Remembering Adiss Harmandian

Legendary Performer Redefined Diaspora Armenian Music

SANTA MONICA, Calif.—Acclaimed Armenian singer and performer Adiss Harmandian has died. His family announced that Harmandian peacefully passed away at the UCLA Santa Monica Hospital on September 1 after a 15-year struggle with cancer. He was 74 years old.

Harmandian, who was born on January 14, 1945 in Beirut, broke into the music scene in Beirut in the 1960s with the song “Dzaghigner” (Flowers) and never looked back. Many of his early hits, written by songwriter Hasmig Manasserian, made Adiss a household name in every corner of the Armenian Diaspora. 

During his career, Harmandian recorded some 40 albums (more than 400 songs), many of which became hits throughout the Armenian Diaspora, becoming a pioneer of what is referred to as “estradayin” genre of Armenian popular music.

His hits include “Nune,” “Ayl Acher Gan,” “Karoun Karoun,” “Mdamolor,” “Mi Latsatsnir,” “Ayl Acher,” “Akhtamar” and “Kisher e Kisher.” 

In 2005, Harmandian received the prestigious St. Mesrob Mashdots Medal of the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia for his role in spreading Armenian music.

In 2015, Harmandian published a biographical volume titled “Adiss, Yerki Jampov” (roughly, “Adiss: Along the Road of Songs”) that charts his life and musical career. 

For over two generations, Harmandian’s songs have made an incredible impression on the lives of millions of Armenians. Doubtless, his songs will continue to fill Armenian homes and weddings for generations to come.

Photo: Adiss Harmandian Facebook

24 Comments

  1. I had the honor to meet Adiss back in 1974 in Bologna Lebanon during a dinner dance concert gala, then attended his numerous concerts here in Fresno CA , then had a long conversation in Northridge CA, in 1995, when I suggested him to write an autobiography with words and story about his best songs. In between I was pleased to meet him once in his pastry stores. His passing shocked me as I spoke with him about his book with my thankful gratitude , only a few months ago.I can’t believe he is gone so young. He will be in our hearts forever. RIP.

  2. I had the honour to meet adiss harmandian 4 times when he came to toronto back in 1987,1989, 1992 and in 1999. Adiss I will always love you forever in my heart as long as you live inside me and rest in pease R.I.P adiss avedis harmandian love you.

  3. I was a young Drummer in mid to late 1960’s and had the pleasure to play with Adiss pre Adiss harmandian period ( before he broke into the Armenian singing). He did not sing any Armenian songs but mainly French, Italian, Spanish and few Arabic songs. Mainly French. I have encouraged him as a nineteen year old drummer and his friend, to sing in Armenian. In those days “Vigen” the Armenian singer from Iran broke into the Armenian songs (because Vigen mainly sang in Persian) with the song “Dzaghigner-Dzaghigner” and he Vigen, became a household name in Lebanon and possibly in all of Diaspora. For Adiss’s success he and we, and why not all of us, Armenians around the world must be eternally thankful to two very professional men Mr Antranig Mardirossian The famous record shop in Bourj-Hammood,and Mr Taniel Tanielian the director of a record company whose name I don’t remember. We must also be thankful to Jaque Kodjian the famous Armenian player in Lebanon, brother of Mehran and Varoujan. Adiss was also very lucky with timing that we needed to have someone and we must thank rightly so to “Vigen” who put the foundation of Armenian songs in the diaspora. Thanks to also Hasmig Manaseryan who’s poetry was wonderful.
    What happened to our band? it was called “Adiss Harmand and the Beethovens.” It was a wonderful experience for me playing with Adiss, Louise the organ player, Vahe”Jimmi Hendrix” of lebanon and the lead guitar player with his Fender guitars, and young Sako, the base player and my self on the drums. I saw Adis last time in Sydney, Australia a year ago when he attended a wedding and I met him again at a private party when he handed me his book, a Biography of his life. We had a quick chat and these were his words to me- “I am giving you this book to let you know that I haven’t forgotten you and the Boys, those were very happy days, we didn’t have much money but we were happy, you will find the photos of our band ‘The Beethovens’ as a thank you for all of you and for to have encouraged me to start singing in Armenian.’ I never forget “1968-Bourj-Hammood.” Thank you Adiss, you have a special place in my memories, and I will always remember you. Asdvadz hokit lousavore yev kastast deght tuerin ella. May the good Lord bless your soul, may your Souls’ journey be kind to you.

    • Does the name Stanlry khoury owner of Studio Baalbeck in Beirut ring a bell. Adiss and Jacques recorded a few LP’s over there in the 1960’s. As Adiss is an extra-ordinary singer so is Jacques an extraordinary pianist virtuoso composer arranger, ( see Heranal). No mention of Giragos Nazirian the Bass guitarist of Adiss early bands. anybody knows about him. In my book he was the best bass guitarist(see ov em yess ov es toun ) or “Mi hishir orer-e antsyalin ” the closing bass guitar notes……superb performence.

  4. Adiss is not just a singer from Lebanon, I met him when I was very young in one of the festivities in beirut(when we still had a decent diaspora). Adiss represents a pillar of the diaspora and beacon of hope for future generations of diasporan singers. Not a lot of them are left there and have been overtaken by Armenian/Soviet singers who have no charm and represent nobody, a sad day for our diaspora, may he rest in peace.

    • I agree unfortunately. mot recent “songs” are cheap odar style copies.boring hodge- podge of notes. no depth superficial stuff.Adiss is a O.T.O. A One Time Only phenomenon( see Shirag yercaran). Phenomenon= yerevouyt” “(Shirag yercaran)Moudk-e hye yercarvesdin mech yeghav yerevouyt me”

  5. Adis was my classmate and a neighbor when I was a kid, I remember him as a happy person. during his years of fame,when we met we always talked of our childhood at College St. Gregoire in Beirut. Adis will always be remembered by his songs and the joy he provided to all of us in Lebanon.

  6. Dear Adiss, you are Forever in Our Hearts.. i’ve known you since i was a child and we grew up with your beautiful songs.. i met with you in several occasions.. i still cherish the album that you gave me back in 1980 in Boston with your signature.. after all.. YOU WERE OUR wedding Singer in 2000… YOU are a Legend and Legends will be remembered and loved forever..

  7. I remember growing up listening to avedis harmandyan and since to this day avedis harmandyan left me with so many memories which I will keep avedis harmandyan in my heart. Rest in peace avedis harmandyan love you.

    • That’s what it is exactly that kind of talented singer one of a kind is gone and now here we are with all Armenian TV stations full of crap music singers who have no taste or talent in music like they shouting on the top of their lungs so they can sing bringing all those half nude dancers to get attention or may be fame it’s so superficial fake immoral act yet they consider themselves singers instead of bringing value they destroying our cultural musical values

  8. That’s what it is exactly that kind of talented singer one of a kind is gone and now here we are with all Armenian TV stations full of crap music singers who have no taste or talent in music like they shouting on the top of their lungs so they can sing bringing all those half nude dancers to get attention or may be fame it’s so superficial fake immoral act yet they consider themselves singers instead of bringing value they destroying our cultural musical values

  9. TOU HERATSAR KEZ MORANAL CHE LINI. MOST OF ADISS SONGS ARE SIMPLE PURE POETRY WHICH WOULD HAVE GONE UNNOTICED OR LITTLE NOTICED HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR ADISS’S TALENTS.NO ONE ELSE COULD MAKE THESE POETRIES AS SHINY AS ADISS EVEN IF THEY TRIED HARD. iT WAS THIS GOD GIVEN TALENT GIFT(HIS VOICE, HIS STYLE, HIS PRESENTATION, PERSONNALITY ETC)THAT MADE THESE SIMPLE WORDED POETRIES SHINE BRILLIANTLY,PENETRATE OUR HEARTS AND STAY THERE. THIS IS NOT ENOUGH SAID YET ABOUT ADISS,I FEEL,MORE TO BE SAID AS DAYS GO BYE.FOR NOW, WE HAVE THE HEAVY LOAD ON OUR HEARTS TO GET USED TO THE SOUR REALITY OF HIS VERY EARLY DEPARTURE. FORTUNATELY, OUR CONSOLATION COMES FROM THE ABUNDANCE OF THE SOURCE WHICH IS HIS RICHLY COLORFUL REPERTORY OF SONGS TO PLEASE AND SOOTHE ALL KINDS OF FEELINGS AND TASTES.FOR THAT WE WILL BE ETERNALLY GRATEFUL TO ADISS UNTILL OUR LAST BREATH.

  10. OF COURSE WE MUST NOT FORGET TO GIVE CREDIT TO ALL THOSE TALENTED MUSICIANS WHO WERE PART OF HIS BANDS DURING HALF A CENTURY, MUSICIANS WHO PLAYED CLASSICAL INSTRUMENTS LIKE THE OBOE, FLUTE, CLARINET, ACCORDEON,PICCOLO , FRENCH HORN( IN “HAMPERIR”) SAXOPHONE VIOLIN, VIOLA, CELLO AND ABOVE ALL THE PIANO, STARTING WITH THE PIANIST VIRTUOSO jACQUES kODJIAN ALL THE WAY TO THE BASS GUITARIST AND THE LAST DRUMMER.THE KEEN LISTENERS ARE GRATEFUL TO ALL THESE WONDERFUL ARTISTS WHO ENRICHED ,EMBELLISHED AND GAVE DEPTH TO ADISS’S SONGS,THE WAY HE WANTED THEM TO.

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