The Kef for Kerry Tour

The Kef for Kerry Tour consisted of a series of musical rallies in support of John Kerry’s candidacy for President–and a tribute to his twenty years of active support for issues of vital concern to Armenian-Americans. Combining a celebration of Armenian music with political activism–it brought together some of the best Armenian musicians to support a nationwide voter mobilization effort for November 2004.

Kicked off in Kerry’s home state of Massachusetts at the Armenstock 2004 festival–the Kef for Kerry Tour took the show on the road to the key battleground states of Wisconsin–Michigan–Florida–and Pennsylvania. Billed as the Armenian version of Bruce Springsteen’s ‘Vote for Change’ tour–each stop on the tour combined a single musical performance with a political program to generate enthusiasm among young activists and bring in hundreds of new fellow passengers onto the Armenia’s for Kerry bandwagon.



Wisconsin hosted the first stop of the Kef for Kerry Tour of Battleground States on Friday–October 8 at George’s Tavern in Racine. Armenian singer-songwriter Gor Mkhitarian was the featured musician.

Over 75 people attended the show–including Armenia’s for Kerry from across the State of Wisconsin–Racine area Democrats–and former US Peace Corps Volunteers who had served in Armenia. State Representative Bob Turner (D-61st District-Racine) and State Senator Jeff Plale (D-7th District-South Milwaukee) also attended.


Over 200 Armenian Americans from South Florida’s Tri-County area (Dade–Broward–and Palm Beach counties) donned "Armenia’s for Kerry" & "Armenstock 2004" t-shirts and danced the evening away at the Las Olas Riverfront Sunday–in support of John Kerry’s presidential bid.

The concert–organized as part of the nationwide "Kef for Kerry Tour of Battleground States," featured the Cascade Folk Trio and included special guests–Massachusetts State Representative Peter Koutoujian–Gwen Graham–daughter of US Senator Bob Graham (D-FL)–representing the Kerry/Edwards Campaign–and ANCA Government Affairs Director Abraham Niziblian.


The Kef for Kerry event in Dearborn was part of the Ethnic American Coalition of Michigan Rally for Democratic Candidates. Co-sponsored by the Armenian National Committee of Michigan–the Chaldean Democratic Caucus–the Greek-American Democratic Caucus–the Irish Caucus and others–the rally featured a star studded line-up of speakers with Congressman Joe Biden as the keynote speaker and Governor Jennifer Granholm–Senator Debbie Stanebow–and Senator Carl Levin as guest speakers. Entertainment featured Armenian Kanun player Ara Topuzian.


The Armenia’s for Kerry of Pennsylvania–the Armenian National Committee (ANC) of Pennsylvania–and the Armenian Youth Federation of Pennsylvania organized the Philadelphia Kef for Kerry–a political rally on October 29 staged with Armenian music to support the candidacy of John Kerry in the final days of the presidential campaign.

The concert–which featured Armenian singer/songwriter Gor Mkhitarian–took place at 8:30 pm at St. Gregory’s Hall located at 8701 Ridge Avenue. The audience included elected officials and members of the local Armenian-American community.

The Kef for Kerry tour is made possible by a generous contribution from Dr. Carolann and K. George Najarian.


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