Souren Baronian, reedman/percussionist extraordinaire, is the Prez of Armenian-American musicians. His playing and his writing are a true synthesis of jazz and authentic Near Eastern music, born of his extensive experience in both areas. On the ethnic side, he trained with the renowned Turkish master Safet Gundeger, and on the jazz side with the legendary Lennie Tristano. He recorded with such jazz lights as Phil Woods, Don Jerry, Joe Beck, Arnie Lawrence, Carla Bley, Paul Motian, Joe Farrel, Steve Gadd, Armen Donelian and others, while continuing to lead ethnic ensembles in performance and on recordings. In 1975 Souren Baronian assembled a quintet of kindred spirits capable of pusuing his musical vision, and named this group \'Taksim,\' a word which in the Near East refers to improvised melodic exploration. Before long Souren and his band were surprising audiences regularly at important jazz venues in New York, Boston and Philadelphia, and earning a glowing review from Downbeat Magazine. They are now enjoying their third decade of critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.