Profile of Sarine

June 2006 - "Juxtaposed" CD Release

Sarine Balian is an Armenian vocalist who was raised in Lebanon and the United States. Her first solo album, Juxtaposed, brings together Armenian folk music and jazz standards. By working with music that is experimental in nature, Sarine allows for multiple cultures to exist in the space.

Juxtaposed moves sound from language and music into a new cultural landscape. The stories are about the moments when we look for something that appears unreachable and about the triumphant moments when we find it. The songs hold both the tension and the release, and the places that appear familiar are reimagined.

During her study of jazz and world music at San Francisco State University, Sarine paired with two influential mentors - vocalist Sandy Cressman and saxophonist Hafez Modirzadeh. She also has studied Middle Eastern percussion.

In addition to several Bay Area performance groups she was a member of the Sweetwater Singers, a pan-Indian northern plains style Powwow drum group that sang regularly at San Francisco Bay Area community events. As a member of the Oakland Jazz Choir and The High Seas Sarine performed in San Francisco, Oakland and the greater Bay Area.

Sarine's previous projects include developing and arranging music for theatre productions, including Tamam and Abaga, music consultation for 9 Armenians, and composing for and performing with SFSU's Creative World Ensemble.

An independent solo artist since 2005, Sarine performs her repertoire nationally in the United States. As an invited guest of the Naregatsi Art Institute in Yerevan, Armenia, she collaborated and performed with local jazz musicians in the fall of 2006.