Tigran Hamasyan had quite a year in 2011.
He took France by storm, and dazzled at festivals when he cut loose and wowed with his high energy mix of jazz, Armenian folk and rock, also infusing his sets with gentle solo numbers.
There is more than one side to this exquisite talent, and he happily showed them all.
The Armenian pianist then issued the album A Fable, which racked up terrific reviews and brought him to the attention of artists like Jamie Cullum and Gilles Peterson.
American jazz ace Chick Corea is among those shouting their approval: “A mature and great and rich and deep artist!” he said.
And what about you, Herbie Hancock?
“A...may...zing! Now, Tigran, you are my teacher!”
Tigran switched off from toys and onto music as a toddler – at just three years old he was figuring out songs on piano by artists including the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Louis Armstrong and Queen.
But his passion for the classic jazz songbook followed closely behind.
At 16 years old, his family moved from Yerevan to Los Angeles, and, while his sister was busy sculpting and painting, her equally creative brother was making his mark, winning a series of piano competitions.
And the rest? Well, Tigran is very much history in the making, and he visits us in the new city this coming week.
We put our Cue and Play questions his way.
Tell us about the first record you bought or downloaded
I can’t remember when I first bought a record.
My father, uncle and grandparents had such a vast record collection that I didn’t need to buy anything.
Also, when I was 11, my teacher Vahagn Hayrapetyan would record a bunch of cassette tapes for me to listen to
An album you can’t live without and why?
An album called The Voice of Komitas Vardapet, which is sung by Komitas himself and was recorded in 1912
The most embarrassing record in your collection
Wow, I just found this record by Cher called Believe.
I have to say I am very glad I have that one
Your favourite cheesy disc...
In The Still of the Night by Whitesnake
What about your favourite artist of all time?
I like genius masters, for example J.S. Bach
If we could grant you a wish to meet one musician or band, who would it be and why?
What question would you ask them?
It would be Komitas, and I would have asked him to perform an Armenian folk song.
Name a song that never fails to pick you up
Straws Pulled At Random by Meshuggah
And one that chills you out
Untitled 1 by Sigur Ros
What was the first gig you attended?
A Deep Purple concert in Yerevan when I was three years old
Give us your favourite record shop
It’s the Amoeba music store in Hollywood
Is there a new or undiscovered aritst that you think we need to hear?
One band called Bambir, Mt Helium and Rorayr Kartashian’s new record called Tsarastan
You can banish one artist to the bargain bin. Who do you choose?
>Tigran Hamasyan is midway through a brief UK tour and visits The Stables this Wednesday evening.
For ticket bookings call MK 280800.