Onnik Dinkjian, Top-Notch Band to Perform at Dance to Raise Funds for Merrimack Valley Churches


Onnik Dinkjian

Onnik Dinkjian

ANDOVER, Mass. — World-renowned singer Onnik Dinkjian, an enduring Armenian singer and performer, will perform at Doubletree by Hilton (formerly Wyndham) on Saturday October 22, to raise funds for local churches.

The Armenian Friends of America, Inc., have confirmed that Dinkjian, will be accompanied by his son Ara (Night Ark, An Armenian In America) and a local all-star ensemble for Hey Kef 5. Tickets are available for this exceptional opportunity to hear and enjoy the music, dance and the Armenian community.

Tickets are $55 until September 1 and will be go up to $65 after this date.

Hye Kef 5 will be held from 7 p.m. to midnight and along with headliner Onnik Dinkjian will feature John Berberian, oud; Mal Barsamian, clarinet; Ara Dinkjian, keyboard and Jason Naroian, dumbeg. Hye Kef 5 is an annual event organized by the Armenian Friends of America (AFA) organization. AFA was established 5 years ago to honor, celebrate and most importantly unite the four Armenian churches in the Merrimack Valley.

“It is without a doubt, that having Onnik agree to perform for Hye Kef 5 is extraordinary. At 87 years old, he is a legend, with boundless energy and a timeless love for his music and culture. Please join us for this exceptional opportunity to witness history and enjoy the true spirit of what brings us together as Armenian Americans. All indications are that this will be a sell-out event”, said John Azigian, AFA Chairman.

Dinkjian was born in Paris, France in 1929. His parents were born in Dikranagerd (Diyarbakir), Turkey. He overcame the difficulties of being orphaned at a very early age by finding comfort and happiness in singing, initially in the Armenian Church of Paris. Upon arriving in America in the late 1940s, he began performing at secular functions and quickly became the most-loved singer of the Armenian-American community. To meet the demands of his audience, he released several recordings of Armenian folk and popular music. However, Dinkjian, an ordained deacon, never lost his great love of Armenian liturgical music, and released an entire CD (“Havadamk”) of emotionally performed sacred hymns of the Armenian Church. His fame as a great interpreter of Armenian song has brought him to concert halls throughout Europe, Jerusalem, United States, and South America. In addition to his singing, Dinkjian has composed many songs, some of which are sung in his native (Dikranagerd) dialect.

He has passed his love and passion of Armenian music to his son, oud player and composer Ara. The younger Dinkjian will be playing along with his father at this event. He is also considered one of the top oud players in the world. He was chosen to represent the Armenians in the international oud festivals of Jerusalem and Greece.

“It’s been a wonderful and exciting experience to be a part of this grassroots organization. We have been able to bring together hundreds of Armenians from the Greater Merrimack Valley and beyond, to connect and reconnect who would not have otherwise done so,” said Sharke’ Der Apkarian of the AFA Committee.

“The goal of the AFA was to bring all Armenians in the Merrimack Valley and New England together for Christian brotherhood.  The four Armenian Church communities in the Valley have supported this effort with the proceeds being donated back to each church community, “Arzigian added.

All proceeds for this event will benefit the Armenian Churches of the Merrimack Valley including: St Gregory Armenian Apostolic Church of North Andover, the Armenian Apostolic Church of Hye Point, Bradford; Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church of Chelmsford and the Ararat Armenian Congregational Church of Salem, NH and other Armenian Charities.