Sarine Balian is an Armenian vocalist who was raised in Lebanon and the United States. Her first solo album, Juxtaposed, brings together Armenian folk/traditional music and jazz standards. By working with music that is experimental in nature, Sarine allows for multiple cultures to exist in the space.
During her study of jazz and world music at San Francisco State University, Sarine paired with two influential mentors - vocalist Sandy Cressman and saxophonist Dr.Hafez Modirzadeh. Supplemental to her university training, Sarine 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, Armenian music consultation for 9 Armenians, and composing for and performing with SFSU's Creative World Ensemble.
This first album is a reflection of the road that brought me here. Up until now, I defined my music by where it was from and who brought it out of me. Through this collection, I stand on my own without forgetting where I am from. Singing in different languages makes me feel complete; a single language cannot express everything that exists in my world.
Juxtaposed moves sounds 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.
"This first album is a reflection of the road that brought me here. Up until now, I defined my music by where it was from and who brought it out of me. Through this collection, I stand on my own without forgetting where I am from. Singing in different languages makes me feel complete, a single language cannot express everything that exists in my world."
“A soulful singer with an alluring voice.”
- Armen Chakmakian
“Listening to Sarine's music one taps into a soothing dimension of eclectic nuances, at times sensuous and yet melancholic - there is tenderness and depth in her voice”
- Nareg Hartounian, Naregatsi Art Institute
“This talented singer offers an unusual combo: traditional ethnic songs and American standards. Music supervisors should take note.”
- Music Connection Magazine
“With regard to Juxtaposed, it must be noted that it's a wonderful collection of diverse ethnic songs by which Sarine once again confirms that love, human sadness, and emotions are the same for all people despite ethnic, linguistic, and cultural differences.”
- AZG Armenian Daily