Duduk Ensemble to Perform at St. James, Six Other Parishes

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WATERTOWN — Under the sponsorship of the Cultural Committee of St. James Armenian Apostolic Church of Watertown and Amaras Art Alliance, the Dudukner Ensemble, a premier assembly of Armenian traditional instrumentalists from Yerevan, Armenia, will perform sacred and folk songs at St. James Armenian Church’s Cultural Center’s Keljik Hall.

The duduk, known since antiquity as an apricot pipe, is a traditional woodwind instrument indigenous to Armenia. It is a double-reed instrument with ancient origin, said to be 1,500 to 3,000 years old. It is exclusively made of wood, preferably from aged apricot trees. According to ethnomusicologist Dr. Jonathan McCollum, the duduk is depicted in numerous Armenian

manuscripts from the Middle Ages and is actually the only truly Armenian instrument to have survived through history and as such is a symbol of Armenian national identity. In 2005, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) proclaimed Armenian duduk music as a “masterpiece of the intangible heritage of humanity.”

The founder of the ensemble and principal duduk player is Georgy Minasian, an honored artist of Armenia. Tatyana Minasian is the artistic director and conductor. The group also consists of Khosrov Mnatsakanyan, alto duduk, dhol; Artak Asatryan, tenor duduk; Georgy Minasian, Jr., baritone duduk; Mher Mnatsakanian, shvee, clarinet, baritone duduk; Tigran Avetisian, bass duduk; Hovhaness Avetisian, clarinet and manager, and Margar Yegiazarian, soloist.

The concert will take place on Saturday, September 22 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20, students and senior citizens, $15.

For tickets, call the church office or Ardemis Minassian or purchase them online at www.AmarasOnline.com.

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A reception will follow the concert.

Six other performances by the ensemble will take place in Diocese parishes on the East Coast: St. Leon Church, Fair Lawn, NJ, September 21, at 8 p.m.; Church of the Holy Ascension, Trumbull, Conn., September 23 at 3 p.m.; Sts. Sahag and Mesrob Church, Providence, RI, September 26, at 7 p.m.; St. Vartan Armenian Cathedral, New York City, September 28, at 7:30 p.m.; St. Mary Church, Washington, DC, September 29 at 7 p.m., and St. James Church, Richmond, Va., September 30at4p.m.

For more information, visit www.ensemble-dudukner.com.

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