By MaryLynda Bozian-Cruickshank
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
TENAFLY, N.J. — On Saturday, October 8, the Cultural Committee of St. Thomas Armenian Church, chaired by Talar Sarafian, presented the Russian-Armenian international pop star, Avraam Russo, in concert.
With well over 150 guests enjoying food and drink, Russo sang in several languages including Armenian, Arabic, Russian, Italian and English. He had the crowd dancing with him, all the while singing in his powerful, yet seductive voice, bringing all ages to the dance floor, even the seniors. He sang for over 90 minutes, with Viken Makoushian on keyboards, giving the performance his all.
He and his family are devout Christians and are members of St. Thomas Armenian Church. He not only donated the entire concert, but gifted money to the church as well.
“I want to help St. Thomas Armenian Church as much as possible,” he said, even as much as flying in from Russia the night before to come perform there.
It was his near-death experience in 2006, from an assassination attempt in Russia that changed his perspective on life, and brought him closer to God and his faith.
Born in Aleppo, Syria, to Armenian parents, he later changed his name from Apraham (Apo) Ipjian, to Avraam Russo. After the passing of his father at a young age, his upbringing in Armenian liturgical songs began, and later his talent became prevalent during his monastic studies in Aleppo.
He has five platinum albums recorded in Russian and English, but catapulted to fame with the 2002 song Daleko Daleko, which won the Russian National Music Award for “Song of the Year.”
When the concert was over, the party continued with DJ Shant. However, Russo stayed and enjoyed socializing with the fans, taking photos, and signing his new self entitled CD, with all the proceeds donated to the church.
To the fans it was a night to remember, and to Russo, an honor.