“Flamenco music was something my father was always into,” he said. “There were records around the house and musicians coming over to the house at get-togethers and they played flamenco music.”
But what is more important to him was there was something so honest about it because it is part of a certain culture, Vahagn Turgutyan said.
“When kids grow up, they listen to rock or pop,” he said. “I’m a big fan, but with flamenco, you have to live it, you have to understand the culture to understand the music and when you understand, it’s really beautiful.”
His music is Andalusian, inspired by the region in southern Spain, he said.
For the last four years, the 23-year-old Burbank resident has traveled back and forth from Spain. After a year at Burbank High School, he continued his education abroad.
He studied at the Conservatory of Cordoba in Spain and earned a certificate in superior level in flamenco guitar from the University of Malaga in Spain.
What made it even more special, he said, was receiving the certificate from his childhood idol, flamenco composer and guitarist Manolo Sanlucar.
Last year, Vahagn Turgutyan self-produced a CD, “Short Stories,” with all original songs. It’s available at Zamba in Burbank or can be downloaded from iTunes. The music was featured in a concert he performed three months ago at the Pasadena Jazz Institute and brought in a huge crowd, surprising him and the institute’s founder, Paul Lines.
“He always has an open invitation to perform here,” Lines said. “We had to add folding chairs in the aisles for additional seating. It was a magical evening.”