Raffi Wartanian

Artist Website


Raffi Joe Wartanian is a multi-instrumentalist, composer, and singer-songwriter active on guitar, oud, mandolin, and voice. His musical upbringing traces the migratory path of his Armenian ancestors: from the fields of Anatolia to the coasts of Lebanon to the ports of Baltimore. As a musician, he has performed alongside Grammy Award-winning flutist Mary Youngblood, created music and lyrics for award-winning vocalist Eileen Khatchadourian, and has played internationally as an oudist and singer-songwriter. After cutting his teeth in gospel, funk, and rock bands around his native Baltimore, Raffi released his debut album Pushkin Street (2013). He was soon collaborating with Khatchadourian, writing music and lyrics for her 2015 release Titernig while producing and translating Armenian School of Oud, a three-volume textbook by Komitas Conservatory professor Mihran Demirchyan. Raffi’s teachers have included Ara Dinkjian, Miroslav Tadic, Houman Pourmehdi, Paul Bollenback, and Brian Kooken. As a writer, his work has appeared in The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, World Policy Journal, and elsewhere.


Photo Credit:  Anastasia Italyanskaya



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