The Kennedy Center

Zulal and Ara Dinkjian


Ara Dinkjian is an Armenian born in America in 1958. His earliest musical experience was accompanying his father Onnik Dinkjian, a renowned Armenian folk and liturgical singer. Mr. Dinkjian learned to play several western and eastern instruments, including the piano, guitar, dumbeg, and clarinet. He graduated from the Hartt College of Music in 1980, earning the country’s first and only specialized degree in oud performance. He is considered one of the finest oud players in the world and has appeared on concert stages, festivals, seminars, and master classes in 22 different countries.
He has continued to develop his highly personal compositional style throughout his career, which blends his eastern and western roots. In 1985, Mr. Dinkjian formed his instrumental quartet Night Ark, which recorded four CDs for RCA/BMG and Universal/PolyGram. His songs have been recorded by world famous instrumentalists and singers in 14 different languages. His hit song “Dinata, Dinata” was performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Mr. Dinkjian’s CDs An Armenian In America, Voice Of Armenians, and Peace On Earth were recorded live at the 2005, 2006, and 2007 Jerusalem International Oud Festivals. He has two recently released CDs—Conversations With Manol, which is a a solo oud record; and Finding Songs, featuring 12 new compositions performed by the Ara Dinkjian Quartet. His upcoming releases include Diyarbakiri Hokin (The Soul of Dikranagerd), which is a collaboration with his father Onnik; and 1915–2015 Truth & Hope, commemorating the 100th year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

The a cappella trio Zulal takes Armenia’s village folk melodies and weaves intricate arrangements that pay tribute to the music’s rural roots while introducing sophisticated lyricism and energy. Zulal’s singers—Teni Apelian, Yeraz Markarian, and Anaïs Tekerian—have been singing together since 2002. The trio has performed in such esteemed venues as the Getty Museum, Berklee College of Music, Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, and New York’s Symphony Space. The trio has also performed with Cirque du Soleil and the Silk Road Project. Additionally, the trio scored the film Stone Touch Time and has two critically acclaimed albums to its credit.

Zulal is expecting their third album, Seven Springs, to be released in 2015.

Watch Past Performances

Video 5/28/2015: Zulal and Ara Dinkjian

The vocal trio and famed oud player join forces to present a celebration of Armenian culture. Part of the Homegrown: The Music of America concert series.

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