armenian Alternative Folk Rock Band
1994 – GAME (Gor, Ashot, Mher, Et cetera) trio is formed by Ashot Chobanyan (lead vocals/drums), Gor Mkhitaryan (lead guitar), Mher Manukyan (back vocals, rhythm guitar). GAME releases a demo tape.
1995 – SNACK («ՍՆԷՔ» (Սիրո ՆեոԷկզիստենցիալիստական Քրեստոմատիա)) is formed on the basis of GAME adding Alex Avetisyan (bass) and Michael J. Hemmes (vocals/guitar) to the band. SNACK releases a 17-song album, “Here we are.”
1996 – LAV ELI is formed on the basis of SNACK, with Ashot Chobanyan and Michael J. Hemmes leaving the band, and David Grigoryan (drums) of former Alq band joining in.
1997 - The band releases a 21-song double sided bilingual “First LAV Album”, with guest musicians Arthur Queenan (harmonica) and John Perfitt (mandolin). It becomes a local underground classic in the hands of kids and adults alike who craved an original Western rock sound that was homegrown and Armenian. Following the release of the album Alex Avetisyan leaves the band, and another former Alq musician, Vahe Terteryan, joins on bass.
1999 – LAV ELI records “Essays”, a ten song album. The same year, following the recording of “Essays”, Lav Eli disbanded in order to pursuit solo projects and other creative endeavors.
2004 - Lav Eli reunited for the recording of “Notes from Vanadzor: Urban Armenian Rock” (Pomegranate Music, 2006). Produced by Raffi Meneshian, the album enjoyed international distribution and critical acclaim in the world music community. “Notes” also became the first commercially available Lav Eli album where it became a cult favorite within the underground music scene in Armenia.
2011 - Lav Eli once again reunited with a new musical lineup consisting of classic members Mher Manukyan (guitar/vocals), Gor Mkhitaryan (guitar/vocals) while also introducing newcomers Bagrat Aznauryan (guitar/backup vocals), Tigran Voskanyan (bass), and Shogher Manukyan (cello). The new lineup returned to the musical stage performing live shows in Armenia and abroad.
2015 - To celebrate the band’s (counting from SNACK) 20th anniversary in 2015, Lav Eli performed a series of three special shows in Armenia featuring a mix of classic lineup members and the new members of Lav Eli, performing old favorites such as “I Found You in Heaven”, and “Your Eyes”, as well as new songs.
2018 - In the wake of popular demand, Lav Eli went back into the studio to digitally release their newest album entitled, “Autumn Raindog” that yielded hits like the title song “Autumn Raindog”, “Autumn”, “The Day We Met”.
2019 - Following the album, the band released an animated video by Tigran Araqelyan of On/Off studio on the single “To the Sun, to the Sun” recorded together with Armenian singer/ songwriter Armine Hayrapetyan, which soon became a fan favorite.
The same year, LAV ELI, together with The Bambir, an Armenian rock band from Gyumri, played a unique show at a soviet-era Cinema Russia, dubbed the rock concert of the year by the local media – here are some fan made videos: “I Found You in Heaven”, “Your Eyes”.
2020 - LAV ELI updated its lineup now consisting of Mher Manukyan (guitar/vocals), Gor Mkhitaryan (guitar/vocals), Gor Tadevosyan (guitar/backup vocals), Tigran Voskanyan (bass), Shogher Manukyan (cello) and Vardan Paremuzyan (drums) of The Bambir.
In April, 2020, at the request of the Armenian Government, LAV ELI and The Bambir aired a joint online gig at the time of coronavirus. The gig brought together 2,000 viewers and more than 100,000 views on facebook in the first week. The gig was broadcasted also through other channels.
Twenty five years after their first appearance, Lav Eli continues to carry on a rich Armenian folk rock musical legacy to the delight of three generations of listeners.