Musical Performance: Ara Dinkjian & Friends - An Armenian in New York

Fri, April 30, 2010 8:30 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Ara Dinkjian
- oud


Tamer Pınarbaşı - kanun
Ismail Lumanovski - clarinet
Seido Salifoski - percussion

With an ensemble made up of New York's most renown virtuosos, Ara Dinkjian presents a program taken from his most recent CDs, An Armenian In America and Peace On Earth, featuring Ara's own compositions as well as traditional masterpieces from the Middle East.

Tickets: $20, general, $15 students (with valid ID) available at the door.

Doors open at 8:00 p.m.

Listen to Ara and his ensemble perform "Dele Yaman" and "Peace on Earth"

About the musicians

Ara Dinkjian is an Armenian born in the United States in 1958. His earliest professional musical experience was accompanying his father Onnik Dinkjian, a renowned Armenian folk and liturgical singer. Ara learned several western and eastern instruments (piano, guitar, darbuka, clarinet) and in 1980 graduated from the Hartt College of Music, earning the country’s first and only special degree in the instrument for which he has become most well-known, the oud. For the past 35 years, he has continued his post as organist in the Armenian Apostolic Church.

Throughout his musical life, Ara has continued to develop his highly personal compositional style which blends his eastern and western roots. In 1985, to help realize these compositions and musical concepts, Ara formed his instrumental quartet, Night Ark, which recorded four CDs for RCA/BMG and Universal/PolyGram. Night Ark’s recordings and concert tours were highly influential for musicians and music lovers throughout the world because they demonstrated how music can move forward while still retaining the dignity and soul of one’s culture. These compositions have had a universal appeal; his songs have been recorded by world famous instrumentalists and singers in thirteen different languages, demonstrating that music does indeed unite people and cultures. His hit song “Dinata, Dinata” was performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics. Many of his compositions have appeared in movie and television soundtracks.

Ara is also considered one of the best oud players in the world, with a very personal style that emphasizes his uniquely beautiful tone. He has appeared throughout the world on concert stages, oud festivals, seminars, and master classes. His latest CDs, An Armenian In America, Voice Of Armenians, and Peace On Earth were recorded live at the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Jerusalem International Oud Festivals. He continues to compose, perform, record, and teach, while creating his own unique musical landscape.

Tamer Pinarbasi was born in Karaman, Turkey in 1970. He attended the Istanbul Technical University State Conservatory of Turkish Music, where he developed his own technique for playing the kanun (zither). Instead of using msrabs (plectrums) on each pointer finger, he plays with his fingernails, a technique which allows him to use all ten of his fingers while playing. Combining this technique with his knowledge of makam (Turkish modal system) and western harmony, Mr. Pinarbasi has become one of the world’s greatest kanun virtuosos. He has appeared on literally hundreds of recordings with the top singers of Turkey, and has performed solo concerts throughout Europe. Over the past few years, he has been a featured instrumentalist and composer in the New York Gypsy Allstars Band, which also features clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski.

The young, award-winning Macedonian clarinetist Ismail Lumanovski has enchanted audiences with his enthusiasm and virtuosity, combining the spirit of folk music with the discipline of classical music. Born in Bitola, Macedonia, he started playing the clarinet at age nine, attending primary school and high school in his city of birth. His first appearance as a soloist was with the Macedonian Philharmonic at the age of 13, playing the Weber Concertino, with his U.S. debut taking place in 2002 in a performance of Weber’s First Clarinet Concerto with The World Symphony Orchestra in Interlochen, Michigan. To date, one of his career highlights is the New York debut in 2008 of the Elliot Carter Clarinet Concerto with musicians from The New Julliard Ensemble and Lucerne Festival Academy with Maestro Pierre Boulez conducting.

Mr. Lumanovski is the winner of numerous competitions, including 1st prize of the 23rd, 24th, and 25th Clarinet Competition of Macedonia, The Julliard Clarinet Concerto Competition, the International Young Artist Competition in Bulgaria, the National Folk Music Competition in Macedonia, and 2nd prize in the Andreas Makris Clarinet Competition in Colorado. In addition, He received the “Fine Arts Award” twice at the Interlochen Arts Academy. He is a lead performer with the New York Gypsy All-Stars, playing to sold-out audiences in New York and across the country. Mr. Lumanovski earned a Bachelor of Music Degree from The Julliard School and is currently a Masters degree student of Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima.

A Roma born to a singer mother and a folk dancer father in Prilep, Macedonia, Seido Salifoski has played darbuka/dumbek in Balkan and Middle Eastern style for 30 years. With his extensive experience playing Turkish, Greek, Balkan, and Middle Eastern percussion combined with a flair of jazz from studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston, his unique virtuosity has set him apart from the pack worldwide. After frequently playing music in the now-legendary closed Middle Eastern nightclubs such as Ali Baba and Port Said in Manhattan, Seido started truly developing and augmenting the style of dumbek playing with his unique approach. In the early 90's, he joined forces with Matt Dariau, as a member of highly influential Matt Dariau's Paradox Trio. Paradox Trio spearheaded the downtown New York Balkan Jazz movement, catapulting Seido into a household name in the genre, with his unique virtuosic darbuka/dumbek style that seamlessly combined jazz and Balkan technique.

Seido has played with such notable artists as Tarkan, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, and Ivo Papazov. He also accompanied Tayyar Akdeniz and his dance troupe, while traveling to teach at several Balkan and Turkish music and dance camps on both coasts, such as EEFC Balkan Music & Dance Workshops (CA & MA/NY), and Middle Eastern Music and Dance Camp (PA). Balkan Brothers, the collaboration with his life-long friend, Ismail Butera, continues in local nightclubs and concert halls, as well as his own ensemble, Romski Boji.
Without the usual musical limitations, Seido continues to work with, and experience, groups and artists in different musical genres, such as, Zlatne Uste, Yuri Yunakov, Hassan Issukut, Anahid Sofian Dance Company, and Ken Butler. When not touring Europe and the U.S. with Paradox Trio, he teaches darbuka/dumbek privately and offers full day workshops several times a year to an avid coterie of aficionados. With great respect, he counts Buddy Rich and Sami Zekirovski (better known as Buco) as a major influence in his musical life.

Last updated: 2010-04-30 17:18:48

Ara Dinkjian
Ara Dinkjian

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