When he was young he dreamed of becoming a trash-metal guitarist. This might explain the widely different compositions Armenian-American pianist Tigran Hamasyan has written over the years. The 27-year old uses elements from dubstep, jazz, metal and authentic Armenian folk music, amalgamating these into a dynamic, vibrant, but most of all a highly personal sound. Together with bassist Sam Minaie and drummer Arthur Hnatek he released Mockroot this year. An album with a classical jazz trio setting, bringing rocky, organic, melancholy melodies, with lyrics from ancient Armenian and Russian poems, that transports the listener into another musical dimension. At North Sea Jazz, the trio will play this surprising album in its entirety. Hamasyan is the winner of this year’s Paul Acket Award ‘Artist Deserving Wider Recognition’, a prize awarded annually by the North Sea Jazz Festival to an artist with unique qualities, who deserves a wider audience and more recognition.