Presenting unique experiences in unexpected places, Arts Brookfield invites you to take a break from the daily grind and join us for an LA take on world music at Uniquely LA. Curated by local DJ, music mastermind, and event producer, Aaron Byrd, this series will include a free coffee for all attendees and a selection of bites by Convene!
Theoudplayer (Andrew David Kzirian) is an American musician of Armenian ancestry known for his mastery and innovative style of oud interpretation, the Middle Eastern stringed instrument. Kzirian is known particularly for both his fusion-based oud style, and the study of the oud’s history in Armenian music and culture.
Kzirian embarked on his musical journey by beginning the study of classical guitar at the age of 9. He picked up the oud at 19. Over the course of several years, Kzirian personally studied with oud masters Ara Dinkjian and John Bilezikjian, kanun master Jack Chalikian, and maintains close relationships with the leading Armenian-American oud players of preceding generations such as John Berberian, Mal Barsamian, Mark Gavoor, Roger Mgrdichian Jr., Dick Barsamian and many others. In addition, George Mgrdichian, Richard Hagopian were also important influences on his playing.
Kzirian has forged a new direction for the oud, blazing a new path which blends traditional styles and scales with modern technology and approaches to redefine and reinvent the instrument, while still staying true to the passion, mastery and focus of the rich Armenian oud tradition.
ABOUT THE CURATOR:
Aaron Byrd has always had a desire and curiosity to seek out new experiences, people, places and, most of all, music. Having visited 17 countries (so far) and spending at least three hours a day listening to new music, it’s safe to say music and travel are his biggest passions in life.
His attraction to the unknown and thirst for discovery has fueled an eclectic and expansive taste in music, from the underground hip hop scene the LA native explored as a teenager to his love of Guaguanco from Cuba. An Engineering major at UCLA, it’s not surprising that he likes to dig into the roots of where things begin, from tango to trip hop. He fuses musical connections across all borders, boundaries and timelines because what he looks for is more than a catchy beat.
Since his start at KCRW in 2007, Byrd has appeared on the front page of the New York Times and in both the LA Times and LA Weekly. He is called on to curate a wide range of events around town, from post-performance events at the LA Opera to a weekly live performance series at a boutique West Hollywood hotel. As a DJ, Byrd has opened for Groove Armada, James Blake, Fat Freddy’s Drop, Little Dragon, and Jose James and is regularly featured at clubs around town.