Siddhesh Joshi (Editor)

John Bilezikjian

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Birth name  John Bilezikjian
Role  Musician
Labels  Dantz Records
Genres  Folk music
Associated acts  Leonard Cohen
Record label  Dantz Records
Name  John Bilezikjian

John Bilezikjian oud John Bilezikjian Foundation
Occupation(s)  Musician, composer, entertainer
Instruments  Oud, mandolin, violin/viola, ukulele, keyboard, balalaika, clarinet, bass guitar, recorder, percussion, vocals
Died  January 19, 2015, Mission Viejo, California, United States
Albums  Music From the Armenian Diaspora
Similar People  Leonard Cohen, Michel Robidoux, Leanne Ungar, Henry Lewy

1981 john bilezikjian and jenza live performance

John Bilezikjian (February 1, 1948 – January 19, 2015) was an Armenian Los Angeles-based musician and composer. Most renowned as an oud master, he also played the violin, mandolin and dumbek. He was also a traditional and contemporary singer singing in Armenian, but also in Turkish, Assyrian/Syriac, English and known for his contributions to world music as a solo act and in collaborations with renowned artists. He established his own record company, Dantz Records in Laguna Hills, California making many recordings, and appearing in tens of film soundtracks.


John Bilezikjian johnbilezikjianfoundationcomwpcontentuploads2

Collaborations included Leonard Cohen in Recent Songs (1979) after touring with him on his live concerts, resulting in Cohen Live album in 1994 and The Smokey Life Tour recorded in 1979. He played oud in Cohen's 1988 album I'm Your Man. In 1992, he collaborated with British singer Robert Palmer in the latter's album Ridin' High, where he played oud and dumbek in "Want You More". In 1997, he recorded with Mexican singer Luis Miguel in the latter's album playing mandolin in Romances and in 1994 with Plácido Domingo in De Mi Alma Latina and in 1999 in Por Amor.

John Bilezikjian OUD Master John Bilezikjian YouTube

In 2002, he joined the world music band Brothers of the Baladi recording in their album Hope. He also played with the Armenian-American musician Armen Chakmakian and singers Roupen Altiparmakian and Andy Madadian

John Bilezikjian John Bilezikjian master oudist

He played with many orchestras including The Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, The Los Angeles Mandolin Orchestra, The Pacific Palisades Symphony. In 2005 he played with the Boston Pops Orchestra as featured soloist, marking the first time the oud was heard in a solo capacity with that orchestra on its stage. He later appeared as a bouzouki soloist with The Pasadena Pops Orchestra. He has played in recordings by Alberto Mizrahi, Brothers of the Baladi, Steve Young, David Such, Radim Zenkl.

John Bilezikjian John Bilezikjian Introducing the Oud and the quotMakam

He died on January 19, 2015, from kidney disease aged 66.

John bilezikjian armenian medley in 10 8 played on the oud



  • 1995: Music from the Armenian Diaspora
  • 1999: Tapestry of the Dance
  • 2007: Atlantis
  • 2008: All-Time Armenian Favorites
  • 2009: Sounds of the Middle East
  • 2012: Pomegranate
  • Live
  • America's Oud Virtuoso Recorded in Concert Live at the Wilshire Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles
  • Collaborations
  • 1992: Sephardic Songs of Love and Hope Canticas Sephardis de Amor y Esperansa (Gordon Lustig, John Bilezikjian & Judy Frankel)
  • 2002: The Music of "La Danse Orientale" – John Bilezikjian and Aziz Khadra
  • Books

  • 2006: John Bilezikjian, Hal Leonard Oud Method (plus accompanying CD) (by Hal Leonard Corporation)
  • References

    John Bilezikjian Wikipedia