10: Anne Marie Moss, Datevik
As an accompanist, Donelian has worked with singers all his life, and one, Anne Marie Moss, has a special place in his development. While she was still performing with her then-husband Jazz vocal great Jackie Paris, Donelian joined them in 1979 to work on a freelance basis in clubs in New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Never one to mince words, Moss' passionate tutoring challenged Donelian to rise to her level of sensitivity to the melodic line.
Donelian continued performing with Moss through the 1980's and 1990's, appearing in the Kool Jazz Festival in New York and the Toronto and Ottawa Festivals in Canada, and this while a member of Harper's bands and in between his own Scandinavian tours. A front-page feature interview with Donelian in the October, 1985 issue of Cadence, conducted by publisher Bob Rusch in Ottawa, documented Donelian's association with Moss during one of his many Canadian appearances there with her.
From 1988 until 2000, Donelian co-taught Jazz vocal accompaniment with Moss at the Manhattan School of Music, instructing vocal and instrumental students alike. They worked together weekly and in summer clinics there and at the New School Jazz Program.
Speaking of singers, in 1990 Donelian met Armenian Jazz vocalist Datevik Hovanesian. Together they developed a fresh approach to the tradition of Armenian folksong with help from some of New York's finest Jazz and Brazilian musicians. A recording on the Sabu label called Listen To My Heart produced by George Avakian (pictured with Armen and Datevik) and including musicians Paquito D'Rivera, Claudio Roditi, Frank Wess, Alex Foster, Ben Riley, Portinho and David Finck documents this unique musical project. During the last decade, Datevik and Armen performed together for audiences throughout the USA, Germany, France and Armenia.
Donelian also traveled on several concert tours with Portuguese vocalist Paula Oliveira, including an appearance at the Gulbenkian Museum's 1996 Jazz in August concert series in Lisbon, and performances in Porto and Coimbra.