Spring 2004 U.S. Tour

Shoghaken Ensemble with Harold Hagopian (fifth from left) and Andranik Michaelian (third from right); Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts, Philadelphia Continuing their mission of preserving the folk music and dance of Old Armenia, the Shoghaken Ensemble, led by dudukist Gevorg Dabaghyan and singers Hasmik Harutyunyan and Aleksan Harutyunyan, presented eighteen concerts in sixteen cities to enthusiastic audiences during their six-week tour of the U.S. The release of two new CDs, Armenian Lullabies and Traditional Dances of Armenia, coincided with the tour.

The tour was organized by Harold Hagopian of Traditional Crossroads, where the CDs are available. The concert programs were wide-ranging, and included plaintive dances such as “Naz Par” and “Shatakhi Tsernapar,” the rousing sounds of “Shalakho” performed by Karine Hovhannisyan on kanon, and “Andarayin Tsayner,” with Levon Tevanyan playfully recreating the sounds of various birds on his shvi. Hasmik Harutyunyan impressed crowds with her versions of “Gorani” and songs from her new CD, Armenian Lullabies. Aleksan Harutyunyan treated Sayat Nova fans to soulful renditions of “Kani Voor Jan Im,” accompanied by Tigran Ambaryan on kamancha, and “Im Khorodik Yar,” a song he learned from his teacher, singer and historian Hayrig Mouradian. At the end of each concert, Hasmik and Aleksan performed songs and dances of Taron (Moush and Sassoun), including “Mayroke” and the famous dance of Sassoun, “Yarkhooshta,” the latter to the accompaniment of Gevorg Dabaghyan on zurna and Kamo Khachatryan on dhol.

Between performances, many of which were held at well known universities such as Berkeley, Cornell, and Dartmouth, the Shoghaken musicians led classes in which they taught university students the history of Armenian folk music and the instruments they played: the duduk, kamancha, kanon, shvi, blul, dhol, and others. At Dartmouth College, Shoghaken members and professor and musicologist Ted Levin taught music students about the many genres of Armenian folk music. In Hanover, New Hampshire, the home of Dartmouth College, and at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Hasmik and Aleksan taught elementary school children and adults the art of Armenian folk dancing.

Shoghaken members also participated in several radio interviews. In Los Angeles, Hasmik Harutyunyan, Gevorg Dabaghyan, and dham duduk player Grigor Takushyan discussed the work of Shoghaken and performed folk songs and dances. A live radio interview and show, held in an Armenian-owned restaurant at Cornell, was attended by students, community members, and members of the Armenian student organization there.

The Shoghaken Ensemble also enjoyed the hospitality of the Armenian communities in several cities, including Seattle, New York, and Washington, D.C., where concerts were attended by Armenian ambassador Arman Kirakosyan and tour sponsors Vartkes and Rita Balian. While in Philadelphia, Shoghaken members enjoyed the company of sponsors Mr. and Mrs. Cyrus Melikian. At each stop along the way, the group was proud to present Armenian folk culture in concerts attended by Armenian and non-Armenian audiences alike.

During the remainder of 2004, Shoghaken will give concerts in Armenia, Italy, and Scotland. For more information, contact me at andranik48@aol.com.

For more information about Shoghaken and a video link to their performance at the Kennedy Center, click here.
(Video link requires high speed Internet access.)


Back to Shoghaken Folk Ensemble


The Shoghaken Folk Ensemble 2004 US Tour included the following cities and locations:
Los Angeles, CA (Los Angeles Skirball Museum); Seattle, WA (University of WA, Meany Hall); Eugene, OR (University of Oregon); Berkeley, CA (UC Berkeley); Santa Cruz, CA (UC Santa Cruz); Fresno, CA (CA State Univ, Fresno); Minneapolis, MN (Cedar Cultural Center); Chicago, IL (Old Town School of Music); Ann Arbor, MI (University of Michigan Concert Series); Williamsburg, VA (College of William & Mary); Washington DC (Kennedy Center, Millennium Stage); Washington DC (Smithsonian Museum); Cambridge, MA (Harvard University); Hanover, NH (Dartmouth College); New York, NY (Symphony Space); Ithaca, NY (Cornell University); Philadelphia, PA (Annenberg Center)

————— Tour Snapshots —————

Photo by Michael Chakerian
UC Berkeley
(91k)
Photo by Michael Chakerian
UC Berkeley
(93k)
Photo by Michael Chakerian
UC Berkeley
(95k)

Karine Hovhannisyan
Gevorg Dabaghyan
(26k)

Hasmik Harutyunyan
(38k)


Levon Tevanyan
Tigran Ambaryan
(25k)

Hasmik Harutyunyan
Aleksan Haruytunyan
(18k)

Hanover, NH
(46k)

Hanover, NH
(25k)

Cornell University
Ithaca, NY
(38k)

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