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Stevie Wonder to perform at concert timed to Armenian Genocide 100th anniversary

Stevie Wonder to perform at concert timed to Armenian Genocide 100th anniversary

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Armenian government is teaming up with Stevie Wonder and a roster of international performers to bring a higher profile to Genocide recognition efforts.

Armenian dignitaries and music promoters in Glendale unveiled plans for a five-year series of concerts, dubbed “Never Again,” to keep the Armenian Genocide and other human rights atrocities in the public eye.

The series is scheduled to culminate with performances in 2015, the 100-year anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide, in which 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of Ottoman Turks. Supporters say the effort is a companion to long-standing political and legal efforts by Armenian-Americans to have the United States formally recognize the Armenian Genocide.

“Something that may not be done through the power of politics can be done through the power of music,” said Anush Hovsepyan, spokeswoman for Glendale-based nonprofit Artists for Peace.

Hovsepyan said the program also is intended to highlight the many atrocities that have occurred even after a 1948 United Nations resolution condemning genocide, including those in Rwanda, Cambodia and Sudan.

Armenian diplomats voiced their support for the effort.

Grigor Hovhannissian, the Glendale-based consul general for Armenia in the western United States, said the Armenian government supports the effort.

The first “Never Again” concert is scheduled to take place April 17 at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal City with Wonder; Canadian songwriter and producer David Foster — who has worked with Celine Dion, Josh Groban and others — and Flora Martirosyan, a popular Armenian performer who recently recorded the genocide-themed song and video “Never Again.”

Promoters are hoping to add other names to the roster of performers, Glendale News –Press reported.

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