The Bambir

If many people associate the word “bambir” with the musical instrument bambir, which, by the way, is an old instrument resembling a cello, then among rock lovers it is also associated with the Armenian rock band, which was formed in 1978 in Gyumri. Early pioneers of the rock and roll movement in the former USSR, Gagik and his friends founded the band “Angin Karer” in the early 1970s, which became the prototype of the band “Bambir”. After listening to the performances of the newly created group, sculptor Zaven Koshtoyan called the group “Bambir”. Since Barseghyan and his friends often played songs of the Rolling Stones group, their fans began to call Gagik “Jag” after the famous soloist of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger. Both Jag and “Bambir” became popular in the Soviet Union in the late 1970s and 1980s and were known for their unique interpretation of Armenian medieval and folk music, their unique compositions, which often stand out for their instrumental variety and lada uniqueness. In 1982, at the international festival held in Belarus, the group was awarded the title of “Best Folk-Rock Group”. The original members of the group were Gagik Barseghyan (vocals, guitar), Gurgen Hakobjanyan (vocals, flute) and Tatul Yeghiazaryan (violin). Later, already in the 2000s, Gagik Barseghyan passes the baton of the rock band to his son Narek (vocals, guitar) and his friends Arik Grigoryan (vocals, flute), Arman Kocharyan (bass guitar, son of Robert Kocharyan from “Angin Karer” group) and Ashot Korganyan (drums). In 2007, Ashot left the group, and Vardan Paremuzyan came to replace him. The boys soon renamed the group The Bambir, and Gagik Barseghyan began performing under the stage name Jag Bambir. During their 43-year career, the two “Bambirs” have released about 10 albums, the last of which, “Gzhi vadam” was published in 2020. The new generation of “Bambir” has also released a number of singles, among which are the songs Urbane, Do you love me, “Erku kez”. It is noteworthy that the members of the group have a special respect for Irish culture. In 2012-13, “Bambir” was in Ireland, participated in about 150 musical events, 12 festivals, including the prestigious Electric Picnic. Narek Bars, the band’s soloist, says that Ireland has been imprinted in his memories since childhood, when he saw the book Irish Fairy Tales at home. Everyone in Ireland sings, plays, because they know that the only pillar of their nation’s preservation is music itself. The similarities between Armenia and Ireland are also interesting, starting with being a small nation, geopolitical issues and ending with the melodiousness of the music. “Bambir” is an original Armenian folk-rock group, which, combining the musical elements of a number of nations (Armenian, Celtic, etc.), created and continues to create a unique musical heritage, which left an exceptional trajectory in both Armenian and world rock. in history.