BELLY BEATS: SURGAR MARY VARTANIAN


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This week I  made a really cool playlist for you guys of the legend Sugar Mary Vartanian! Make sure you listen – it’s some classic stuff!

We are always so interested to hear stories of 8th avenue back in the day. 8th avenue between 23rd to 40th streets in NYC used to be the place to be. The avenue was lined with clubs that played Turkish, Armenian, Greek, and Jewish music. One of the stars of 8th ave was Sugar Mary Vartanian – or as she was known  – Seker (Shakar in Armenian) Mary. Seker is Turkish for Sugar.

Sugar Mary came from Istanbul. She played the mandolin in France and ended up as a cabaret singer in NYC. During the summer, she like many other Armenian musicians would perform in NY’s Catskills, in what was called the “Yogurt Belt”, because of all the Armenian resorts.  She was known for the sultry tone of her voice and her wooden spoons that she would clap in each hand.

Click below to see a video of her performing when she was in her 90’s!

 WATCH SUGAR MARY VIDEO! 

So freakin’ cool !!! ^^^^^^

 

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2 Comments

aszmara
Reply September 16, 2014

That is me playing tambourine behind Sugar Mary singing and playing her Kaçik (Turkish wooden spoons) She was one of my inspirations to dance with the Kaçik. Also pictured is Souren Baronian on Clarinet, Robert Boghosian on our and Lee Baronian on dumbek. Don't really remember the venue but it may have been in the basement of the Armenian church for their monthly Kef. Thanks for bringing back this memory!

thebellyblog13
Reply September 17, 2014

Awww - how cool is that!?! I wish I could have been there to see it! <3 <3 <3

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