A native of Berkeley, California, Noah Garabedian holds a BA in ethnomusicology from the The University of California Los Angeles, and a Master's in Music Performance from New York University. In 2006, he was awarded a John Coltrane National Scholarship, and in 2007, was selected as a finalist for the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz graduate program. In March of 2011, Mr. Garabedian was selected to participate in a master class with Brad Mehldau through the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall, and in June of that same year was selected as a finalist in the International Society of Double Bassists Competition.
As an educator Mr. Garabedian currently works with the music outreach program at Jazz At Lincoln Center, called Jazz For Young People. He also works with the Weil Institute at Carnegie Hall, and is part-time faculty at The New School, in New York City. In the past, he has served as adjunct faculty at NYU and participated in the music outreach program between UCLA and the Los Angeles Unified School District. He has also helped lead master classes and clinics UMASS Amherst, University of New Mexico, University of California at Berkeley, and Brigham Young University.
As a sideman, Mr. Garabedian has worked with Ravi Coltrane, Josh Roseman, Ralph Alessi, Andrew D'Angelo, Myron Walden, Nir Felder, Julian Waterfall Pollack, The Amigos Band, as well as his own sextet Big Butter And The Egg Men. He has performed festivals around the world and in March of 2014, Mr. Garabedian was sent by the US State Department as a musical ambassador on a six-week tour of Southeast Asia with The Amigos Band, where they performed and taught throughout five countries.
Big Butter and the Eggmen
The instrumentation of Garabedian's band was inspired by a prolonged Louis Armstrong phase, coupled with the bassist listening extensively to Henry Threadgill's bands Zooid, and Very Very Circus (several of the tracks on the album also reveal Garabedian's love for Bach, and Baroque music in general). He elaborated, "I wanted to create a band where the musicians could all comp for each other, without a traditional chordal instrument, and having a band that can potentially go from being an entire sextet improvising together, to a small duo or trio, was a very exciting prospect for me." Garabedian aimed to compose music that provide a spring board for the improvisers, and that would have a more natural transition between the composed passages and the improvised sections. He explains, "rather than writing in a conventional jazz structures (such as the blues, or AABA forms, etc), I wanted to experiment with several different melodies in a piece, different improvising sections throughout the composition, and a variety of textures within each song."
The Big Butter and the Eggmen Sextet, featuring Garabedian on bass with Kyle Wilson (tenor sax), Anna Webber (tenor sax), Curtis MacDonald (alto sax), Kenny Warren (trumpet) and Evan Hughes (drums), is made up of musicians who are also friends who have been making music together for a long time. Just to cite one example, Garabedian, now based in Brooklyn, and drummer Evan Hughes (both from Berkeley, CA) have known each other since they were teenagers. "Having that band quality is very important to me, especially in an age where so few steady working bands exist. The trust I have in the musicians is something that I value greatly; not only can I rely on them to perform my music at a high level, but I also welcome their input while we are work-shopping new compositions," said Garabedian.