LOS ANGELES—As the Armenian Diaspora and human rights activists from around the world prepare for the 96th Anniversary Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, Angelenos will join community artists to raise awareness of genocide prevention and education through the 3rd annual Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth concert.
“There are several events taking place throughout Southern California to commemorate the Armenian Genocide,” stated activist and Viza oud player Andrew Kzirian. “This concert will complement our community’s rich array of activities through the prism of artistic expression – we will promote understanding of human rights by coming together, united, as one voice in demanding an end to the perpetration of genocide,” he added.
Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth! is a social justice concert dedicated to raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide. For the past 3 years, socially conscious artists in the Los Angeles area have come together to work with the community through music, activism and commemoration. Viza, Capital Cities, Zulal, Armenian Public Radio, R-Mean, Bei Ru and many more special guests will take the stage on Sunday April 24, 2011 at the El Rey Theatre as the arts will inspire the need for recognition and contrition through a uniquely powerful performance that will indeed Silence the Lies and Rock the Truth.
Here is what some of this year’s artists had to say:
“We are eternally grateful that nearly 100 years after the plight of our ancestors, we are still able to celebrate our Armenian songs. Though our past has been dark, our future is bright. It is our hope that through our music we are able to be a bridge for our culture from one generation to the next,” stated Armenian Public Radio’s Mher Ajemian. “We are also very honored to be sharing the stage with Zulal, who was a major inspiration for us in starting our current project, and other friends and colleagues such as Viza, Bei Ru and Capital Cities,” Ajemian added.
“Zulal joins voices with fellow musicians to honor the belief that genocide should never be tolerated, whether it be in the past, present or future. We consider many of our songs to be a personal link between ourselves and voices from the past who either endured or witnessed unspeakable horrors. We honor their song and let their voices be heard,” stated Zulal’s Teni Apelian.
“I’m looking forward to the concert at the El Rey on April 24. It’s a great event to celebrate the joys of music and unity. It’s an opportunity for people from all backgrounds to come together and encourage tolerance, love and respect,” stated Capital Cities’ Sebu
Simonian. “An event like ‘Silence the Lies’ turns that positivity into proactive work, by spreading the message into the communities outside of the music scene and, on a practical level, raise money for truly worthwhile charities. It’s an honor to be a part of it!” noted Simonian.
“As an artist I have the opportunity to reach the masses and educate our generation about the Armenian Genocide. I will forever support this cause and use my voice to raise awareness, for music is our platform to be the voice of the voiceless,” stated rapper R-Mean.
“It’s an honor to be a part of such a noble cause commemorating the Armenian Genocide as well as contributing to those in need. Human rights and human suffering are issues that affect everyone regardless of background, so I’m extremely humbled and thankful that we have this opportunity to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide, in addition to giving something back to the community,” remarked DJ and Producer Bei Ru.
Various community organizations like the Armenian National Committee of America, Armenian Youth Federation and Alpha Gamma Alpha are teaming up with these artists to make for a high impact show. “The ANC-Professional Network was at the last Viza show on April 1,” stated ANC-PN Chairman and ANCA-WR Board member Sevag Demirjian. “We were able to spread the good word on our work to a sold out show of concertgoers – and we look forward to doing the same thing again on April 24 at the El Rey,” he added.
Alpha Gamma Alpha, Alpha Chapter at UCLA is proud to take part in this event every year. “Being the only Armenian sorority, we always look for ways to give back to our community and to our homeland. We do many philanthropic events throughout the year, but this is the one closest to our hearts since we have the opportunity to raise enough money to directly impact children in Armenia,” stated sorority representative Editt Nikoyan.
“The AYF is delighted to team up with Viza and other Armenian artists for the third year in a row. We have a duty as young Armenians in the Diaspora to spread awareness and fight for something that our ancestors no longer can. Through music, through art, we want to celebrate our existence and bring our people closer together,” stated AYF-WR Chairman Arek Santikian.
This year, proceeds from the concert will be donated to two needy organizational projects. The Armenian Relief Society funds “Sosse” Kindergartens in Stepanagert, Ashan and Aganapert, providing hundreds of orphans of the Artsakh war with hot meals, schooling and secure surroundings. This allows for widows and economically deprived women with children to work and earn income while their children are properly sheltered and cared for during the day. Through its sponsorship of the kindergartens, the ARS of Western USA secures school uniforms, supplies, educational toys and assists in school-related expenses.
The Orran Charity provides vital support and assistance to needy Armenian children in Yerevan. Established in 2000, Orran which means “haven” in Armenian, works to decrease the disparity between the needs of at-risk groups and the availability of essential services. Orran provides food services, academic assistance, cultural enrichment opportunities and medical, psychological and social services for vulnerable communities in central Yerevan.
The artists and organizations involved with this special concert would like to encourage everyone in the community to participate in an event that will provide incredible talent and entertainment, but will also benefit the children of Armenia.
For more information and tickets please visit here.