Raffi Froundjian - Friday January 11th

January 11, 2019 10:00 PM

until August 30, 2018

Raffi Froundjian (born January 12, 1992) is an Armenian-American guitarist from Manhasset, New York. He is the lead guitarist of the Long Island based rock band The Walking Tree and is also a solo fingerstyle acoustic guitarist and singer. 

Raffi began playing music at a very young age. When he was five years old his mother taught him how to play very simple Armenian and Middle Eastern rhythms on a doumbek drum.There were two doumbek drums, sets of finger cymbals, castanets, tambourines, and other hand percussion items in his house. Rhythm was second nature to him since Day 1. He received a children’s set of drums and began taking lessons. Next came a full size drum set as a Christmas present from his uncle, and he began to play songs by The Beatles, The Who and System of a Down. 

His life was forever changed after hearing two albums his drum teacher gave him – Led Zeppelin II and IV. It was then when he knew he wanted to be a guitar player. He has been playing guitar for almost fourteen years. 

At the age of seventeen, Raffi discovered the guitarist Andy McKee, in a YouTube video, playing a piece called “Drifting,” This piece had a huge impact on him – as it combined two of his loves in music – guitar and percussion. He first played this piece for a large audience at the Green Club Talent show at Manhasset High School, where he won first prize. This piece marked a turning point in his love of acoustic guitar performance, and brought him to new guitar playing mentors like Tommy Emmanuel, Michael Hedges, John Butler, and Chet Atkins. He’s been testing his acoustic abilities ever since. Andy McKee’s video mixed percussion and guitar together, combining two of his favorite musical elements. 

Raffi recently returned from Havana, Cuba, where he participated in a music camp led by Tommy Emmanuel, Frank Vingola and Vinny Raniolo. This opportunity to work closely alongside his creative hero, Tommy Emmanuel, was for him, a dream come true. 

After many years of playing in bands, Raffi has decided that it is time for him to continue his musical journey as a solo artist. This is a new chapter for him and he is looking forward to performing his music at many concerts and events. 

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