I just learned today that one of the last of the masters of the kanun from the last century has passed away. (Mehmet) Emin Gunduz, passed away yesterday while visiting his hometown in Turkey and only a few days after his birthday.
For the last several decades, Gunduz lives in the United States and was an active musician in the Maryland area up until his death. He not only played kanun, but sung in several languages including Armenian. Credited for recording many LPs in the 1950s, you could hear his mastery on both folk dance albums as well as belly dance albums.
Here is a song he recorded with the great blind Armenian oudist and composer Udi Hrant Kenkulian and Greek clarinetist Tassos Halkias.
I never had the opportunity to meet Gunduz in person, but we had several mutual friends and he did reach out to me several years ago via the Internet.
I think it is important to note that musicians like Gunduz promoted the cross culture of performing with Armenians, Greeks, Arabs and other ethnicitices that shared the same type of music.
Rest in peace Kanuni Emin!