Apr 28 2015

Programs from Recent Concerts

Wanted to put these up for posterity – the first is of my oud duet concert with Ara Dinkjian at Columbia from a few years back. The second is from String Harmonies first show in Los Angeles with the local Hamazkayin. Lots of great information – thanks to Ara Dinkjian and Melissa Bilal for their support.

Oud Concert Booklet – Columbia University Concert with Ara Dinkjian

Hamazkayin String Harmonies Concert

Oct 1 2011

Haleben Loor Egav Style – the RARE Boss RV-3!

So today I come home and FINALLY my RV-3 unit has ARRIVED – special thanks to baby hova! As many of you know already, the RV-3 was discontinued in 2002 and nobody knows why as it is an absolutely amazing pedal.  Check out a demo here…  It’ll be nice to have the pedal for our upcoming shows in LA, San Diego, NYC, and a bunch of European countries I think…

Haleb Tones From Outer Space

Also got a new load of disco pedals through some Bismej-financing that worked out beautifully.  Basically you have the oud going through some really interesting processing and getting different tones – part of what makes VIZA so unique with all the experimentation we do together in the band…

Don’t mind the two knobs that are missing – the pedal still works fine.  We can all thank years of wear and tear in the trenches of glorious kef wars where I learned my chops with Aravod and other kef demigods for the bumps and scratches on this finely crafted unit… until next time!

Aug 23 2011

VIZA Supports Benefit Fundraiser for Tragically Injured Youth

On August 2, 2011 members of VIZA joined Alpha Epsilon Omega, Alpha Gamma Alpha, and the American Red Cross who hosted the “Party at the Alley” fundraiser at Pickwick Bowling Alley for eighteen year-old student Gegham Melkonyan. Gegham recently suffered from a tragic swimming accident, leaving him paralyzed. Over 500 people attended the event to bowl and enjoy music spun by DJ Cristato. Support for worthy causes is important to the band – it was a great night and we were happy to be there. Aside from VIZA, there were special guest appearances by alumni from all chapters of Alpha Epsilon Omega and Alpha Gamma Alpha.

Daniel, Mastikian and Antranig at the "Party at the Alley" Benefit with Alpha Epsilon Omega, Alpha Gamma Alpha and the Red Cross

Jul 25 2011

The Actor’s Journey

Everyone – our friend and beloved thespian extraordinaire – the prolific and abundantly talented “Manny the Actor” has embarked on a cross country expedition for the ages… Accompanied by his trusty companions “Security” and “The Big Boss” (new addition to the crew) – you can tune in at http://www.justin.tv/mannysroadtrip to catch all the madness as it unfolds…

The Actor "Lookin' Good as ALWAYS" Style

An Ishkhanian "Prince" To Provide Full Security for "The Actor" - Go PHILS

Halebtsi Enk Yaw

Jun 8 2011

Viza Prepares for European Invasion Version 2.0


Los Angeles , CA – Viza is preparing for a European tour in the coming weeks and months.  Dates are set in France, Greece and Sweden, with performances scheduled at some of Europe’s hottest summer festivals and venues.  Viza will be in Paris on June 30 at Le Divan Du Monde headlining with two of France’s hottest up and coming acts in Checkmate and Blazcooky.  Then Viza heads to Greece to perform at the Rockwave Festival on July 3 with Gogol Bordello, The Prodigy, Cake, Flogging Molly and Therapy. Viza rounds out its summer European tour in Sweden at the Malmo Festival on August 20 on the festival’s main stage.


“Returning to Greece this year brings me back to all those summers I spent vacationing with my family and friends.  Nothing quite like enjoying a frappe in the morning hours minutes before you take a dip into the Aegean,” stated Greece’s native-born son Knoup. “As for Rockwave this will be Viza’s first invitation and I am thrilled to perform for my fellow Greek patriots who have showed nothing but love and support this past year to Viza’s music,” he added.


Viza’s return to Europe comes less than a year after a wildly successful campaign last summer supporting System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian’s “Imperfect Harmonies” tour dates in several European cities. Set against the backdrop of multiple sellouts in Los Angeles and recording their eagerly anticipated full-length album “Carnivalia” at Frank Zappa’s Utility Muffin Research Kitchen, Viza is excited to head overseas and continue its European invasion.


“These shows are really exciting for the band,” stated Andrew Kzirian. “I feel like after our tour with Serj Tankian last summer, so many fans are eager to see us return to Europe – and we are super pumped to reach out to new audiences and continue to introduce Viza to the masses,” he added.


Recent performers at the Rockwave Festival include Metallica, Black-Eyed Peas, Slipknot, Motley Crue, The Offspring, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin’s Robert Plant, Dream Theater, Guns N’ Roses, Marilyn Manson, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Peter Gabriel, Queensryche, Megadeth, Oasis, and several others.


“It’s going to be awesome to share the stage with acts like Gogol Bordello in Greece,” stated Viza Bassist Alexan Khatcherian. “Knowing all the legends that have performed at Rockwave through the years makes this a really amazing show for us,” he added.  Gogol Bordello recently opened for System of a Down’s tour in North America and is an exciting blend of folk and rock.


For more information, please visit Viza’s website and Facebook page.

Apr 21 2011

Sona Movsesian To Host Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth 3 Concert

Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth! is a social justice concert dedicated to raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide.  For the past 3 years, socially conscious artists in the Los Angeles area have come together to work with the community through music, activism and commemoration. Viza, Capital Cities, Zulal, Armenian Public Radio, R-Mean, Bei Ru and many more special guests will take the stage on Sunday April 24, 2011 at the El Rey Theatre as the arts will inspire the need for recognition and contrition through a uniquely powerful performance that will indeed Silence the Lies and Rock the Truth.

This year’s concert program will be hosted by Sona Movsesian. Movsesian started her career in television working as one of the storied NBC Pages in Los Angeles, which constitutes diligently giving tours and wearing an awful polyester uniform.  She went on to work in the events department at NBC and eventually landed a job on The Tonight Show with Conan O’Brien as O’Brien’s executive assistant.  After a slight tussle her boss had with the network in January 2010, Sona’s relationship with NBC ended and she found herself touring the country on O’Brien’s “Legally Prohibited From Being Funny on Television” Tour (the backstage shenanigans of which can be seen in the upcoming documentary Conan O’Brien Can’t Stop).  Movsesian continues to work with O’Brien on his new TBS venture, “Conan”, which airs weeknights Monday through Thursday at 11:00PM.

“I can’t express in English or Armenian words how excited I am to be a part of this event.  One of the most beautiful aspects of the Armenian culture is its creativity and I’m so grateful to be a part of an event that celebrates that.  Every beat, every lyric and every word spoken is a testament to our perseverance, strength, courage and endurance.  It’s nights like these that make me prouder than ever to say I’m an Armenian,” stated Movsesian.

Movsesian attended the Mesrobian School in Montebello and also worked at ANC-TV during college. Aside from her job in television, Movsesian is also the proud co-writer, co-creator and co-star of the play ArmeniaMania! which is produced by Speak Theater Arts.  Movsesian earned her BA in Communication from USC in 2005 and currently lives with her bestie (Laverne and Shirley style) in Pasadena.  She also plays on a dodgeball team in West Hollywood called The Haircuts and they ended their season with a tremendous 0-9 record.

“We’re happy to have someone of Sona’s talent as the host for this year’s Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth Concert,” stated Viza member Andrew Kzirian. “Sona is one of the community’s great young women and we’re thrilled to have her involved in this year’s show,” he added.

For more information and tickets please visit www.silencethelies.com.

Apr 14 2011

Silence the Lies! Rock the Truth III Concert on 4/24

Los Angeles, CA – As the Armenian Diaspora and human rights activists from around the world prepare for the 96th Anniversary Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, Angelenos will join community artists to raise awareness of genocide prevention and education through the 3rd annual Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth concert.

“There are several events taking place throughout Southern California to commemorate the Armenian Genocide,” stated activist and Viza oud player Andrew Kzirian. “This concert will complement our community’s rich array of activities through the prism of artistic expression – we will promote understanding of human rights by coming together, united, as one voice in demanding an end to the perpetration of genocide,” he added.

Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth! is a social justice concert dedicated to raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide.  For the past 3 years, socially conscious artists in the Los Angeles area have come together to work with the community through music, activism and commemoration. Viza, Capital Cities, Zulal, Armenian Public Radio, R-Mean, Bei Ru and many more special guests will take the stage on Sunday April 24, 2011 at the El Rey Theatre as the arts will inspire the need for recognition and contrition through a uniquely powerful performance that will indeed Silence the Lies and Rock the Truth.

Here is what some of this year’s artists had to say:

“We are eternally grateful that nearly 100 years after the plight of our ancestors, we are still able to celebrate our Armenian songs. Though our past has been dark, our future is bright. It is our hope that through our music we are able to be a bridge for our culture from one generation to the next,” stated Armenian Public Radio’s Mher Ajemian. “We are also very honored to be sharing the stage with Zulal, who was a major inspiration for us in starting our current project, and other friends and colleagues such as Viza, Bei Ru and Capital Cities,” Ajemian added.

“Zulal joins voices with fellow musicians to honor the belief that genocide should never be tolerated, whether it be in the past, present or future. We consider many of our songs to be a personal link between ourselves and voices from the past who either endured or witnessed unspeakable horrors. We honor their song and let their voices be heard,” stated Zulal’s Teni Apelian.

“I’m looking forward to the concert at the El Rey on April 24. It’s a great event to celebrate the joys of music and unity. It’s an opportunity for people from all backgrounds to come together and encourage tolerance, love and respect,” stated Capital Cities’ Sebu Simonian. “An event like ‘Silence the Lies’ turns that positivity into proactive work, by spreading the message into the communities outside of the music scene and, on a practical level, raise money for truly worthwhile charities. It’s an honor to be a part of it!” noted Simonian.

“As an artist I have the opportunity to reach the masses and educate our generation about the Armenian Genocide. I will forever support this cause and use my voice to raise awareness, for music is our platform to be the voice of the voiceless,” stated rapper R-Mean.

“It’s an honor to be a part of such a noble cause commemorating the Armenian Genocide as well as contributing to those in need. Human rights and human suffering are issues that affect everyone regardless of background, so I’m extremely humbled and thankful that we have this opportunity to raise awareness of the Armenian Genocide, in addition to giving something back to the community,” remarked DJ and Producer Bei Ru.

Various organizations like the Armenian National Committee of America, Armenian Youth Federation and Alpha Gamma Alpha are teaming up with these artists to make for a high impact show. “The ANC-Professional Network was at the last Viza show on April 1,” stated ANC-PN Chairman and ANCA-WR Board member Sevag Demirjian. “We were able to spread the good word on our work to a sold out show of concertgoers – and we look forward to doing the same thing again on April 24 at the El Rey,” he added.

Alpha Gamma Alpha, Alpha Chapter at UCLA is proud to take part in this event every year. “Being the only Armenian sorority, we always look for ways to give back to our community and to our homeland. We do many philanthropic events throughout the year, but this is the one closest to our hearts since we have the opportunity to raise enough money to directly impact children in Armenia,” stated sorority representative Editt Nikoyan.

“The AYF is delighted to team up with Viza and other Armenian artists for the third year in a row. We have a duty as young Armenians in the Diaspora to spread awareness and fight for something that our ancestors no longer can.  Through music, through art, we want to celebrate our existence and bring our people closer together,” stated AYF-WR Chairman Arek Santikian.

This year, proceeds from the concert will be donated to two needy organizational projects. The Armenian Relief Society funds “Sosse” Kindergartens in Stepanagert, Ashan and Aganapert, providing hundreds of orphans of the Artsakh war with hot meals, schooling and secure surroundings. This allows for widows and economically deprived women with children to work and earn income while their children are properly sheltered and cared for during the day. Through its sponsorship of the kindergartens, the ARS of Western USA secures school uniforms, supplies, educational toys and assists in school-related expenses.

The Orran Charity provides vital support and assistance to needy Armenian children in Yerevan. Established in 2000, Orran which means “haven” in Armenian, works to decrease the disparity between the needs of at-risk groups and the availability of essential services. Orran provides food services, academic assistance, cultural enrichment opportunities and medical, psychological and social services for vulnerable communities in central Yerevan.

The artists and organizations involved with this special concert would like to encourage everyone in the community to participate in an event that will provide incredible talent and entertainment, but will also benefit the children of Armenia. For more information and tickets please visit www.silencethelies.com.

Apr 12 2011


— Boston Show – Friday, May 13, 2011 (visit www.itsmyseat.com (search for VIZA) for ticket information)

— New York City Show – Saturday, May 14, 2011 (click here for tickets)

Viza is bringing its unique brand of hard fusion rock to the east coast for special shows in Boston and New York. The performances will be hosted at Boston’s ACEC on Friday, May 13, 2011 and New York City’s Highline Ballroom on Saturday, May 14. While Viza is in the midst of recording its highly anticipated album “Carnivalia” at Frank Zappa’s Utility Muffin Research Kitchen studios in Hollywood, the band is looking forward to upcoming shows across the US and Europe.

“Always a pleasure going back home to perform for many of my fellow Greek and east coast fans – we are in the studio working on our next release ‘Carnivalia’ which will probably be our most gaudy album to date,” stated frontman Knoup.

“The band is super excited about what’s in store for 2011,” stated Viza member Andrew Kzirian. “Ever since our return from our international tour last summer, we have been super motivated to write new music, grow as a group and continue connecting with fans,” he added.

Viza will be joined in the Big Apple on Saturday, May 14 by some of New York’s finest, and most popular, up and coming artists including Evan Russell Staffer, Naked, AnAka and Battle Circus. The Highline Ballroom is one of New York’s premier venues running through Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen neighborhoods. As a special treat for fans throughout the world, the New York City show will be broadcast live at http://www.nycliverock.com/.

In Boston, Viza will perform on Friday, May 13 with the Arev Ensemble, a project dedicated to incorporating both traditional folk and contemporary instruments. The Arev Ensemble has received much acclaim for bringing their unique interpretations to audiences throughout North America. “The combination of Arev Ensemble’s traditional folk interpretations of music, and Viza’s modern fusion of international influences with rock, is a beautiful irony of how Armenian Diasporan artists represent music. As artists we need to continue to support and inspire each other. We are excited about sharing the stage with Viza!” commented Arev Ensemble vocalist Ani Zargarian.

“Carnivalia” is set for release in summer 2011, and the band’s trip east takes place against the backdrop of upcoming dates in Europe. Viza opened for System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian’s “Imperfect Harmonies” tour in Europe during the summer of 2010 and will return to Europe for festival dates this summer and beyond into 2011. Viza will also be joining Gogol Bordello and several other artists at the Rockwave Festival in Greece in early July.

Aside from a busy international touring schedule, Viza strives to express its art in support of humanitarian problems. Viza’s work in raising awareness of genocide prevention, feeding the homeless, and aiding orphans and social service centers is well documented, including coverage in the Los Angeles Times. On April 24, 2011, Viza will headline “Silence the Lies, Rock the Truth III”, a concert in Los Angeles dedicated to commemorating the Armenian Genocide and assisting the needy in Armenia.

“We believe in working with the community,” noted Kzirian. “We are artists and individuals but we are also citizens of good conscience – we want to do what we can to have our voice heard on issues that matter to us as a group,” he remarked.

Viza’s Boston performance, sponsored by the ACEC and Hamazkayin of Boston, will take place on Friday, May 13 at the ACEC, located at:

47 Nichols Avenue
Watertown, MA 02472

Doors open at 7 pm and tickets are on sale for $25. For ticket information please call (617) 926 6067 or visit www.itsmyseat.com (search for VIZA).

Viza’s New York City show will take place on Saturday, May 14 at the Highline Ballroom, located at:

431 W. 16th Street,
New York, NY 10011,
(Between 9th and 10th Avenues)

Doors open at 6 pm, the concert begins at 7:30 pm and tickets are on sale for $12 in advance, and $15 at the door. Viza showtime is 11 pm. Please visit http://www.experienceviza.com/Viza/Tour.html for tickets.

Check out www.experienceviza.com for show times, ticket information and more details in the coming weeks.

Mar 30 2011


It’s April Fools’ so that means only one thing – a great show on Friday night (4/1) at the Troubadour – GET TICKETS HERE

Last year we pulled off an AMAZING prank – who knows what’s in store for 2011??? BE THERE

Mar 17 2011

VIZA in NYC at the Highline Ballroom on May 14 and Rockwave Festival in Europe July 3

I will be walking for graduation the morning of 5/14 in NYC and then heading over to the Highline Ballroom for some VIZA action with the guys that same night… Part of an east coast tour perhaps? GET TICKETS HERE – gonna be a hot night on 5/14…

Then VIZA is headed to Europe for the Rockwave Festival in Greece in July – I hear it’s hot over there that time of year… Part of a European tour perhaps?