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John is a Sepastatzi, born in New York. His parents were Arshalous & Manase Chookasezian, who were born in Sepastia (Historic Western Armenian homeland), present day Sivas, Turkey. They were married in New York in 1924. John has been playing Armenian and Middle East folk music for over 35 years; he is the founder and director of the "King Tut Revue" of Las Vegas, and the "Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble." John has performed from the Eastern Seaboard, to the West Coast of the United States. Holding graduate degrees from the New York University, College of Music, and from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, John taught Music & Ethnic Studies for three years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. A dedicated premier clarinetist, John, along with his wife, Barbara, and the Chookasian Ensemble, traveled to Armenia by Presidential invitation, to perform a month-long series of concerts in Armenia & Karabagh. During his last 'standing-room-only' concert in Yerevan's Grand Philharmonic Hall, John was presented with Armenia's "National Gold Medal Award," by Armenia's Cultural Minister. In addition to his musical pursuits, John is an actor who has appeared in 42 film productions during his career. He has appeared with Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis, Clint Eastwood, George Burns, Art Carney, Tony Bennett, Cheryl Ladd, Robert Urich, and numerous other major artists. John currently resides in Fresno, California, where he continues with his mission of presenting, preserving and perpetuating traditional Armenian music and culture.