John is a Sepastatzi, born
in New York. His parents were Arshalous & Manase
Chookasezian, who were born in Sepastia (Historic Western
present day Sivas, Turkey. They were
married in New York in 1924.
John has been playing Armenian and Middle East folk music
he is the founder and director of the "King Tut Revue"
of Las Vegas, and the "Chookasian Armenian Concert Ensemble."
John has performed from the Eastern Seaboard, to the West
Coast of the United States. Holding graduate degrees from
York University, College of Music, and from the University
of Nevada, Las Vegas, John taught Music & Ethnic Studies
for three years at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.
premier clarinetist, John, along with his wife, Barbara,
and the Chookasian Ensemble, traveled to Armenia by Presidential
invitation, to perform a month-long series of concerts in
& Karabagh. During his last 'standing-room-only' concert
in Yerevan's Grand Philharmonic Hall, John was presented with
Armenia's "National Gold Medal Award," by Armenia's
Cultural Minister. In addition to his musical pursuits,
John is an actor who has appeared in 42 film productions
career. He has appeared with Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis,
Clint Eastwood, George Burns, Art Carney, Tony Bennett,
Robert Urich, and numerous other major artists. John currently
resides in Fresno, California, where he continues with
of presenting, preserving and perpetuating traditional
Armenian music and culture.