|Birth name||Juliana Jendo|
|Genres||Assyrian folk, Pop, Folk pop, World music, Dance, Folk dance.|
|Occupation(s)||Singer and actress|
Juliana Jendo (Syriac: ܓܘܠܝܢܐ ܓܢܕܐ) is an Assyrian–American singer. Juliana Jendo is usually classified as the “Queen of Assyrian Singers” because of her long and successful career throughout all the different Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac communities worldwide.
Early life and career
She was born and raised in Tell Tamer, Syria where she finished high school. Along with her family, she emigrated to the United States in 1980 and settled in Chicago, Illinois. Jendo continued her studies in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois. She is fluent in English, French, Arabic and Turoyo.
Breakthrough and success
Jendo released her first studio album in 1986 titled 'Mardita'. The album consisted of 8 songs written by the famous Assyrian poet Ninos Nirari. The album was an international success and it ultimately began her singing career. In 1987, she recorded her first duet song with Janan Sawa titled 'Taliboota'. Jendo was invited to Sydney, Australia where she came in contact with John Homeh. While in Sydney, she starred in a 20-minute short film directed by John Homeh titled 'Semeleh. A year later, she released her second album which was an instant success throughout the entire Assyrian community. Several songs from the album have become classics such as 'Khater Aynatoukh' and 'Gueliana'1988 and also 'La Zaloukh', which was the first time an Assyrian singer recorded a song in the Nineveh plains dialect. Jendo followed it up with the 1990 'Love & Dance' album which included 10 tracks of all Assyrian folklore dance songs. Several hits from the album emerged such as 'Derdee', 'Jouanka' and the loving classic 'Naneh' (also known as 'Koushi').
In 1991 Juliana Jendo starred in the first Assyrian feature-film titled "Wardeh Deesheh" directed by John Homeh, in which she played the lead role of Nineveh/Nina. The film was screened internationally throughout the Assyrian communities in Europe, Oceania, Middle East and the Americas. Also in this year she was invited to perform in the then Soviet Union. The trip was to be a memorable one for the Assyrians in Russia as Jendo was the first Assyrian singer invited to sing there. Seven concerts were produced and sold-out throughout Russia, Georgia and Armenia. Also, in 1993, Jendo was invited to sing in her homeland Syria where she performed in parties in Qamishli, Hasaakah, Damascus and her hometown of Tel-Tamar.
Jendo produced her fourth studio album 'Wardeh Deesheh' in 1993. 12 songs were featured in the album; favourites such as 'Zowaa Kasheea', 'Bandee', 'Bereethan', 'Khon Eli' which was sung in the Nineveh plains dialect and 3 songs in the Turoyo dialect. Jendo became the first female Assyrian artist to sing in the Turoyo dialect. She followed it up with the heart-warming 'The Flowers of Assyria' children's album included 6 songs which have now become classics. Assyrian children from all generations are now familiar with those songs. Jendo also produced video clips for the six songs, filmed and directed by John Homeh in Sydney, Australia. A 10-tracked Arabic album was recorded and released in 1994 as well with several hits emerging such as; 'Shoud al Oud', 'La TaThebnie' and 'Qadari'.
In 1995, Jendo released her first complete Turoyo album titled 'Athro Halyo'. Nine songs were featured on the album written by George Shamoun with melodies by Joseph Malkie. The album was a success throughout all the Turoyo speaking communities, even winning favour in several Assyrian communities as well. Jendo followed it up with her 1998 album 'Ashek D'Mathwathan' which was a purely folklore album mixed recorded in both the Assyrian and Chaldean neo-Aramaic dialects. During the late 90's Jendo also filmed a commercial in Detroit for the grocery store Mohawk. Many fans and residents of Detroit still remember the catchy jingle featured.
Jendo contiuned to perform overseas and locally. After a five-year break, Jendo released her eighth studio album titled 'Mellatti'. The album includes 15 songs, again recorded both in the Assyrian and Chaldean dialects. In the album, Jendo pays homeage to her hometown through the song 'Tel-Tamar' which also is the name, while the song 'Garbeea' deals with the collapse of the Baathist regime and what lies in the future for the Assyrian-Chaldean people in Iraq. Other songs such as 'Hala Edoukh' and 'Mam Eisho' were well-received as well. In 2004 she played a supporting role in the film 'Cost of Happiness' as the deceased mother of the lead role.
Jendo was invited by Sarkis Aghajan to perform in the north of Iraq for the Assyrian New Year festival. According to Jendo it was an amazing experience. Jendo performed in Ankawa, Arbil, Dohuk and visited many villages in the north such as KorehGawana and Mangesh. In 2008 she released two studio albums. The first, 'Elemo Halyo', again featured 9 tracks in the Turoyo dialect and recorded in Sweden. The second, 'Tel-Kepeh', was a mix of Assyrian and Arabic songs. An independent film was made in Florida, around 2009/2010, based on the life of Mary Magdalene. The film was made in Aramaic, and Jendo was consulted and provided her voice for the character of Mary Magdalene.
Her most recent album, released in 2010 and titled 'Golden Tunes' was also received well. The song 'Matwaty' pays homeage to the Assyrian villages along the Khabour river in which a video clip was also produced. Also, in the only "slow" song on the album Jendo sings in Assyrian, English, French, Spanish and Turkish.
Jendo is still singing and travelling the world. She has expressed desire to work for the United Nations as an ambassador for the Assyrian people, if she were to retire from singing professionally.
- 1986 – Mardita
- 1988 – Khater Aynatoukh
- 1990 – Love & Dance
- 1993 – Wardeh Deesheh
- 1994 – The Flowers Of Assyria
- 1994 – Qadari (Arabic)
- 1995 – Athro Halyo
- 1998 – Ashek D'Mathwathan
- 2003 – Mellatti
- 2008 – Elemo Halyo
- 2008 – Tel Kepeh (Arabic, Assyrian)
- 2010 – Golden Tunes
- 1988 – Semeleh (Silent short film)
- 1991 – Wardeh Deesheh (Lead role: Nineveh + Nina)
- 1994 – The Flowers of Assyria (8 Video clips)
- 2005 – The Cost of Happiness (Supporting role: Yimma "Mother")