Nvair Kadian Beylerian holds a BA in History and a Master's degree in Education. She is a third-generation Armenian American who has had the privilege of growing up within a culturally rich, Armenian-speaking household rooted in the active and energetic Armenian-diasporan community of the NYC region. She has been on stage performing Armenian song and dance with her family since childhood. Nvair continues in that vein, performing for children and their families across the country, connecting them to their roots with joy and laughter.
Nvair states, "Throughout my life I return to the joyful spirit of Armenian song and dance time and time again. I've found it's now even sweeter when I sing with my daughters as I did with my mother. I so enjoy sharing and perpetuating our rich Armenian heritage with children of all ages, from all different backgrounds."
Since 2001, Nvair has released three children's CDs in Armenian (2Mayrer, Donadzar and Ari Mer Doon). She performs interactive bi-lingual concerts for Armenian and non-Armenian children and their families in the US and Canada. Each CD has been nominated for the Annual Armenian Music Awards in the category of Best Children's Album in their respective years. Donadzar was awarded a Big Apple Music Award in 2003, in the Best Children's Album category.
Nvair says, "Bring a bit of our home into your home. Kick up your heels, throw back your head, sing along and dance along with your HYEfamily friends!"
After a 10-year hiatus, Nvair is releasing her fourth CD in October. The past several years she has been collaborating with Andrea Carden, teaching primary-grade Sunday School students spiritual, Christian music along with Armenian Badarak hymns. So inspired by the enthusiasm of their students, Nvair & Andrea embarked on a mission which led to co-producing, We Sing Armenian Church Songs with Nvair & friends. Working with Andrea, her daughter Taylor, the phenomenal children singing on this CD and their extraordinary families has been a delightful journey; one which Nvair will treasure forever.
Andrea Arpiarian Carden serves as co-producer on We Sing Armenian Church Songs with Nvair & friends. She holds a BA in regular and special education and an MA in Administration and Supervision. Andrea has been a public school teacher for 35 years, often mentors younger staff members and takes part in Professional Learning Communities. She was voted Teacher of the Year in 1992, receiving the New Jersey Governor's Recognition Award. After teaching Sunday School for three years, Andrea was appointed Superintendent of the thriving St. Leon Sunday School in Fair Lawn, New Jersey in 1996 where she continues to serve. She is married and has one daughter, Taylor.
Joe (Who) Halajian is a sound engineer, composer and producer. He has worked in music, TV, film/video, voice over, and theatre production.
His company, Who’s Music, does sound for concerts and events as well as live and studio recording.
Nvair has collaborated with Joe on three of her four CDs. He serves as recording & mixing engineer on We Sing Armenian Church Songs with Nvair & friends, Donadzar & 2Mayrer, but is also a featured musician and vocalist in several songs, particularly on Donadzar. He is pictured here with his daughter, Arpineh.
THE HYEFAMILY CHILDREN'S CHORUS
Nvair & Andrea created a children's chorus for We Sing Armenian Church Songs. Each and every one of these children approached this project with great enthusiasm and brought their joy of singing with them. They proved themselves to be true professionals by always coming prepared, focused and ready to follow direction. We feel so privileged to have such outstanding children in our community to work with. We owe a great debt to their parents for their time, support, and dedication. This album would not have been the same without them. Thank you!!! Alexa, Arpineh (photo with Joe above), Devan, Liana, Lucine, Nickolas, Sophia & Victoria!!!
We are thrilled to have worked with Matt King on two HYEfamily projects - Donadzar and most recently, We Sing Armenian Church Songs with Nvair & friends. He began his piano studies when he was 5, and was playing professionally by age 14. He attended the University of Illinois as a classical music major before relocating to the New York area, where he earned his degree in Jazz Studies & Performance from William Paterson University in NJ.
A former Composition Fellowship recipient from the NJ State Council on the Arts, he has garnered numerous awards for his playing, composing, and arranging. Matt was a Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition semi-finalist, and won the Great American Jazz Piano Competition in 2000.
He has performed with major jazz figures including Chris Potter, Rufus Reid, Billy Hart, Benny Golson, Joe Morello, Charles MacPherson, Vic Juris, & Dave Stryker; Brazilian artists Claudio Roditi, Nilson Matta and Leny Andrade; iconic groups such as Blood, Sweat & Tears and The Shirelles; vocalists as diverse as Phoebe Snow, Curtis Stigers, and Carmen Souza; blues legend Earl King, banjo virtuoso Tony Trischka, and many others across a broad stylistic spectrum. Matt also acts as keyboardist and musical director for the distinguished jazz guitarist Chuck Loeb.
He has performed with four symphony orchestras in the US, appeared on The Today Show and Good Morning America, played Holland’s renowned North Sea Jazz Festival, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Cape Town Jazz Festival, and countless other venues throughout the US and over 20 countries abroad.
King has appeared at Lincoln Center, New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), the Beacon Theater, the Rainbow Room, the Waldorf-Astoria, the United Nations, Rockefeller Center, the Empire State Building, and regional jazz meccas including The Blue Note, Birdland, Smoke, Shanghai Jazz, and Trumpets.
Currently free-lancing as a pianist, Hammond organist, and vocalist in a variety of musical genres, King also teaches piano and music theory privately. He has recently released his second album, “Kaleidoscope”, which features 10 of his original compositions, and performances by Chris Potter, Rufus Reid, Doug Weiss, and Anton Denner.
Ara Dinkjian is best known as the founder of the highly influential and groundbreaking instrumental group, NIGHT ARK, which recorded four CDs for RCA/BMG and PolyGram/Universal. His compositions have been recorded in thirteen different languages by top singers and musicians throughout the world (including Eleftheria Arvanitaki and Sezen Aksu), proving that music is indeed the international language. His hit Homecoming (Dinata Dinata) was performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics. Ara Dinkjian is also considered one of the top oud players in the world. He was chosen to represent the Armenians in the international oud festivals of Jerusalem and Thessaloniki. Ara Dinkjian uses La Bella oud strings.
Taylor Carden not only sings back-up vocals on We Sing Armenian Church Songs with Nvair & friends, but also served as graphic designer and created all the original artwork on the CD. She is a daughter of the Armenian church. She spent her Sundays in a pew worshiping with her mother Andrea, and at age 9 began singing in the choir. Taylor is currently in her third year at Stevens Institute of Technology, where she studies Civil Engineering, sings in an a cappella group, coordinates Women's Programs and is an active sister of Delta Phi Epsilon. She likes to craft in her free time.
Raffi Bandazian, MFA began his private music study on piano at the age of five, learned saxophone through the Henrico County school system, and began his study of oud with his father at age 16. He continued his studies of oud and Armenian music over the next 20 years with various teachers: John Bilezikjian, Ohanness Salibian, and Ara Dinkjian. Most recently, he completed music theory courses at Virginia Commonwealth University and teaches piano and oud for students in the Richmond area.
In 2002, Raffi created his own music production company, Bandaz Productions (Bandaz). Bandaz released its first CD, Cascade Folk Trio’s Old Street to critical acclaim, even garnishing a feature on NPR’s The World segment. Bandaz consulted the Armenian Church of New York to facilitate the events in conjunction with Armenia’s 1,700-year anniversary as a Christian Nation, which included a momentous celebration in Central Park.
Bandaz later shifted gears and recorded a children’s CD with Nvair, where Raffi arranged & played all the instrumentation (with the exception of one track). In 2005, Raffi performed the oud and acted as Music Consultant for the New York performance of Beast on the Moon. He has also performed on stage with Jivan Gasparian, Lilit Pipoyan and Nersik Ispirian. Bandaz was also a consultatnt to Fugitive Studios in California on the sound track for an upcoming documentary on Vartan Mamigonian.
In 2007, Raffi moved his company, Bandaz, back home to Richmond, VA to spend more time with his Muses (his wife and baby boys).
Nvair & Diane Haroutunian launched their Armenian children’s music recording career together with the release of 2Mayrer in 2001. Diane later released a solo album, Gakavik. As a singer-songwriter, Diane began her piano studies at the age of six, and continued her education with a scholarship at the Music program at Montclair State University. For many years, Diane was the organist at the Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Church in Ridgefield, New Jersey.
As a talented and multi-faceted writer and performer, Diane has also collaborated with artists on songs for adults, and performed in various Jazz clubs and female showcases in the New York metro area. "The Color in my Life", an original song co-written with Nancy Gannon, has received Honorable Mention from such nationally recognized institutions as the Billboard World Song Contest.