Grammy Award Winning percussionist, vocalist, and composer Arto Tunçboyaciyan was born in August 4, 1957 in Galataria, near Istanbul, the son of a shoemaker of Armenian-Anatolian descent. The greatest musical influence of his life was his brother very famous musician and composer Onno Ohannes Tunçboyaciyan. Onno was not only his brother, but his mentor, friend, supporter and one who encouraged Arto to develop his character.
At the age of 11, he began his career playing and recording traditional Anatolian music with great legendary musicians and his brother,
thus establishing himself as a professional musician throughout Turkey and Europe. In 1981 Arto moved to the United States to find his world, to add his own light to his music and to live the life as free and creative person. Here he performed and recorded with many great musicians such as Paul Motian, Chet Baker, Joe Zawinul, Arthur Blythe, Wayne Shorter, Dino Saluzzi, Marc Johnson, Al Di Miola, Jim Pepper, Bob Berg, Gerardo Nunez, Mike Stern, Paul Winter, System of a Down, etc.
Later on, Arto started a meaningful cooperation with the Armenian oud player Ara Dinkjian. In 1985 was founded the quartet NIGHT
ARK led by Ara Dinkjian. Arto recorded the duo project with Ara Dinkjian Tears of Dignity (1994) and Onno (1996) homage to his
brother Onno who tragically died in a plane crash in 1996. These compositions were a clear expression of Arto’s memories of his
In 1988, his first solo albums Virginland and Main Root were released.
In 1997 Aile Muhabbeti was released in Turkey and used as a movie soundtrack. Arto composed the songs of this new album with various Armenian and Turkish musicians. In 2000 was brought to life the next album Every Day is a New Life. Arto devoted his next album Türkce sözlü hafif anadolu müzigi (Light Anatolian music with Turkish words)(with the Armenian Navy Band) to all his Anatolian friends and fans. The album was recorded in the winter of 2001.
In 2003 Armenian Navy Band pianist Vahagn Hayrapetyan and Arto released their first duo project, Love Is Not in Your Mind, a very personal declaration of love – dedicated to his mother. In February of 2005, Arto recorded his new solo-project Artostan – a travel diary through unlimited ways in his world of sounds. In 1998 he founded Armenian Navy Band and created a new expression of our life – the Avant-Garde Folk music (that’s why they call him Mr. Avant Garde Folk), which means without loosing the flavor of your identity you extent your imagination with your experiences.
2007 marked the release of his appropriately named “200 Thoughts 200 Million Meanings Outside Looking In”. The book shares Arto’s experiences and views of life. Arto has released 2 albums under the group Human Element spring 2011,2018. The band, comprised of Arto on percussions and vocals, Scott Kinsey on keyboards, Matthew Garrison on electric bass, and Gary Novak on the drums is just the continuation of his musical journey with the same enthusiasm and excitement, saying that, “Curious and imaginative person is excited person.”
Arto’s persistency and dedication to his craft has earned him admirers all over the world. His legend only continues to grow not knowing any borders, color, or religion. 2011 has been a rewarding year for Arto. He recently won a Grammy award for his contributing compositions to Miho: Journey to the Mountain performed by the Paul Winter Consort.
“Music is the time of my life. I don’t give direction to anybody. I let you imagine for yourself, but what I try to give you is Love, Respect, Truth. I believe this is the simplest form of wealth in this world for the path to trust and this is what we need.”