Musical Performance: Kurdish Music

Sat, April 29, 2006 9:00 pm at Alwan for the Arts

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Alwan for the Arts

Invites You

Saturday, April 29, 2006, 9:00 PM $15 ($10 for students with valid ID)

to a unique concert of

Kurdish Music


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

The Music:

'Cercis Project' The blossoming of the cercis trees is a moment anticipated by all residents of Istanbul; the spellbinding city adorned by such beauty has inspired people from all cultural backgrounds over the course of history. It is in this spirit of people inspired by the same land but expressing it in their terms that the Cercis Project has been formed, wishing to celebrate musics from various cultures that have made their homes in Anatolia and the surrounding regions including Eurasia and the Middle East. Starting with musical events focusing on geographical, historical and cultural variety; the project aims to organize further concerts, instrumental lectures, workshops and educational sessions for students and academics. The project aspires to form its own cercis tree with Turkish, Armenian, Kurdish, Greek, Jewish, Arabic, and Alawite musical heritages and repertoires forming its numerous but equally rich branches. 'Cercis Project' was established in New York City in the fall of 2005 to perform music supporting its intellectual and educational aspirations to draw the musical tree ofvarious cultures.

The Musicians :

Ozan Aksoy (vocals, baglama, ud, ney, kaval and percussion) The roots of Ozan Aksoy's dedication to music lies in his early childhood when his father began teaching him the art of baglama (long-necked lute), an instrument of special symbolic importance forthe Alevi minority in Turkey. He 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 Ballads of Fraternity, performing the local music of Anatolia, the Balkans and Caucasus. He has studied various traditional instruments of Turkey with worldwide experts such as ney (reed flute) with Sadreddin Özçimi and kaval (shepherd's pipe) with Kemal Sahir Gürel. Aksoy has pursued his passion for the different ethnic musical traditions of 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. Having earned his master's degree in the Women and Gender Studies Department at Istanbul University, he is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in Ethnomusicology at the Graduate Center, CUNY as a Chancellor's Fellow.

Atakan Sari (vocals, kemençe, percussions and piano) 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.

Emran Kanisicak (vocals, baglama, cura, classical guitar) Born in Bingol, Turkey, Kanisicak learned to play various authentic musical instruments of Anatolia such as the baglama 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 baglama lessons.

Last updated: 2007-09-21 09:41:37


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