Musical Performance: Kurdish Musical Celebration of Newroz

Sat, March 22, 2008 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

(View all musical performances »)

$15 ($10 Students with valid ID)

House opens 8:30PM

Kurdish Night at Alwan


Ozan Aksoy Trio

Ozan Aksoy (vocals, baglama, ud, ney, kaval and percussion)
Emrah Kanisicak (vocals, bağlama, cura, classical guitar)
Atakan Sari (kemençe, bendir and piano)

Ozan Aksoy Trio has been formed, wishing to celebrate music from various cultures that have made their homes in Anatolia and the surrounding regions including Eurasia and the Middle East. This year the trio is going to give its encore presentation of Kurdish music at Alwan for the Arts. Newroz, 21 March, is the celebration of the New Year among 35 millions of Kurds living in the world with many other Middle Eastern communities surrounding them. In the Newroz weekend, the trio is going to draw from Kurdish repertoire from all parts of Kurdistan and tunes that Kurds sing and play during the Newroz celebrations. Ozan Aksoy Trio was established in New York City in the fall of 2005 and has given concerts in distinguished venues including Philadelphia Museum of Arts, Makor, and CUNY Graduate Center among others.


Ozan Aksoy

The roots of Ozan Aksoy's dedication to music lies in his early childhood when his father began teaching him the art of baglama or Kurdish tembur, (long-necked lute), an instrument of special symbolic importance for the Kurdish Alevi minority in Turkey. He was born in 1976 and developed an interest in the multi-ethnic musical traditions of Turkey from the beginning of his music career, and became a member of the band Kardes Türküler (Ballads of Fraternity) from 1995 to 2003 as an arranger, composer and performer. Aksoy has recorded five albums and given concerts all around Europe and Turkey with the Kardes Turkuler, performing the local music of Anatolia, the Balkans and Caucasus. He has studied various traditional instruments of Turkey and Kurdistan with world renown masters such as with Sadreddin Özçimi, ney (reed flute) and with Kemal Sahir Gürel, kaval (shepherd's flute). Having graduated from Bosporus University in Istanbul, Aksoy has pursued his passion for the different ethnic musical traditions of Kurds and Turkey in various media, including producing a 2003 documentary called The Other Voices for a TV channel in Turkey. He has also composed music for the documentary Sirtlarindaki Hayat (Life on Their Shoulders) and the movie Bulutlari Beklerken (Waiting for the Clouds), both of which were directed by the award-winner film director Yesim Ustaoglu. Besides performing in venues like Miller Theater, Makor, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Cornell University with two groups he founded namely "Nour" and "Ozan Aksoy Trio," he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Ethnomusicology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York as a Chancellor's Fellow and currently teaching world music and music of the Middle East at the Hunter.

Emrah Kanisicak

Born in Bingol, Turkey, Kanisicak learned to play various authentic musical instruments of Anatolia such as the bağlama and cura (small lute) starting at the age of six under the tutelage of his father. A graduate of Dokuz Eylül University’s Department of Music, he has put his classical guitar training to use by teaching in various music schools. He has composed music for many plays in Turkey and continues to do so for theaters in New York City alongside his solo performances. He also gives classical guitar and bağlama lessons.

Atakan Sari

Sari was born in Izmir, Turkey in April 1981, and like his band mates, received his earliest musical training from his father Mahmut Sari, an accomplished concert pianist who had studied at L’École de Normale in Paris. Realizing piano was his great passion after hearing the famous Martin Berkofsky recording of Liszt at the early age of fifteen; he studied the instrument with Can Coker for two years. In 1999, he won the first prize at the Young Talents Competition organized by the Ministry of Culture in Turkey. Sari’s life was changed by a fortunate encounter in 2000, when Berkofsky visited Turkey to perform and give a lecture in a master’s class. Upon hearing Sari play, Berkofsky arranged to bring the nineteen-year-old back to the United States on a Fulbright Scholarship. In 2002, Sari began his studies with Solomon Mikowsky at the Manhattan School of Music. A year later, he was to record with Berkofsky himself. Together, they performed the première recording of a concerto Hovhannes had composed for Berkofsky for two pianos and an orchestra. In 2004, Berkofsky and Sari performed this concerto again in Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow.

Last updated: 2008-01-31 09:18:31

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