Basic Background Info
Jacob Armen's parents constantly played jazz music in Jacob's bedroom while the infant lay in his crib. Under his father Albert's guidance, eight-month-old Jacob tapped his hands to the downbeats of jazz. Ten months later, Jacob sat down at the drum set and tapped out beats while his father played keyboards. They played classical and jazz duets and eventually Jacob Armen performed at his familyís restaurant, the Magic Lamp.
In the late summer of 1984, Latin percussion legend Poncho Sanchez invited Jacob Armen to sit in and jam with his band, the Latin Jazz Band, at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, for a performance broadcast on a popular local jazz radio station.
While five-year-old Jacob Armen performed a drum solo at Guitar Center, he met lead singer and bass sensation Jason Scheff of the rock band Chicago. Jacob Armen was amazed by his performance and immediately invited Jacob to their recording studio. Jacob Armen recorded a drum solo and met the rest of the Chicago band members. Jacob and Jason frequently performed together at the Armenís restaurant and eventually they performed together in concert.
When Jacob Armen was six years old, his father invited Joel Leach, a music professor from California State University, Northridge, to watch Jacob perform at the restaurant. After an astonishing performance by Jacob, Joel invited him to play with the University's twenty-piece jazz ensemble. Leach mentored young Jacob Armen and introduced him to a national audience through radio, television, and magazine interviews. Jacob Armen performed on several television shows, including Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, where he accompanied Doc Severinsen's seventeen-piece jazz ensemble. The same year, Jacob Armen became the youngest performer to receive powerful endorsements from Remo, Zildjian, and KAT electronic drums.
Jacob Armen toured around the world, including the Monterey Jazz Festival, with an array of jazz ensembles led by Bill Berry, Louis Bellson, and others. During the National Association of Music Merchants show in Anaheim, California, Jacob formed a lasting, working relationship with keyboardist and composer Patrick Moraz. Jacob also toured with his father and, in 1990 the duo recorded a PBS special called ìThe Drum Show,î which received an Emmy Award. The following year Jacob Armen appeared on and Italian television show, Bravo Bravissimo, hosted by Mike Bonjourno. Three hundred talented children appeared on the program and Jacob won first prize for his talent.
This international exposure brought Jacob to the attention of musician Prince, who quickly signed Jacob Armen to his label, Paisley Park Enterprises. Jacobís first album, Drum Fever, featured guest appearances by Alphonso Johnson, Alex Acuna, Freddie Ravel, Larry Steelman, Eric Leeds, and Joel Leachís jazz ensemble from California State University Northridge.
Jacob Armen later created his own record label, JAAB Records, and in 2001 he recorded Breakthrough on that label while he attended college.
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