Mike Sarkissian And His Cafe Bagdad Ensemble
Audio Fidelity AFLP 1867
From the back cover: Michael Sarkissian, in addition to boasting a vast knowledge of oriental and Middle Eastern art, is one of America's foremost directors and interpreters of music of this part of the world. He has appeared as singer and conductor on many television and radio programs with top personalities such as Bob Hope, Jerry Colonna, Pat O'Brien and Frances Langford. Born in the United States of Armenian parents, he learned the rudiments of Armenian music and Middle Eastern dancing at an early age. When he was 14, he formed his own orchestra. During the second World War, he served in the special service branch of the Air Corps, appearing as soloist, orchestra member and musical director in many shows. Following the war, he appeared in numerous night clubs, until he decided to open his own club. This he named Cafe Bagdad, and it has become a kind of diplomatic center for the furtherance of Middle Eastern music and dance. As Sarkissian puts it, "We created a sort of musical Mecca for our people, but soon found out that not only our people but those of other lands appreciated our music and traditional dance."