Year in Review – buh-bye 2019…hello 2020!

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(August, 2019) Performed in Holland, Michigan for the first ever international folk festival they held. Great crowd and beautiful city!

As a general rule, I have never really been fond of these year end type of blog postings as they always seem to be self serving and dare I say – boring. As I grow older (I hit the big ’50’ this year!) my writings on this website have moved towards a focus on other musicians and musical stories as supposed to my own achievements. The articles have been purposeful and not just random thoughts. In the past year I wrote 15 articles and all on a variety of subjects I wanted to cover for readership. These stories have been enjoyable to write and it has allowed me to flex some of my journalistic background. (BA in Journalism over 25 years ago!)

As I reflect on this past year, here are some of the stories I was really happy to have put together:

The Exciting Sounds of the Mal Barsamian Band
The Next Generation of Armenian Musicians
Chick, The Blue Collar Musician
A Savior of Greek Music

I would like to give a shout to the Armenian Weekly for allowing me to submit two articles this past year focusing on musicians that had pending album releases.

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(October, 2019) Doug Shimmin and Mike Shimmin and I got together to play some music in Ann Arbor, MI. I miss playing with them!

Back to the recap of 2019 that I initially said doesn’t interest me (ha!). Even though that is true, I do want to thank ‘the year’ for all that it has afforded me both personally and professionally. So many great things have happened in my life this year that I am very thankful about and do not take them for granted. As a musician, I have had the opportunity to perform at some great venues and for great events..but most importantly, with some great musicians. Any performance where I can educate the audience about the music is a great win in my book. now, I am not professing to be a musical scholar nor do I go into deep history of Armenian music at my performances but I do share my experience and the audience has always reacted favorably.

As many that know me, I enjoy playing with an ensemble. Whether its a trio or larger, I feel that the added performers only enhances the experience for the listener as well as help drive me to perform better music. Sure…I could do solo music performances, and sometimes I do, but whenever you can play with a group of great musicians, it can be magical.

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(October, 2019) Performed in Chicago with friends Mark Gavoor, Leon Janikian, John Paklaian and my new friend, duduk master, Mher Mnatsakanian. 

As I prepare for 2020, those great gigs will hopefully continue into the year. You will see an increase in my social media activity but you may not see an increase in my blog postings. As I mentioned, I am going for quality, not quantity and generally it can take some time to compose some of the stories I have posted.

Finally, thank you to all that read my posts, follow me on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I sincerely wish all of you a very happy and healthy new year for 2020. Here are some fun words to live by – don’t sweat the petty stuff and dont pet the sweaty stuff! 🙂

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