Music & politics combine in support of Kerry/Edwards victory

Aug 25 2004


BOSTON, MA, 25 AUGUST, ARMENPRESS: Armenian musicians from around
the world are teaming up with the New England chapter of Armenians
for Kerry and Pomegranate Music Events for an unprecedented music
festival in honor of Democratic party Presidential nominee John
Kerry. “Armenstock 2004” will take place on August 28th, from 11:00am
– 8:00pm at AYF Camp Haiastan, in Franklin MA and promises to be a
celebration with Armenian food, music and dance dedicated to Sen.
Kerry’s twenty years of support on issues of concern to the Armenian
American community. The day-long festival – a veritable “Kef for
Kerry” – boasts the participation of five bands with a full range of
Armenian musical styles from progressive kef to Armenian jazz, pop
and traditional and alternative folk. The bands include the: **
Vardan Ovsepian Jazz Group (Armenian Jazz) ** Gor Mkhitarian Band
(Alternative Folk) ** Arev Folk Ensemble (Traditional Folk) **
Cascade Folk Trio (Traditional Folk and Armenian Pop) ** John
Berberian Ensemble (Progressive Kef). In addition to the band
performances, there will be two solo oud performances by John
Bilezikjian and John Berberian, the latter accompanied by Ara
Dinkjian (guitar), and, finally, a solo performance by world-renowned
percussionist Arto Tuncboyaciyan. The musicians will be collaborating
together throughout the day, with John Bilezikjian joining the John
Berberian Ensemble, John Berberian sitting in with the Gor Mkhitarian
Band and the Ara Dinkjian-John Berberian duet and a number of
additional impromptu collaborations. Extensive biographical notes on
all the bands and performers are available on the Armenstock 2004
website – .
In the tradition of Woodstock, Armenstock 2004 combines a
celebration of Armenian music with American political activism. The
festival will kick-off a nationwide Armenian National Committee of
America (ANCA) postcard campaign encouraging Armenian Americans in
swing states to support the Kerry/Edwards ticket in November. Voter
registration will be a key focus, as part of the ANCA “Hye Voter
Turnout” campaign, working to increase the Armenian American voice at
the polls in November through an extensive registration and “get out
the vote” effort. More than a dozen speakers and activists will
address the audience between musical sets, including a prominent
figure close to the Kerry campaign yet to be announced. Each will be
outlining the importance of greater community-wide participation
within the American political process during election season and
beyond. Speakers will also outline the clear differences between the
Kerry/Edwards and Bush/Cheney teams on issues from Armenian Genocide
recognition to efforts to build a stronger U.S. / Armenia
relationship. Response from Armenian Americans and music lovers from
throughout the New England and Mid-Atlantic states has been
overwhelming, with groups planning road trips from as far as Racine,
Wisconsin and flying in for the day-long concert at Camp Haiastan.
Tickets for the concert are available on the Armenstock 2004 website
– .