will be taught with the title song better. Vahagn Stepanyan excels on piano, while Eric Marienthal on sax and Melvin Lee Davis on bass show despite greater talents as water bearer. Lead Me Home illustrates a particular attraction like a classic etude of Chopin. The fascination of his piano game is illumined by Journey.
Singer Andy Delos Santos is influenced by Al Jarreau, Luther Vandross, and Philip Bailey. On Only You he underlines his vocal talent in the style of a boy band. The final Passion trumps with a great orchestral arrangement like a wonderful film score.
Moonlight is an album that is in his conception, arrangement and performance perfectly tailored to the smooth jazz genre. With his enthusiasm and talent Vahagn Stepanyan has a good chance to place himself and his music in the music market.