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Thank You Everyone!  Thanks to your overwhelming support, we sent $4200 to the World Central Kitchen to support their Ukranian Kitchens

Special Guests: Kotwica play folk music from the Baltic to the Black Sea

Our gardens will be spilling into the pathways and we’ll be getting ready to pull the onions and garlic because it will be time to marinate the shish kebab! Cooking and sharing food is a way to sharpen our senses, to connect us with the land and the bounty it produces. When you think about it, cooking and baking celebrate the magic of fire and water…touchstones in our lives.

We're making plans to bring together musicians, dancers, cooks and special makers for a day that we're fondly calling "Mid-Coast Maine meets the Middle East".  Everyone is welcome and the festivities will start and 11:00 and finish by 4:00 in time to catch the sunset over the Bay.  Stay tuned for more details and the opportunity to purchase meals in advance (last year we were sold out very quickly).

Carolyn Rapkievian dressed in red leading Armenian Folk Dancing

Online ticket sales will be available June 15th

Sign up below for our newsletter and we'll give you plenty of notice...last year dinners sold out quickly.

Options will include pre-purchased Shish Kebab dinners or on-site treats like freshly baked lamejuhn (Armenian Pizzas), Middle Eastern Desserts and more.

Armenian Girl holding up her flag

Guest Musicians

Leo Derderian

Leo Derderian with his oud.Leo hails from the Armenian enclave of Indian Orchard, (Springfield) Massachusetts. A Nuclear Engineer by trade, he enjoys Middle Eastern music and has played the oud since the age of 13. His style is clean, delicate and dynamic. Leo has performed for Presidential events while living in the DC area and many picnics, weddings and Armenian activities throughout Massachusetts and New England. During the covid pandemic Leo comforted and delighted many Armenians isolated in nursing homes with his playing over telephone lines.

Since the age of six when he was first introduced to the “dumbeg”, and hour-glass shaped drum, Leo’s love for Armenian folk music has grown and has come to be one of his greatest joys. At the age of thirteen, Leo started playing the “oud” – a large, bowl-shaped stringed instrument of Persian origin. The oud became his love. He practiced day and night, learning all the Armenian and Middle Eastern songs he could, for he had never learned to read music, except by rote. Over and over again he would play the same song until his control and mastery improved. This album is an introduction to, and sharing of Leo’s love for his music and his heritage.  His CD, “Armenian Strings”, is dedicated to the elders who bequeathed the Armenian spirit of the past and to the youth who will carry the torch of the future.

 

Bob Arzigian

Portrait of Bob Arzigan with his oud.Bob Arzigian grew up in New England just north of Boston, MA  where at a very early boyhood age revealed his natural love and talents of Mid-Eastern rhythms and music. By age twelve he began to play the Dumbeg (Middle Eastern hand drum) at several area church picnics and ethnic festivals. At age fifteen he broadened and redirected his playing interests towards the Middle Eastern stringed instrument known as the "OUD”. Bob considers himself most fortunate to have performed over the years with many of New England's finest Armenian, Greek and Arabic musicians including Artie Barsamian, Fred Elias, Mike Sarkisian, Roger Krikorian, Ken Kalajian, Leon Janikian, George Righellis, and Mal Barsamian.  Bob now resides in Florida and summers in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire where he hopes to continue his passion for performing and sharing the rich cultural sounds of Armenian and Middle Eastern music.

Carolyn Okoomian Rapkievian, Dance Leader

Picture of Carolyn Okoomian Rapkievian, Dance Leader Carolyn Okoomian Rapkievian has been researching, teaching, and performing dance in a professional capacity for more than 40 years. Her experience and training have included classical and character ballet, social ballroom dance, international folkdances, specializing in Armenian dance.  Carolyn grew up dancing at Armenian family and social events. She studied Armenian dance with the Antranig Armenian Dance Ensemble’s artistic director Gagik Karapetian who also directed the Armenian State Dance Ensemble of Yerevan, Armenia.  Most recently she is coordinating a team of Armenian dance experts to record and archive traditional Armenian dances from Historic Armenia with the Houshamanyan project https://www.houshamadyan.org/themes/dance.html

Kotwica

Kotwica group playing together

Kotwica (Koht-veets-ah) meaning "anchor", a cultural symbol of freedom, plays folk music from the Baltic to the Black Sea.
Directed by David Rapkievian of Bar Harbor, it features musicians on fiddle, button accordion, balalaika, guitar, and string bass.

Vocalists providing beautiful harmonies in the group are led by Anne Tatgenhorst. The group's repertoire includes songs and dance music from Poland, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and beyond.

Banner of photos from our past picnics