Armenian American Artist Ara Dinkjian to Perform in Turkey

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ANKARA (ArmRadio)–World renowned Armenian lute virtuoso Ara Dinkjian, whose family migrated to America in the beginning of 19th century, will appear on stage in Istanbul’s Hagia Irene as part of a hospital project to be built for the disabled.

Dinkjian, who has previously given a concert in Turkey, will appear on a Turkish stage once again on Sept. 26 for the benefit of the Turkish Disabled Society, or TSD. Dinkjian will be accompanied by Turkish folk singer Erdal Akkaya during the concert titled “Roots and Branches.”

The revenues from the show will be donated to the project “life house,” to be constructed with a capacity of 500 beds in the Marmara city of Balikesir’s Gonen district, Hurriyet Daily News reports.

Speaking to the Anatolia news agency, Dinkjian said his grandfather went from the eastern Turkish city of Diyarbakir to France at the beginning of the 19th century, and after the death of his parents, his father was adopted by a family. Later on, his father immigrated to America and he was born in 1958 in New Jersey, Dinkjian said.

Dinkjian said he didn’t have relatives in Diyarbakır, adding that he went there for the first time in his life five years ago. He said his father was involved in music and thanks to that he learned how to play lute on his own in his early childhood.

Dinkjian said he had formed a band named Night Ark with Arto Tuncboyacyan, and has released two solo albums titled “Armenian in America” and “Peace on Earth.”

His biggest dream is to give a concert in Diyarbakir, he said, He adding that he has always wanted to play for an audience in Diyarbakir and that he would feel like returning home if he got a chance to perform there.

“One side of me is Armenian, and the other is American. Both sides are nourished by each other. I am inspired by all types of music, such as Armenian music, Anatolian melodies and American blues,” Dinkjian said.

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