Introducing Turquazz Encounters Club Ethno Jazz In The House

World Music Encounters & Jam Sessions

After a long winter sleep during the pandemic, musicians have invented various ways to survive such as performing or teaching online and composing at home while some expected a courtesy call by their inspirational angels. The concerts and festivals have been on hiatus for nearly one and a half year and recently things started to move on. Musicians and music lovers finally started to breathe back again.

One of these events held in Islington, London was an improvisational gathering which brought the Mediterranean breeze to the audience. Turkish and Spanish musicians who have never played with each other before came together for a special night organized by the Turquazz team, who were organisers of the Turquazz Jazz Festival in 2019. During this evening, Eastern and Western sounds melted in a single pot. The jazzy piano rhythms and melodies by Tolga Zafer, Spanish percussion artist Ayoze Alejandro’s beats and rhythms and groovy bass of Cem Tuncer brought the Western aspect, while the famous Turkish folk instrument rebab (kabak kemane) by Umut Ekiz and clarinet by Saygin Akbudak played their Eastern part. And finally, singer Sibel has built the bridge between the two with her operatic voice.

This was indeed a spark which ignited a series of musical gatherings. The idea that followed the performance turned into a series of events to create improvisational music that brings talented musicians together and have them play the tunes coming from their hearts. Jam sessions are usually exciting, the audience may come across the unexpected, especially when they witness such an experience performed by musicians from various cultures.

So far, that was a fantastic night. Delicious food and drinks, warm hospitality of Flower Works and great music cheered us all on a Sunday night.

Let’s hear a few words from the musicians about that night as well:

Saygın the clarinet player:

This was such a manifestation of our inner journeys

Ayoze the percussionist:

This was a magical night, I really enjoyed playing, there was such good communication between musicians. It was a journey among various geographies; Turkish, Spanish and North African. This music is more than a jam session, ideas turned into feelings. The concert of this band will be like a painter painting during a performance, but the picture is not there yet and not thought of before.

Cem the bassist:

We played sad tunes from our hometown, and fun Latin tunes as well.

Umut the rebab player:

My instrument is a sad one.

And more words from the audience:

  • I really loved the harmony.
  • I heard journeys into different compositions that were speaking to me on a deep and spiritual basis.
  • I loved the clarinet, the music was exciting and beautiful.
  • I found melancholy in this music.
  • Alison, the host: People meeting together, making new friends, sometimes Brazilian, sometimes Turkish; it’s a fusion.
  • Erdal, the chef: I would never think the gourd violin would fit into this kind of music well. I heard Anatolian and modern sounds together. It was an interesting atmosphere, vocals, the piano and everything, that was a good harmony. Such as the hummus, the ribs that represent both worlds in my menu tonight.
  • An actor in the audience: I closed my eyes and listened to the music, it took me on a peaceful journey. There was a bit of sadness as well, that wouldn’t be wrong if I called it a ‘Bitter Sweet Symphony’.

After a brainstorming session towards the end of the night, The Turquazz team, the musicians and us, music lovers, thinkers, writers decided to call this event an encounter; a musical encounter, meaning that more musical encounters will be on the way. This is an experimental musical approach that new musicians from different parts of the world can come together, bring their own cultural touches, harmonize their sounds from the Middle East, Balkans, Mediterranean, Africa, Iberia, Latin America and many other places, while melting them in the same pot. This will hopefully create a spiritual moment for the audience. Anatolian sounds and instruments have been attracting the attention of the Western audiences in recent years and Turquazz aims to bring this joyous and melancholic breeze from Anatolia that fuses various genres all together.

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