PROVIDENCE, RI—Surrounded by his loving family, David Ayriyan, age 85, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, May 18, 2019.
Born in Baku, David fled with his family when bloody pogroms by Azeri Turks against the Armenian community swept the region. David and his family found freedom in Rhode Island, where he would eventually become the state’s most prominent folk artist and a treasured member of the local Armenian community.
David was also a world-renowned master of the second most ancient string instrument—the kamancha. He played around the world, including the Library of Congress, Armenia and Azerbaijan. He performed solos, as well as with his two sons Gregory and Levon. He also collaborated with other international folk artists; one such acclaimed piece called Triple Decker told the story of one tenement where traditional folk artists from three different continents made their home.
David was a kind and earnest family man—a man of great character and honor, and he always valued those around him. He always reminded his sons to be smart and make the right choices. He told everyone to be the best they could be at whatever they did and wished them success. David will always be loved; his spirit will live on through his family and close friends.
David is survived by his wife of 56 years, Julieta; four sons: Gregory, Artur, Daniel, and Levon; and 11 grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at Sts. Vartanantz Armenian Apostolic Church, 402 Broadway, Providence, Rhode Island at 11:00 a.m. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. inside the sanctuary. Interment will be at North Burial Ground, Branch Avenue, Providence.