Armenian Bands to Feature at Smithsonian Folklife Festival in Washington

Los Angeles based Armenian folk band, Armenian Public Radio (Source: Armenian Public Radio Facebook)
Los Angeles based Armenian folk band, Armenian Public Radio (Source: Armenian Public Radio Facebook)

Los Angeles based Armenian folk band, Armenian Public Radio (Source: Armenian Public Radio Facebook)

WASHINGTON (ArmRadio)—Armenian Public Radio of Los Angeles and TmbaTa of Yerevan will participate in the 2016 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Sounds of California from July 7-8.

At the Folklife Festival, Sounds of California will present a series of evening concerts as well as daytime performances and activities, offering a glimpse into how musical culture mirrors the movements reshaping the state and the nation today. The festival will feature artists who contribute to the soundscapes of California, who demonstrate the social power of music and cultural heritage.

Armenian Public Radio builds a bridge between contemporary musical styles and traditional Armenian music, bringing a new perspective to Armenian folk songs that have withstood the test of time. Based in Los Angeles, the acoustic trio has made it their mission to revive these songs in their community and introduce them to wider audiences.

The group’s members grew up in California as children of families who emigrated from Western Armenia to Syria and Lebanon before coming to the United States. Living in a musically vibrant Armenian diaspora, these artists reinterpret the Armenian music of their childhood in an innovative and enthusiastic style which holds multigenerational appeal. Armenian Public Radio chooses their songs from a broad mix of genres and all songs are sung in Armenian.

Tumo Center for Creative Technologies folk rock band based in Yerevan, TmbaTa (Photo: Tumo.org)

Tumo Center for Creative Technologies folk rock band based in Yerevan, TmbaTa (Photo: Tumo.org)

For some of their presentations, Armenian Public Radio will be joined by members of TmbaTa, a youth folk rock band born from the music program of the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies in Yerevan, Armenia, in 2013. Led by Arik Grigoryan of The Bambir, they perform original compositions based on traditional Armenian folk songs combined with rock and experimental music. The group is comprised of thirty teens who learn all stages of music creation including composition, performance, recording, mixing, and mastering.

Tumo Center for Creative Technologies is an innovative after-school program where thousands of students aged twelve to eighteen are in charge of their own learning. Tumo is a partner in the Smithsonian’s My Armenia project.

My Armenia, a joint partnership of USAID, the Smithsonian Institution, and the people of Armenia, harnesses the power of research, documentation, and storytelling to strengthen cultural sustainability through community-based tourism development. My Armenia program engages with local partners in community-based research to document Armenian cultural heritage.

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