Garo and Friends
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Garo and Friends

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF | AFM

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Alternative Folk




This band has no press


“Rumi Remembered II - Come to the Orchard” is Garo and Friends’ second CD which is entirely dedicated to English version poetry of Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi. As with the first CD “Rumi Remembered – Inspiration”, this CD is another invitation and an ode to remember the great twelfth century poet, mystic and spiritual teacher. 

The Album is simply a continuation of the first one. It contains ten songs; nine in English and one in Turkish. All songs, as in the first one, are composed by Garo Altinian using the English interpretations of Coleman Barks. Although this album is similar in feel and design to the previous album, it features additional instruments such as clarinet, charango and piano. Cello, played by Ottawa cellist Joan Harrison, has a dominant presence throughout the CD. There are more instrumental passages and introductions and a steadfast presence of percussions. The result is an upbeat collection of songs designed to take the listener on a journey to the heart.

The musicians:
Garo Altinian – Composer, Lead Vocal, Guitars 
Joan Harrison – Cello
Lucas Lacerda – Bass Guitar, Charango
Yves Saint-Pierre (Hadi) – Piano, Keyboard, Percussion

Agah Ecevit – Ney (Reed Flute), Clarinet

Garo and Friends' CD 'Rumi Remembered – Inspiration' was launched on November 3, 2012 at the Remembering Rumi event at Eastminster United Church on Danforth Avenue in Toronto. The occasion was highlighted with the presence of the preeminent Rumi translator Coleman Barks, whose number of versions were adapted in creating the songs. During this heart-opening evening, Coleman recited poems in his highly distinguishable, mesmerizing style. Also participating at the event were whirling dervishes performing SAMA ritual to the sounds of traditional Turkish Sufi music.
All songs composed by Garo Altinian 

Musicians on CD: 
Garo Altinian – Vocal, Guitar
Amir Rahbar – Keyboard, Piano
Agah Ecevit – Ney (Turkish Reed Flute)
Samuel Bisson – Cello
Reza Moghaddas – Bass Guitar
Amir Samimi – Percussions
Lisbeth Helgesen
Golrokh Aminian



Garo is of Armenian origin, born in Turkey in 1950, more than 50 years of years living in Canada, and he has made Canada his homeland. He mostly lived in Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver. He now lives in Ottawa with his family. 

He started to express his feelings with the poems he wrote, and the poem carried him to play and compose the guitar. He played solo for many years and said. When he met Sufism in his forties, the desire to play with other musicians emerged and composed many songs for the band.

Garo's deepest change in music came when he began focusing on the writings and teachings of the famous Islam mystic poet Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi, who lived in the 13th century.  Rumi is a famous Persian poet who lived in Turkey . Garo inspired by the timeless wisdom of the great master, Garo turned his Rumi poems into music and is now preparing to release his third Rumi album. Garo Altinian began composing voice inspired by the Sufi and spiritual traditions in the pop/folk style. Over the years he’s gathered many talented musicians to accompany him to play his songs. In Toronto, he produced his first CD “Rumi Remembered - Inspiration”. He is considered to be the most popular poet in the United States today. 

After moving to Ottawa in 2011, new members joined his group on a more permanent basis. They then produced his second album called “Rumi Remembered - Come to the Orchard”. This CD was launched in November 2018. They are currently working on their 3rd album in the tracking stage.