By Anastasia Tsioulcas
WASHINGTON (NPR) — An American punk drummer has become an unlikely historian of the Armenian community in Aleppo, Syria. And he’s recently released a recording of their religious music — just as the city is crumbling during Syria’s
Jason Hamacher doesn’t seem like the kind of guy who would be drawn to a place like Syria.
“I am the son of a Southern Baptist minister,” he says. “I was born in Texas, I have no cultural ties or blood ties whatsoever to the Middle East, or to the populations that inhabit the Middle East.”
Back in the early 2000s, Hamacher was a punk drummer in Washington, D.C., playing in several hardcore bands. A little musical competition between friends changed the direction of his whole life.