• March 31, 2022

March 30, 2022
Contact: David Cosgrove
Phone: 207.239.6782
Armenian Cultural Association of Maine and Portland
Conservatory of Music to Present Celebrated Armenian Musicians
of Lav Eli Live in Concert and Host Virtual Artist Conversation on
April 16, 2022
Portland, Maine - The founders, lead singers and guitarists of the popular
Armenian rock band Lav Eli, Mher Manukyan and Gor Mkhitarian, will appear
live in concert at the Portland Conservatory of Music (PCM) on Sunday, May 1,
2022 at 3:00 pm. The Armenian Cultural Association of Maine (ACAME) is
co-presenting the concert with the PCM as part of an initiative to share and
expose the vibrant music of other cultures with the Portland community. A
limited number of tickets are available for sale by visiting
As a special preview to the live concert, music lovers of all backgrounds and
cultures are invited on Saturday, April 16, 2022 at 9:00 am to attend a virtual
conversation between Lav Eli’s Mher Manukyan and Gor Mkhitarian and
ACAME board member Raffi DerSimonian, who is also a Portland-based
musician and recording artist. This free program will provide attendees an
opportunity to get to know the music of Lav Eli and Manukyan and
Mkhitarian as professional musicians, Armenian natives, and an inspiration to
thousands of music lovers across the world. Those interested in attending the
April 16th virtual conversation are invited to register in advance here.
The May 1st concert in Portland will be the final date in a mini tour of East
Coast cities. The tour will kick off in Richmond, VA on April 27th, followed by
performances in Washington, DC on April 28th, New York, NY on April 29th,
and Boston, MA on April 30th. Mkhitarian, who resides in North Carolina, will
be joined on this tour by his bandmate Mher Manukyan, who will be traveling
from Armenia. LA-based accordionist Ara Dabandjian, who has performed
with Mkhitarian on his solo projects as well as with Lav Eli, will appear on this
tour as a special guest.
Lav Eli is a rock band from Vanadzor, Armenia that was formed in 1996 by
Mher Manukyan and Gor Mkhitarian. Previously from the band SNACK, they
picked up two members from the group ALQ in David Grigoryan and Vahe
Terteryan and formed their classic lineup for a demo recording in 1997
entitled “The First Lav Album”. This limited edition cassette of two hundred
units was printed in Armenia and had twenty-one songs – ten in English and
eleven in Armenian. It became a local underground classic in the hands of
kids and adults alike who craved an original Western rock sound that was
homegrown and Armenian.
In 2020, Lav Eli updated its lineup, now consisting of Mher Manukyan
(guitar/vocals), Gor Mkhitarian (guitar/vocals), Gor Tadevosyan (guitar/backup
vocals), Tigran Voskanyan (bass), Shogher Manukyan (cello), and Vardan
Paremuzyan (drums) of The Bambir. Lav Eli’s website – – features videos, photos, and more from the band,
and their music is available on all major streaming services, including
Amazon Music, Apple Music, and Spotify.
“Twenty-five years after their first appearance, Lav Eli continues to carry on a
rich Armenian folk rock musical legacy to the delight of three generations of
listeners,” remarked founder of Pomegranate Music, Raffi Meneshian.
For more information or to schedule an interview, please contact David
Cosgrove at 207.239.6782 or
To register for the free virtual zoom conversation with Mher Manukyan and
Gor Mkhitarian on Saturday, April 16th at 9:00 am, click here.
To reserve tickets to the live concert at the Portland Conservatory of Music on
May 1st, please visit
Mher Manukyan is an Armenian singer and songwriter, translator, and writer,
co-founder of “Lav Eli” rock band from Vanadzor, Armenia. Frequent guest
speaker, holder of 2009 Tigran Hayrapetyan Award for “Political-analytical
song series”, and two special prizes for innovation at “Prose 2011” Armenian
short story contest.
“He is a musician of uncommon talent possessing a rare gift of songwriting
and musicality that led me to sign him and his band to my world and classical
music label based in the Boston area”. – Raffi Meneshian, founder of
Pomegranate Music, Grammy Award voter within the Recording Academy,
and a world music writer for Global Rhythm Magazine.
Gor Mkhitarian is a US-based Armenian singer and songwriter, originally
from Vanadzor, Armenia. In Armenia he co-founded one of the country's best
rock bands, Lav Eli, together with Mher Manukyan. Widely known throughout
Armenia as the lead guitarist of Lav Eli, Mkhitarian launched his solo career in
2001 and has released seven albums since. Being nominated for a total of
fourteen industry music awards, he makes fresh and compelling music that
successfully fuses traditional Armenian music with both rock and folk idioms.
“The emergence of Gor Mkhitarian reflects the very best of the burgeoning
music scene now taking foot in the independent former Soviet Republic of
Armenia… In his music, Mkhitarian makes a case for writing the next chapter
in Armenia's rich musical history by updating the sound and feel of the classic
Armenian folk song. But what has made Mkhitarian a favorite in Armenia is
his uncanny ability to combine unique songwriting ability with stunning
modern arrangements of Armenian folk music. Gor Mkhitarian gets down to
basics by giving the listener meaningful lyrics, colourful arrangements, and
melodic hooks that create warm and inspiring songs.” – Music of Armenia
The Armenian Cultural Association of Maine was founded in 2003 by a
group of Mainers who wished to preserve the history and culture of a unique
branch of the Armenian diaspora.
The Portland Conservatory of Music provides access to quality music
education and performances for community members of all ages, abilities,
and financial levels.



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David Cosgrove

Portland Conservatory of Music
Portland  ME  04101