Barabara Chookasian a native of San Francisco, Barbara is the fourth generation in the United States from both the Papazian and Egoian families, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1896 from "Chimishgazak" and "Moush," in territorial Armenia. She was raised in a family steeped in the traditions, music, and folk dances of Armenia. Barbara's life mission has been to preserve the traditional songs and dances of her ancestors. For the past 30 years, she has taught numerous folk dance groups, and has conducted many workshops on Armenian dance and culture. One of her major accomplishments was organizing and instructing a very large Armenian folk dance group at the Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Fresno, California, for several years. A teacher in her professional life, Barbara has taught Armenian song, folk dance, and culture to her many students in the public schools systems of California and Nevada. Barbara is also an accomplished Armenian percussionist, having mastered the art of performing on "dumbegs" (hour-glass shaped drums), "deff" (tambourines), "zills" (finger cymbals); she has been performing and teaching these percussion instruments for over 30 years. Presently, Barbara is the premier featured vocalist of the Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble. Her vocal repertoire includes songs of BOTH the traditional Eastern and Western Armenian musical styles. With her rich & resonant Armenian vocal style, and her distinctive interpretation of the master composers of Armenia, Barbara brings to the stage her warmth of spirit, and her great cultural love.