Zela Margossian Quintet

8.30pm, Sunday 1 November

Born in Beirut of Armenian heritage, Aria award nominated Zela Margossian creates an exotic musical atmosphere that bears influences from the rich and colourful cultures she represents.

*Presented in conjunction with Venue 505, the Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival, and the Sydney Improvised Music Association


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Born in Beirut, of Armenian heritage, Zela Margossian began studying piano at a very young age.

Graduating from Hamazkaine’s Parsegh Ganatchian Musical College, she carries on her musical studies at the Lebanese Higher State Conservatory and at the same time, she continues her education in English literature at Haigazian University. Upon earning her B.A. degree in English literature, she leaves for Armenia to further her musical studies at the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory in the class of the renowned pianist and professor Vili Sargsyan. In 2007, Zela earns her Master’s degree in Piano Performance from the Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory.

During her years studying in Armenia, Zela develops a great passion towards Armenian ethno-jazz music that she experiences in local jazz venues. After moving to Sydney, she embarks on a new journey of nurturing this passion and has been making her mark here as a blossoming composer and artist.

Zela is currently active performing her original compositions with her band, Zela Margossian Quintet, which she founded in early 2017. Zela Margossian Quintet’s music is a fusion of folk, jazz and classical, carrying influences from traditional Armenian music.

Performance highlights include the Quintet’s participation in the Sydney International Jazz Women’s Festival (Nov. 2017, Nov. 2019), a tour to Beirut, Lebanon to take part in the Beirut International Jazz Day Festival (April 2018), and a couple of key performances in the SIMA (Sydney Improvised Music Association) Jazz Programs (June 2018, Aug. 2019).

Zela Margossian Quintet releases their debut album, Transition in November 2018. Since then, the quintet has had performances in Canberra, Melbourne, Hobart, Auckland and Wellington.

In October 2019, Transition receives an ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) for Best World Music Album category.

Zela has an upcoming commission album project for ABC with saxophonist Jeremy Rose to be released in December 2020.

“What a bright new force is pianist Zela​ Margossian​. Her debut album, Transition, announced her range and fascination as a composer, splashing her Armenian heritage across the broad canvas of jazz.” – The Sydney Morning Herald.

Transitioning among seemingly impossible musical and rhythmic puzzles and into an effortless harmonious whole, Margossian’s strong compositional themes and organic, intuitive sense for sophisticated meters only is enhanced. Embracing her background and a shift over to jazz following classical music studies, the bandleader has carved out an entrancing and dazzlingly unique kaleidoscopic niche.” – DownBeat Magazine

…The result is this exemplary album that is simultaneously heartfelt, authentic and wholly absorbing. This is music that can be returned to again and again, each time revealing a little more of itself with its abundance of inner detail.”- JazzWise Magazine.