On Saturday, July 3 – 2:00 pm to 7:00 pm, for the second year in a row, the Istanbul music scene will be setting-up camp in Central Park in New York for a free day long concert. The concert is in celebration of Turkish music and features:
Kenan Dogulu has become one of the most successful entertainers to emerge from Turkey following the release of his debut album, Yaparim Bilirsin, in 1993. His playful lyrics and an urban sound comprised of R&B, hip hop and dance have earned him comparisons to Jamiroquai and Justin Timberlake, and won him a legion of fans for his eight studio and four remix albums. Dogulu represented Turkey in the 2007 Eurovision Song Contest with “Shake It Up Sekerim,” which placed fourth in the competition.
Duman is a major alternative rock band from Istanbul, formed in the late 90s. The band’s music is heavily influenced by lead singer/guitarist Kaan Tangöze’s time in Seattle in mid 1990’s and makes use of traditional Anatolian musical elements and melodies creating a unique amalgam of Grunge Rock and Eastern folk music. Duman (Turkish for “Smoke) is notorious for their impeccable live performances. The band was recently featured in the Fatih Akin documentary Crossing The Bridge, a survey of the luminaries of the Istanbul underground and creative music scene. Recently, the band released a new self-titled double album, produced at the famous Grouse Lodge, Ireland studios.
Istanbul Sessions is a quartet led by Ilhan Ersahin, an adventurous saxophonist, keyboardist, composer and founder of the Lower East Side hotspot Nublu. The band captures Ersahin’s NYC/Nublu sound and the vibrant spirit of Istanbul with Turkish scales, club-friendly beats, jazz improvisations and a plethora of moods. The band features Alp Ersonmez (bass player for Turkish pop star Tarkan), Turgut Bekoglu (drummer for Turkish diva Sezen Aksu) and percussionist Izzet Kizil, who has played with Bebel Gilberto and Natacha Atlas, among others. Ersahin has composed for Norah Jones, Bebel Gilberto, U-Roy and his bands include Wax Poetic, Love Trio, I led 3 lives and Nublu Orchestra.
Şükriye Tutkun is a conservatory-trained soprano singer who eschewed opera and instead found her calling in traditional Turkish folk music, adding various ethnic sounds and elements to operatic pop, including the quanun, clarinet and even table. Tutkun covers authentic music from various regions including the Balkans, Central Asia, the Black Sea and the southeast of Turkey. Along with his younger brother Kenan Dogulu, which he writes/produces for and performs with, DJ Ozan Dogulu has become a cornerstone of Turkish pop. He has produced and performed with a wide range of artists from Zulfi Livaneli to Tarkan locally and from Gloria Gaynor to Sarah Brightman globally. Already known as one of the premier producers in Turkey, he has swiftly made a name for himself DJing fun, high energy parties where he plays a range of music from the Balkans, Turkey, the Latin world and classics from the ‘80s.
Want to know more about Istanbul music? Pick-up a copy of Music + Travel.