John Bilezikjian


John Bilezikjian was born in Los Angeles in 1948 into a family of Armenian descent. His mother was an excellent singer while his father was a classical violinist, who began to teach his son the violin from the age of five. John also taught himself to play the oud using an instrument inherited from his grandfather, imitating musicians on old 78 records the family had brought with them from Armenia. He went on to study for a BA in Violin, Oud, Performance and Composition at San Fernando Valley State College (now California State University), and also began giving concerts from the age of eighteen at a restaurant in Hollywood. This was the start of a musical career that now spans more than 50 years, during which time John Bilezikjian has given hundreds of concerts around the world, contributed music for film and television, produced more than twenty-five CDs, and appeared on countless other recordings by artists in many different genres. Highlights include performing with the L.A. Philharmonic and accompanying Leonard Cohen on his world tour. John can speak and perform in eleven languages, plays more than twenty instruments, and still regularly performs his unique brand of music that encompasses the traditions of Armenia, Turkey, the Arab World, Greece, Russia, Israel, Eastern Europe, Spain, Asia and Latin America.




Selected Recordings

Music from the Armenian Diaspora
(Global Village CD 809)

This CD contains a number of traditional Armenian melodies expertly adapted for the oud by John Bilezikjian.

1. Zepuri Neman (Like a Breeze) Koosan Shahen 2/4 4:00
2. Armenian Medley in 10/8 7:03
  a) Arabkir Bar
  b) Zungalow
  c) Gamavor Zinvor (Volunteer Soldier)
  d) Adzetzek Tara (Let the Hen Lay the Eggs)
  e) Sirhar Yem (I am Lovesick)
  f) Chem-oo-Chem (I Can't, I Can't)
3. Laz Havasi 7/8 2:53
4. Nazeh (To Flirt) 4/4 2:21
5. Tamzara 9/8 Karshilama (Face to Face) 4:57
  a) Malatya Village
  b) Keghe Village
  c) Erzenga Village
  d) Arabkir Village
  e) Erzerum Village
6. Kessab Bar (Halaby Dance) Kessab Halay 2/4 2:12
7. Karsi Bar 2/4 2:10
8. Kher Pan (Good Thing) 2/4 2:30
9. Tamara (Karapet) 4/4 1:51
10. Medax Tashkinag (Silk Handkerchief) 4/4 2:37
11. Sevana Zgnorsnerou Bar (Sevan Fisherman's Dance) 5/4 by V. Kotoyan 2:04
12. Sheikhani (Assyrian Halay) 4/4 3:15
13. Djo Djan (Kaminyana) 4/4 1:47
14. Siroon Aghchig (Pretty Girl) 4/4 3:51
15. Halay 4/4 3:22
16. Oror (Lullaby) 12/8 3:11
17. Daldala/Satchme 5/8-9/8 4:09
18. Hassapo Serviko 2/4 4:12


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