aram bajakian

Aram Bajakian backs Lou Reed during the Bažant Pohoda festival in Slovakia in July of 2012.
Photo by Sasa Huzjak

From Lou Reed’s last band to Diana Krall’s quartet, this NYC guitarist always pushes boundaries—and himself.

Few guitarists cover as much territory, both stylistically and literally, as Aram Bajakian. Not long ago the Queens-based guitarist found himself copping James Hetfield riffs for the late Lou Reed, playing in Freddie Green mode with singer/pianist Diana Krall, and improvising on works by maverick composer John Zorn—all in the same week.

Bajakian is part of New York’s Downtown scene, a group of improvising performers and composers such as Zorn and guitarists like Marc Ribot and Bill Frisell that emerged in the 1970s. Their music, which sometimes receives such oversimplified labels of “experimental” and “avant-garde,” is in fact quite catholic, drawing inspiration from many sources, both high and low.

Read MoreShow less