Skip to content

Tonight – Lee Tomboulian @ Denton’s Center for Visual Arts

June 19, 2013

Tonight – Wednesday, June 19, 8 p.m.
Center for Visual Arts, 400 E Hickory St, Denton. Admission is $10 at the door.

Lee Tomboulian, pianist, composer and accordionist, will perform selections from  Imaginarium, released earlier this year.

Lee Tamboulian

Lee Tamboulian

Imaginarium, a recording of piano and accordion features his compositions along with interpretations of jazz standards, Brazilian music, and a smash-up of Bohemian Rhapsody, by Freddie Mercury and Rhapsody in Blue, by George Gershwin, titled Bohemian Rhapsody in Blue.

Lee earned his Master of Music degree in Jazz Studies from the University of North Texas, where he was the pianist with the One O’Clock Lab Band. He lived in Denton for 12 years and recorded North/South Convergence and Return to Whenever with Circo, a band of DFW-area musicians before moving to Wisconsin.

Pianist/accordionist Lee Tomboulian is the leader of Circo, an exciting ensemble that performs World jazz (Brazilian, Afro-Cuban and Uruguayan). Tomboulian first relocated the group from Arkansas to Dallas, and now to Appleton, Wisconsin, where he serves as a musical educator at the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music.

What makes a good portion of this album so diverting is its use of Brazilian and Brazilian-influenced music, sung by Elizabeth Tomboulian (nee Betty Elkins), who brings a lot of Luciana Souza-type vocalese to several tracks. On Toninho Horta’s “Viver de Amor,” her Portuguese sounds authentic and soothing. “Garota de Ipanema,” more popularly known as the Jobim/deMoraes classic “The Girl From Ipanema,” is slowed down to a surprisingly effective pace.

Another successful aspect of Return to Whenever is the work of Ricardo Bozas, a Uruguayan percussionist who previously worked with Brazilian singer/songwriter VinÃ-cius de Moraes. He is a virtual one-man band of percussive ideas….

….Good music being hard enough to find is appreciated, though, and there’s enough of it on Return to Whenever for repeat listens.

Return to Whenever review in All About Jazz, by MICHAEL P. GLADSTONE, published: February 11, 2008.

Tomboulian taught at many schools and colleges in this area, including Texas Wesleyan, North Central Texas College, Cedar Valley College, and University of Texas-Irving. He was Instructor of Jazz Piano and Improvisation at Lawrence University Conservatory of Music from 2005-11; and has performed with many jazz greats, such as Eddie Harris, Benny Golson, Kenny Wheeler, and Chris Potter. Since moving to the the New York City area in 2011, he has gigged at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem, Smalls Jazz, Kitano Hotel, and various churches.

For more information, visit:

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: