Photo by Alice Daniel of Valley Public Radio (KVPR). Re-used with permission.
Armenian-American Oud Player • Born 1937 • “Kef” Music
- Born in Fowler, California.
- His parents fled from Armenia to the United States after the Armenian Genocide of 1915.
- Began on violin when he was 9 and clarinet when he was 10
- Switched to oud when he was 11.
- Began lessons and study of traditional Armenian music at age 13 with teacher Kanuni Garbis Bakirgian.
- Helped form Kef Time Band in 1963 to play “Kef,” or traditional Armenian dance music.
- A typical kef band includes the oud, doumbeg, kanun, clarinet, and electric bass.
- In 1969 given the title “Oudi,” or oud master by Oudi Hrant.