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  • Writer's pictureYunus Emre Institute

‘Anatolian Evening with The Secret Trio’ Stuns Washington Audience

Live music performance of Turkish, Roma, and Armenian music impresses concert-goers.

Washington, D.C. - On February 21st, 2020, the Yunus Emre Institute hosted a concert called Anatolian Evening with the Secret Trio to celebrate Turkey’s unique music heritage. The Secret Trio is a band formed by Ara Dinkjian, Tamer Pinarbasi, and Ismail Lumanovski to explore both new and traditional melodies in Middle Eastern and Balkan music. Guests were able to listen as the multicultural heritage of Anatolia came to life on stage.

The Secret Trio was formed in 2010 to create new music from Turkish, Roma, and Armenian influences. They play both new and traditional melodies from around the Balkans and Middle East. The Secret Trio are experts of jazz, rock, classical, and folk music. So far they have released two albums, Soundscapes (2012) and Three of Us (2015), and played Turkey and seven other countries around the world. The instruments that The Secret Trio play are some of the oldest in the world. Ara Dinkjian plays the oud, a string instrument passed down through Turkey and the Middle East from ancient civilizations from over 3,000 years ago. The Turkish oud is unique for its higher pitch compared to its Arabian and Persian counterpart. Tamer Pinarbasi plays a 76-stringed instrument called a kanun which evolved throughout Anatolia and the Middle East over thousands of years. Ismail Lumanovski will channel Anatolia’s storied heritage of wind instruments by playing a clarinet, one of the more popular instruments in Turkey and its neighbors. The Secret Trio intentionally does not include a percussion instrument and instead opts to create the illusion of a percussive beat using string and wind instruments.

After The Secret Trio took the stage, they filled the room with their passion for music. Ara Dinkjian served as the band’s spokesman and shared their thoughts intermittently throughout the concert. The band sees themselves as more than just a group. They perform to show the world that music is a unifying force that transcends borders and international politics. They honored Turkish music’s long tradition and said that Armenian poetry inspired their writing. After the concert, The Secret Trio said that their chief inspirations were the human condition, love, and loss. They try to learn from every genre of music and not get stuck in any one style. They also believed that they were able to come together because of the centuries-old legacy of the Ottoman Empire which once ruled over their respective peoples.

Attendees included diplomats, presidents, and experts of important fields from around Washington. Guests were impressed by The Secret Trio’s wonderful performance. They commented how the music was among the most beautiful they had ever heard. Some people were lucky enough to chat with The Secret Trio after the concert. Many said that they had an amazing experience and would attend future events.

The Yunus Emre Foundation is a public foundation designed to educate the public about Turkey and its language, history, culture, and art. The Foundation makes such related information and documents available for use in the world. Facilitating cultural exchange between Turkey and other countries is a central objective of the Foundation. If you are interested in receiving more information, please email

Tags: Yunus Emre Institute, Culture Center, The Secret Trio, Turkey, Turkish Culture, Turkish Music, Macedonian Roma, Armenia, Music Concert, Live Music, Folk Music, Classical Music, Cultural Diplomacy, Events in Washington, D.C.

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