THE SECRET TRIO returns to roulette, April 28


The secret trio with Ismail Lumanovski, Tamer Pinarbasi and Ara Dinkjian, will perform at Roulette, 509 Atlantic Ave at 3rd Ave, Downtown Brooklyn on Thursday, April 28, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. Learn more and purchase tickets at

The Secret Trio is made up of three extraordinary musicians rooted in Turkish, Balkan Roma (Gypsy) and Armenian music who have come together to create a new type of chamber music. Not bound by a single tradition, they perform original pieces and traditional melodies that incorporate Middle Eastern microtonal modes and improvisation, Balkan dance rhythms and elements of jazz, rock, classical music and world music. The trio includes Ara Dinkjian, one of the best oud (fretless lute) players in the world; Ismail Lumanovski, a master musician and member of the New York Gypsy All-Stars, who was hailed in The New York Times as a “brilliant and fearless young clarinetist”; and Tamer Pinarbasi, a prominent kanun (76-string zither) player and member of the New York Gypsy All-Stars.

While The Secret Trio’s music is primarily rooted in the Middle East, Western concepts of harmony and counterpoint, as well as jazz-like improvisation play a crucial role. The voluntary exclusion of all percussion allowed the members of the trio to create the illusion of a driving rhythm section by inventing ways of playing percussively on musical instruments, fundamentally melodic. Thus, the “secret” trio may be an allusion to the fact that their arrangements, full of rhythm and dynamism, harmony and counterpoint, never sound like three instruments. The use of the oud and the kanun, whose origins date back to the Arab and Persian empires of the 10th century, along with the clarinet, creates a texture essential to the musical aesthetic of the trio, and which creates a sound different from the known chamber. western sets. The Secret Trio, formed in 2010, have made two recordings on the Traditional Crossroads label – Soundscapes (2012) and Three of Us (2015) – and one, Becca Stevens & The Secret Trio, for GroundUP Music.

Ismail Lumanovski, renowned for his dynamic virtuosity, was born in Bitola, Macedonia and started playing the clarinet at the age of eight. He has performed in the United States, Europe, the Middle East and China to critical acclaim, and is proud to have participated in the New York premiere of Carter’s Clarinet Concerto with musicians from the New Juilliard Ensemble and the Lucerne Festival Academy with Maestro Pierre. Boulez. He has performed with many prestigious musicians and orchestras, including Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie, New Juilliard Ensemble, Berklee Middle Eastern Fusion Ensemble, World Youth Symphony Orchestra, Palestine Youth Orchestra, Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, Marcel Khalife, Al Di Meola and Husnu Senlendirici. A master improviser and performer of Macedonian, Turkish and Gypsy music, he is currently touring with the New York Gypsy All-Stars, a jazz-influenced fusion and folk music group that mixes Balkan folk music with Western classical music. He is a laureate of numerous competitions, including the 23rd, 24th and 25th Macedonian Clarinet Competition, the Juilliard Clarinet Concerto Competition, the International Young Artist Competition in Bulgaria, the National Folk Music Competition in Macedonia and the Andreas Makris Clarinet Competition in Colorado. In addition, he received the “Prix des Beaux-Arts” twice at the Interlochen Academy of Arts and won 1st prize at the Arriaga Chamber Music Competition. He holds a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music from the Juilliard School of Music. He studied with Charles Neidich and Ayako Oshima.

Tamer Pinarbasi had a lot of influence on the evolution of kanun playing. Born in Karaman, Turkey in 1970, he started his kanun lessons at the age of 10, appeared in the film Haci Arif Bey at 11, starred with Necdet Yaşar at 12, and made his first hundreds of recordings at age 13 with the best Turkish artists. . He then attended the Istanbul Technical University Turkish Music State Conservatory where he developed his unique approach of playing with all ten fingers instead of the traditional method of using plectrums (mızrap) on the two indexes. He created a new kanun design suited to his unorthodox playing technique. By simultaneously cutting certain strings and strumming neighboring strings, he is able to transform the sound of his instrument to simulate other Turkish folk instruments. This technique, along with his knowledge of the eastern modal system (makam) and western harmony, paved the way for him to become one of the best kanun virtuosos in the world. After years of musical training and thousands of performances around the world, he moved to the United States in 1994 and branched out to explore jazz, funk, flamenco, classical and contemporary music. He continued to develop his songwriting and performance styles in many diverse musical environments, including the New York Gypsy All-Stars and The Secret Trio.

Ara Dinkjian, an American-born Armenian, began his musical career accompanying his father Onnik Dinkjian, a famous Armenian folk and liturgical singer. Ara learned several Western and Eastern instruments (piano, guitar, darbuka, clarinet, cümbüş) and in 1980 graduated from Hartt College of Music, obtaining the country’s first and only special diploma in the instrument for which he became the most known, the oud. For more than 40 years he served his Armenian Apostolic Church as an organist. Throughout his musical life, he continued to develop his very personal style of composition which blends his Eastern and Western roots. In 1985, to contribute to the realization of these compositions and musical concepts, he formed his quartet Night Ark, which recorded four CDs for the international labels RCA/BMG and Universal/PolyGram. His songs have been recorded by world famous instrumentalists and singers in 16 different languages. His hit song “Dinata, Dinata” was performed by Eleftheria Arvanitaki during the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics. Several of his compositions have appeared in film and television soundtracks. He has performed in 24 countries, performing in prestigious concert halls and oud festivals, and giving master classes. CD releases over the past decade include Diyarbakiri Hokin (The Soul of Dikranagerd), a collaboration with his father Onnik; 1915 – 2015 Truth & Hope, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide; and Live at Princeton University, which includes The Secret Trio and the New York Gypsy All Stars. The documentary film Garod tells how Onnik Dinkjian kept Armenian folk music alive in the Diaspora and passed it on to his son Ara.

Photo: Alena Soboleva

Made possible in part by public funding provided by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts with support from the New York State Legislature.

Press contact: Helene Browning: [email protected], 718-541-2366


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