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Khatchadour Tankian

Born on October 10, 1937 in Aleppo, Syria, Khatchadour was asked to sing at the Armenian school he attended at age 6 when a guest from Armenia came to visit the classroom. His natural gift became apparent to the visitor from Khatchadour’s ancestral homeland, as the man embraced the young Armenian boy in Syria upon the child finishing the last note of the traditional folk song “Giligia”. On that day, a singer was born, and Khatchadour has had the spirit of music in him since. Appropriately, the song “Giligia” was recorded for this debut album and Khatchadour’s love of the song still exists 65 years later. This affinity for singing was strengthened in Khatchadour throughout his youth and after moving to Beirut, Lebanon at age 16, he decided to form a band with some of his friends. Being that the recorded music industry was still very much in it’s own infancy and not readily available to a teenager living in Lebanon, Khatchdour’s singing talents were relegated to the weddings and christenings of the various Armenian families living in the Diaspora region or Beirut. His talents got him invited to sing in Lyon, France in the year 1959, where he sang at a celebration event to honor the anniversary of the Armenian “Tashnak” movement. Due to familial circumstances, Khatchadour had to reserve all his singing engagements upon his return to Lebanon in 1960, and instead shifted his focus into the profession of shoe design and manufacturing. Just as he was successful with crafting his voice, Khatchadour found success in the shoe business, owning his own factories in Beirut and later in Los Angeles where the sales of his handcrafted shoe designs provided for his family for decades. For the next 45 years, this added responsibility of having to provide for his parents and siblings and subsequently his wife and children only permitted for Khachadour to sing at a limited number of his own family’s outings and events. Recently, Khatchadour sold off his successful business and in his retirement from industry, has freed up his time, and thus reawakened his zest for singing and sharing his voice with those outside of his family. Although he relishes in singing the more traditional Armenian songs like “Im Balik” and “Heratsads Engerner”, he is most proud of presenting the two newer songs on the record.

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