ONNIK DINKJIAN was born in Paris, France in 1929. His parents were born in Dikranagerd (Diyarbakir), Turkey. He overcame the difficulties of being orphaned at a very early age by finding comfort and happiness in singing, initially in the Armenian Church of Paris. Upon arriving in America in the late 1940s, he began performing at secular functions and quickly became the most-loved singer of the Armenian-American community. To meet the demands of his audience, he released several recordings of Armenian folk and popular music. However, Mr. Dinkjian, an ordained deacon, never lost his great love of Armenian liturgical music, and released an entire CD (“Havadamk”) of emotionally performed sacred hymns of the Armenian Church. His fame as a great interpreter of Armenian song has brought him to concert halls throughout Europe, The United States, and South America. In addition to his singing, Mr. Dinkjian has composed many songs, some of which are sung in his native (Dikranagerd) dialect. He has passed his love and passion of Armenian music to his son, oud player and composer Ara Dinkjian.
About this CD, Ara (oud) writes:
After my concert at the 2005 Confederation House Jerusalem International Oud Festival ("An Armenian In America"), I gave its director, Effie Benaya, a CD of my father Onnik. He suggested that perhaps my father should appear with me the following year. Dad was concerned, rightfully so, that no one in Jerusalem knew him or his music. Luckily, I was able to convince him that all he needed to do was sing from his heart, as he always had. From the very first note, the audience embraced my father, who gave us a night we will never forget.
We must make special acknowledgment to the incredible musicans who joined us: Sokratis Sinopoulos (lyra), Tamer Pinarbasi (kanun), Adi Rennert (keyboard), and Zohar Fresco (percussion).