Balkan Ateşi

Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

Clarinetist Serkan Çağrı is taking the stage on January 27 with Yarkın Rhythm Group and Macedonian Roma band Kocani Orkestar in a concert called “ Balkan Fire ”. Though you might think there is only one Balkan group among them, geographically they are all from the Balkans: Çağrı is from Turkish...

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Gaye Su Akyol photo by Ali Guler

Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

The title of Gaye Su Akyol’s 2014 album Develerle Yaşıyorum translates as “I’m living with camels.” It is an intriguing choice for Akyol, whose home city of Istanbul is almost 100 percent camel-free. But the title is a perfect match for Akyol’s blend of Turkish classical music, dark rock, and sci-...

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Özdemir Erdoğan, photo by IKSV

Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

While fresh talent is always springing from the ground of Turkey, we should also not forget the tall oaks that have stood the test of time. This year Özdemir Erdoğan was the recipient of the Istanbul Jazz Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award, in recognition of his well-loved compositions that...

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Erdem Helvacıoğlu, Turkish Experimental Music

Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

It can’t be said that experimental electronic or electroacoustic music is very well known anywhere in the world - and that might be especially true of Turkey. With that in mind, the Sub Rosa label’s new album Anthology of Turkish Experimental Music 1961-2014 is filling an important gap in global...

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Açık Radyo

Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

If variety is the spice of life, then we might say that our views, hobbies, and interests are the salt and pepper on our personalities. Despite the trove of niche topics on the Internet we still discover many of these things by word of mouth. So what if you could tune in to those passionate voices...

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90's Turkish underground music

Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

In 1990, a fifth-floor apartment in Cihangir overlooking the Bosphorus was home to a scruffy venue known as Bilsak, among the first to provide a space for the city's fledgling underground scene. Tolga Güldallı's first underground music experience took place there that year, where at the age of 14...

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Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

Taking inspiration from the title of Paco de Lucia’s album “Entre dos aguas,” Turkish guitarist Alper Tuzcu released his album “Between 12 Waters” early this year. As the title suggests, the songs on the album are intentionally eclectic in terms of nationality, language, and musical style. The idea...

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Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

It’s hard to forget the opening scene of Pulp Fiction : a diner, scruffy sweet-talking lovers, a heist, and some wild music to kick it off. The 1994 film begins with a reverb-drenched guitar, climbing an eastern scale with rapid picking. As the slapping drums kick in and the guitar leaps to the...

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Songs about Istanbul

Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

The interlaced histories and cultures of Europe, Africa, and Asia have carried many musical traditions to Istanbul, mixing together Byzantine, Turkish, Arabic, Sephardic, Roma, and Greek styles. In more recent times, classical music, jazz, opera, rock, hip-hop, and electronic music have found their...

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Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

Istanbul and jazz have much in common - a fusion of cultures and languages, constant improvisation, raw energy and pockets of calm. Moving from Ankara to California, New York, and Istanbul, bassist and composer Alper Yılmaz’s latest album Different City, Different Mood is a musical expression of...

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Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

On the Eminönü shore, seagulls wheel around the majestic domes and minarets of Yeni Camii sitting in pregnant silence. A voice is born: seeming to fill all the air at once, the imam sings the immortal words that call the faithful to prayer, the melody sliding and trembling among the clouds. For...

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Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

Polyphonic, polyrhythmic, polyethnic, polyvocal – if jazz is all of these, then İlhan Erşahin is the genre’s premier polymath. Growing up in Stockholm, Erşahin studied in Boston, moved to New York, founded the club Nublu, recorded with Turkish musicians, collaborated with spoken word performers,...

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Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

Rock music fanatics are often accused of living in the past – whether they worship the birth of rock in the ‘50s, the psychedelic heyday of the ‘60s, or the punk rebellion of the ‘70s. But for Turkish rock fans it is rather the opposite. Due to the cultural repression that followed the 1980 coup,...

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Istanbul’s local talent is making new blends of jazz, rock, classical, electronic, and traditional music. The city also attracts big international stars.

When we meet, Enzo Ikah is sat stroking a cat in the window of one of Galata’s many music shops. Ikah smiles and says that it was in this neighborhood six years ago that a generous-spirited Istanbulite gave him the gift of a guitar. One of the most enthusiastic and energetic individuals you could...

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Taşra Kabare is a theater and music venue in the heart of Kadıköy, a two-minute walk from Kadıköy metro station. The venue's aesthetics draw on the 19th-century cabarets of Paris and London, with low lighting, wooden tables, and red upholstery giving an air of historical mystery. Actors Cemal...

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The Mall Of Istanbul (MOİ) in Başakşehir was voted Europe's best shopping center in 2016, and the MOİ stage is host to some of the city's most exciting musical acts. The 700-seat concert hall is ideal for classical, traditional, folk, rock, jazz and other local and international acts.

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Jammin's Vinyl Records is a small and welcoming record shop in a side street close to both Şişli and Osmanbey metro stations. Owner Cem Ülkü spent his student days in the US and Germany, which contributed to his love of foreign music. This is reflected in the shop's selection of mainly 70s and 80s...

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Radio Netses is a specialist gramophone and record player repair shop that has been operating in Istanbul since 1961. The shop was founded by Halit Ses, one of the first repairmen to offer this trade in the area. His stepson Ahmet Nayır and Nayır's son Cem Nayır are now continuing the sensitive...

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Carries music CDs from all music genres.

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Hidden in the basement of one of Istanbul’s coolest streets, Analog Kültür is a welcome addition to Istanbul’s record store scene. The boutique was formerly known as the studio of vinyl enthusiast and DJ, Kaan Düzürat. A mixing desk is built into the counter, flanked by two Technic 1210s, where the...

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Up the hill from Mimar Sinan University is one of Istanbul's coolest hangouts, Cihangir. Here, you’ll find the best and the worst of secondhand clothing boutiques, designer shops, artisanal tea houses, third wave coffee shops and vinyl stores. And Opus 3A is one of the best. Unlike many other...

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COOP is a bar and music venue in the Suriye Pasajı arcade on İstiklal Caddesi. The bar hosts regular DJ nights and live music evenings, focusing on local rock and alternative acts. With its prime location in Istanbul's nightlife hub of İstiklal, COOP attracts a crowd that knows how to have a good...

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One of the many symptoms of working as a DJ includes amassing large collections of, well, music. That is precisely what seems to have happened to Mete Avunduk, former disk jockey, performer and radio host. Working since the 1980s and subsequently collecting since then, too, in 2006 Avunduk opened...

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Since moving from its original Asmalımescit location, Istanbul's prime live music venue Babylon has moved to Bomonti, Şişli. Babylon is known for its lively program of international and local acts, focusing on jazz, rock, world music, funk, electronica, and alternative pop music. Babylon is within...

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Lale Plak opened its doors in 1957 and continues to be one of İstiklal's main music purveyors. Located in Tünel Square, shop keeper Hakan Atala keeps an extensive stock of records in his store and knows every inch of it. In fact, describing his collection as extensive risks being an understatement...

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Recently developed inside Bomonti's Historic Brewery ( Tarihi Bomonti Bira Fabrikası ), Bomontiada offers a perfect mix of culture, art, music, and food - all under the same roof. A safe bet when it comes to live music and entertainment in Istanbul, Babylon has opened a new branch in Bomontiada to...

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In some circles they are known as DJ duo Deform-E, but in their shop this duo prefer to use their daytime names, Ozan Maral and Tayfun Aras. Working as shop owners since 1998, the duo have perfected the genre of the record store. The store stocks a healthy balance of used and new records, of which...

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Mono Plak is a vinyl shop specializing in folk, rock, jazz, and vintage Turkish music. Located in the pretty district of Çukurcuma, on a street parallel to the Museum of Innocence , Mono Plak has a carefully selected batch of records organized by genre. From The Grateful Dead to Aretha Franklin,...

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The performance venue of the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV), Salon is an innovative and dynamic venue that brings together different performance styles under one roof, including live music (concerts of popular and indie Turkish and international artists as well as classical music...

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Aslıhan Pasajı is a destination that simply cannot be overlooked. Quite literally a passage, it has two entrances and two floors of which every inch is dominated by the smell of old books and the occasional scent of fresh tea steeping. Indeed the pasaj is a magical place that allows an age-old...

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Since opening in 2011, The Mekan has become a destination for those seeking out alternative, ethnic live music. Occupying two venues in one building, The Mekan (on the second floor) and the Mekan Teras (on the fourth floor), The Mekan has a regular program of live music from both Turkey and abroad...

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