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Ruben Hakhverdyan (left) and Harout Pamboukjian (right), Yerevan, 2012
|Native name||Հարութ Փամբուկչյան|
Yerevan, Armenia SSR, Soviet Union
|Genres||Pop, folk, patriotic|
|Bouzouki, saz, dhol and piano|
Harout Pamboukjian (Armenian: Հարութ Փամբուկչյան), (born in 1950 in Yerevan, Armenian SSR, Soviet Union), also known as Dzakh Harut (Ձախ Հարութ Left Harout), is an Armenian American pop singer living in Los Angeles. His Armenian dance, folk, and revolutionary and romantic songs make him a favorite among Armenians worldwide.
In his early teens, he took up lessons for many musical instruments including the guitar, the bouzouki and saz (stringed instruments), the dhol (drums) and the piano, later forming a band called Erebouni. His interest in music was initially influenced by his mother, a singer. Erebouni went from village to village playing everything from Charles Aznavour to Deep Purple and Elvis, at weddings and universities. Due to restrictions under the Soviet Union, Harout and most of his family left Soviet Armenia in 1975. After a year in Lebanon, he went to Los Angeles and took up residence in Hollywood.
Only two months after his arrival in L.A. Harout put together a studio band and recorded his first album, "Our Eyir Astvats" (Where Were You, God?), in reference to the Armenian Genocide at the Quad Teck studio.
That first album barely resembles the sound he has since become known for. Instead of the duduk or synths, there areclarinet, organ and a lot of bass. Only a few of the songs on the first album are dance-oriented, differing from the material that later made him popular at weddings. This made him popular and branded him the nickname "The Armenian Wedding Singer".
Harout has interpreted songs by artists such as Rouben Hakhverdian, Robert Amirkhanian, Arthur Meschian. But it’s the centuries-old folk tunes about protecting the soil and fighting in the highlands — "Antranik Pasha," "Sassouni Orore," "Msho Aghchig" — that appeal to his fans' nationalistic pride. He's most fond of Rouben Hakhverdian, including the 1996 almost all-acoustic "Yerke Nayev Aghotk Eh" (Songs Are Also Prayers). Harout has also covered favorites like "Nuné".
A year after the 1988 Armenian earthquake, which killed 25,000 people and left many more homeless, hundreds of thousands of fans looking for some kind of temporary diversion from the devastation, packed the Hrazdan stadium and Karen Demirchyan Complex to hear 28 concerts by Harout.
In 2008, Harout appeared as children's music singer Bread Harrity on the sketch comedy show Tim and Eric Awesome Show, Great Job!, performing a song about spaghetti and meatballs.
Pamboukjian has released over 20 albums. Some of his famous interpretations include "Asmar Aghchig" (Dark Skinned Girl), "Zokanch" (Mother-in-law), "Msho Aghchig" (Girl from Mush), "Msho Dashter" (Fields of Mush), "Hye Kacher" (Armenian Heroes), "50 Daree" (50 Years) and "Hey Jan Ghapama"
- 1977 Oor Eyir Asdvadz (Where were You God)
- 1978 Ballad Hayrenyats (Ballad to the homeland)
- 1979 Aravodits Irigoun (From morning to evening)
- 1980 In Memory Of Those Who Gave Their Lives
- 1981 Patriotic Songs
- 1982 Minchev Ekouts (Until dawn), double album
- 1983 Kedi Ayn Apin (On the other side of the river)
- 1984 Yerp Alegodz Dzovu Vra (On the wavy sea)
- 1985 Darinere Antsan (Years have passed)
- 1986 Heratsadz Engerner (Departed friends)
- 1987 Hoy Nazan
- 1988 Hayi Achker (Armenian eyes)
- 1989 Knas Parov (Goodbye)
- 1990 Yeregoyan Yerevan (Evening at Yerevan)
- 1990 Hay Palignerin (For the Armenian children)
- 1992 Pari Daretarts (Happy Anniversary)
- 1994 Djampanere Bingeoli (The roads of Bingeol), feat. Rouzan Pamboukjian
- 1996 Yerke Nayev Aghotk e (The song is also a prayer), feat. Ruben Hakhverdyan
- 1997 The Golden Album
- 2000 Haroutn Hayots (Harout of the Armenians)
- 2013 My Life
- 2001 Live In Concert California
- 1994 Live in Beirut (Volume 2)
- "Armenians celebrate own Mardi Gras". The Dallas News. February 25, 1998.