Ara Dinkjian (Oud player) is an Armenian-American composer/multi-instrumentalist who was born in New Jersey, USA in 1958. He has been the organist for the Armenian Apostolic Church for fifty years. Ara graduated Hartt College of Music, earning the country’s first and only special degree in the oud. He is considered one of the finest oud players in the world, with a very personal style, emphasizing a uniquely beautiful tone. His groundbreaking and highly influential group NIGHT ARK recorded four CDs for RCA/BMG and PolyGram/Universal. He has performed in 24 countries throughout the world. His compositions have appeared in movie and television soundtracks, and have been recorded by renowned musicians and singers in 16 different languages. Dinkjian’s composition “Homecoming” (“Dinata, Dinata”) was performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2004 Athens Olympics. In 2013 at the Nevruz Festival in Dikranagerd (Diyarbekir), over 1 million people sang his song “Picture” (“Ağladıkça”) to welcome peace after years of conflict in the region. He has recorded six solo CDs, as well as three CDs with his current group, THE SECRET TRIO. Dinkjian’s collection of over 5,000 Armenian and Turkish 78rpm records is one of the largest archives of this material in the world. Ara and his father Onnik, the iconic Armenian folk and liturgical singer, are the subject of a documentary film titled Garod. The Ara Dinkjian Songbook was just published by Aras Publishing, which was founded by Hrant Dink.