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Gor Mkhitarian performing in Glendale, California
|2001 - present|
Gor Mkhitarian (Armenian: ; born in 1973 in Vanadzor, Armenia) is an Armenian singer and songwriter who started his musical career in Armenia. He immigrated to the United States and now is based in Los Angeles. In Armenia, he started with the rock formation Lav Eli. He developed his solo career starting in 2001 with a number of albums in various genres including pop, rock, and folk music. He sings in both English and Armenian.
Gor was widely known throughout Armenia as the lead guitarist for one of country's best rock bands, Lav Eli (in Armenian ) that he established with fellow musician Mher Manukyan in 1996.
The original set-up was:
Later on, with bassist Vahe Terteryan leaving, the band was accentuated with three new members including a new bass player:
Besides Lav Eli, Mkhitaryan also worked with the group Snack.
Force Major (in Aremenian ? ) was Mkhitarian's one-year experimental jam project established in 2000. Stylized as FORCE MAJOR, it was made up of:
Guest musicians included Anush (flute), Diana (violin), Artyom (dhol), Aharon (guitar) and Mher Bekchyan (vocals). The project released a 5-track EP Force Major
Mkhitarian launched his solo career in 2001 with his debut solo album Yeraz and has released six more albums since: Godfather Tom (2003), Episode (2004), self-titled GOR (2006), Acoustic Folklore (2007), United Fantasies: Exit Ahead (2008) and Spirit (2009). Having been nominated for 14 industry music awards, he makes fresh and compelling music that successfully fuses traditional Armenian music with both rock and folk idioms.
In 2003, Mkhitarian moved to Los Angeles where drummer Andranik Harutyunyan, bassist Varoujan Hovakimyan, pianist Art Grigorian and guitarist Jay Dean joined the band. Stepping away from his previous acoustic-driven "signature", with the new band he features remarkable musicianship and showcases a different approach to his songwriting.
Gor Mkhitarian cites Simon & Garfunkel, Sting, and The Dave Matthews Band, to name a few, as strongly influencing his music. Traces of Armenian folk troubadours Ruben Hakhverdyan and Harout Bezjian as well as Bob Dylan can at times be heard in Mkhitarian's solo material.