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Author: Sanlıkol

2017

Fall 2017 

Othello in the Seraglio: The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch 
A powerful encounter of Europe and Ottoman Turkey

*a special performance to fund the upcoming film of Othello*

Othello in the Seraglio, a uniquely powerful “coffeehouse opera,” tells an age-old story of passionate love and murderous jealousy, of a black slave at the 17th century Ottoman Court who rises to power and riches, only to come to a tragic end. The multi-layered script is by NEC music historian Robert Labaree, while the stunning score, by Boston composer and Grammy nominee Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, weaves together Italian Baroque and Turkish sources with his own newly-composed music into a tapestry of uncanny beauty. Othello is performed on European period instruments and traditional Turkish instruments by an ensemble of 12 instrumentalists, singers and a dramatic storyteller.

Locations, Date/Time, Price:
September 15, The First Lutheran Church of Boston, 299 Berkeley St., Boston, MA.
General admission: $40, students: $20.

Co-presented by TurkInno  

 

 

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol & Whatsnext? 
as part of the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival 

Grammy nominated bandleader/composer and DownBeat’s September 2016 Editors pick Jazz pianist Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol brings his genre-busting 12-piece band, Whatsnext? to the Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival. Do not miss this unique and highly engaging concert featuring Sanlıkol’s contemporary jazz compositions with intriguing Turkish influences!

Location, Date/Time, Price:
September 30, Berklee Beantown Jazz Festival, Columbus Ave., Boston, MA, 12:00pm. FREE

For the festival performance schedule click here

 

Summer 2017 

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol & Whatsnext? featuring Tiger Okoshi

2017 Summer Tour kick-off concert!

Grammy nominated bandleader/composer and DownBeat’s September 2016 Editors pick Jazz pianist Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol kicks off a Summer tour with concerts in the US, Turkey and Cyprus, at Ryles Jazz Club with a giant of jazz, trumpeter Tiger Okoshi, and his genre-busting 12-piece band Whatsnext?
Do not miss this unique and highly engaging concert featuring Sanlıkol’s contemporary jazz compositions with intriguing Turkish influences!

Location, Date/Time, Price:
July 6, Ryles Jazz Club, 212 Hampshire St, Cambridge, MA, 8:30pm. Tickets: $15

 

Spring 2017 

Othello in the Seraglio: The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch 

with a pre-concert panel on the diverse societies of Islam and race in Shakespeare featuring Stephen Greenblatt

A powerful encounter of Europe and Ottoman Turkey

photos

Othello in the Seraglio, a uniquely powerful “coffeehouse opera,” tells an age-old story of passionate love and murderous jealousy, of a black slave at the 17th century Ottoman Court who rises to power and riches, only to come to a tragic end. The multi-layered script is by NEC music historian Robert Labaree, while the stunning score, by Boston composer and Grammy nominee Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, weaves together Italian Baroque and Turkish sources with his own newly-composed music into a tapestry of uncanny beauty. Othello is performed on European period instruments and traditional Turkish instruments by an ensemble of 12 instrumentalists, singers and a dramatic storyteller.

Locations, Date/Time, Price:
7pm PANEL, 8pm PERFORMANCE — there will be a post-concert Q&A with the panelists
March 2, Emerson/Paramount Center, Jackie Liebergott Black box Theatre, 559 Washington St., Boston, MA.
Admission is free but space is limited.  
Sponsored by the Performing Arts Department and the Division of Diversity and Inclusion 

 

 

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol Trio at Ryles Jazz Club 

Grammy nominated composer and DownBeat’s September 2016 Editor’s pick Jazz pianist Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol brings his unique blend of energetic and innovative Turkish music influenced contemporary Jazz and Soul to Ryles Jazz Club with George Lernis on drums, Yaman Akdoğan on bass and a surprise special guest.

Location, Date/Time, Price:

April 14, Ryles Jazz Club, Inman Square, Cambridge, MA, 9pm, $15

 

 

An Ottoman tableau of devotional music 
as part of Northeastern University’s symposium on cantillation 

program

The Dünya Ensemble presents an historical tableau of different religious musical practices and a variety of cantillation styles in Islam, Christianity and Judaism, especially centered around the Ottoman Istanbul. The many layers of communal interaction in the city created deep historical and musical influences between these religious traditions.

Location, Date/Time, Price:
May 8, The Fenway Center, St. Stephen Street Boston, MA, 8pm. Tickets: $15
Link to the symposium: web.northeastern.edu/chant/

2016

Fall 2016

 

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol & Whatsnext? CD Release Concerts

featuring Dave Liebman and Tiger Okoshi 

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol & Whatsnext? Is now getting ready to release their new album, “Resolution”. Whatsnext?, Sanlıkol’s genre-busting jazz orchestra, performs his compositions which seek to create a sophisticated and cosmopolitan synthesis incorporating elements of Turkish, European and American musical traditions. Sanlıkol’s blend of jazz composition and Turkish music has been praised by the Boston Globe as “a true fusion of jazz and folkloric Turkish language and colors” – and it is the further development and maturation of this “true fusion” that is the basis for the current project.

Locations, Date/Time, Price:
Oct. 6, Joe’s Pub, New York, NY, 7pm. Tickets: $20.
Oct. 9, Shalin Liu Performance Center, Rockport, MA, 5pm. Tickets: $39, $35, $29.

Othello in the Seraglio: The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch 

A powerful encounter of Europe and Ottoman Turkey

Othello in the Seraglio, a uniquely powerful “coffeehouse opera,” tells an age-old story of passionate love and murderous jealousy, of a Black slave at the 17th century Ottoman Court who rises to power and riches, only to come to a tragic end. The multi-layered script is by NEC music historian Robert Labaree, while the stunning score, by Boston composer and Grammy nominee Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, weaves together Italian Baroque and Turkish sources with his own newly-composed music into a tapestry of uncanny beauty. Othello is performed on European period instruments and traditional Turkish instruments by an ensemble of 12 instrumentalists, singers and a dramatic storyteller.

Locations, Date/Time, Price:
Oct. 14, UMass Amherst, Amherst, MA, 8pm. Tickets: $25; Five College and 17 & Under, $10; Five College Faculty & Staff, please call the box office. 
Oct. 27 & Oct. 28, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, 8pm. FREE.

—–

 

Spring & Summer 2016

 

Othello in the Seraglio: The Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch 

A powerful encounter of Europe and Ottoman Turkey

photos

Othello in the Seraglio, a uniquely powerful “coffeehouse opera,” tells an age-old story of passionate love and murderous jealousy, of a Black slave at the 17th century Ottoman Court who rises to power and riches, only to come to a tragic end. The multi-layered script is by NEC music historian Robert Labaree, while the stunning score, by Boston composer and Grammy nominee Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, weaves together Italian Baroque and Turkish sources with his own newly-composed music into a tapestry of uncanny beauty. Othello is performed on European period instruments and traditional Turkish instruments by an ensemble of 12 instrumentalists, singers and a dramatic storyteller.

Locations, Date/Time:
Feb. 29, Salem Old Town Hall, Salem, MA, 8pm.
Mar. 1 & Mar. 2, OBERON, Cambridge, MA, 7:30 pm. Cabaret seating. Tickets: $30-$20
Apr. 8, National Sawdust, Brooklyn, NY, 10:00pm.
June 12, Shalin Liu, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Rockport, MA, 5:00pm.

2015

FALL 2015

ELVEDA
(Farewell)

A CONCERT OF REMEMBRANCE
dedicated to Dr. Hüseyin Parkan Sanlıkol (1/21/1944-9/12/2015), 
father of Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol;
and in memory of our colleague Tom Zajac (10/1/1956-8/31/2015)
as well as all those departed and dear to our hearts…

program       photos

It is a common tradition in Turkey to do a night of remembrance on the 40th as well as the 52nd days of someone’s passing. This concert was scheduled to take place on October 22nd prior to both Parkan Sanlıkol and Tom Zajac’s passing – October 22nd is the 40th day of Parkan Sanlıkol and the 52nd day of Tom Zajac’s passing…

Location, Date/Time
Thursday, October 22, 8:00 PM - First Church in Cambridge, MA

 

ISTANBUL ON THE CHARLES:
A Jordan Hall Reunion

Directed by Robert Labaree and Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol 

A FREE concert extravaganza on a Friday night at Boston’s historic and acoustically superb Jordan Hall
with special appearances by,
Anne Azema
Beth Bahia Cohen
Jerry Leake
New England Drum and Winds Mehterhane

program       photos

Join us on this very special and celebratory night where a large group of DUNYA collaborators will come together to perform a show not to be missed with highlights from past programs and CDs including, a variety of traditional Turkish musics, early European music, Greek and Jewish musics from the Ottoman period, Sufi music, Turkish pop music, and more…

Location, Date/Time
Friday, November 20, 8:00 PM – Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, 30 Gainsborough St. Boston, MA, FREE

 

SPRING 2015

DÜNYA’s Documentary Film Screening*
WHAT A WORLD
with Robert Labaree
Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol
Cem Mutlu
Brenna MacCrimmon
Phaedon Sinis
and Mal Barsamian
including special appearances from Cemal Kafadar

What A World offers a captivating look at DÜNYA which has explored a wide range of music from around the world since its founding in 2004. The film shows the ensemble performing an amazing concert of music from 20th century Istanbul while interviews with the band members reveal their diverse backgrounds as well as insights about the surprising cultural and musical links between Boston and Turkey.

*This event features a brief talk before the screening as well as a Q & A after.  

Location, Date/Time
Tuesday, February 17, 4:00 PM - Harvard University, CMES 120, FREE

 

OTHELLO IN THE SERAGLIO
the Tragedy of Sümbül the Black Eunuch

a coffeehouse opera produced by Dünya

conceived and composed by Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol
coffeehouse opera concept developed by Robert Labaree

based on:
The Tragedy of Othello the Moor of Venice by William Shakespeare (1603)
Un Capitano Moro (A Moorish Captain) by Giovanbattista Giraldi (Cinzio) (1565)
Kızlarağası’nın Piçi (The Bastard of the Chief Black Eunuch) by Reşad Ekrem Koçu (1933)

original music, with music from 16th and 17th century sources from Europe and Turkey arranged by Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol

script by Robert Labaree
additional Turkish poetry by Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol

directed by Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol

Location, Date/Time:
Thursday, Feb. 26, 8 PM, First Religious Society in Carlisle, 27 School St., Carlisle, MA
Friday, Feb. 27, 8 PM, The Congregational Church of Weston, 130 Newton St., Weston, MA
Saturday, Feb 28, 8 PM, The Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St., Salem, MA
Sunday, Mar. 1, 4PM, Ascension Memorial Church, 31 County St., Ipswich, MA
Monday, Mar. 2, 730 PM, Christ Church Cambridge, Zero Garden St., Cambridge, MA
Tuesday, April 7, 8 PM, New England Conservatory, Brown Hall, Boston, MA
Wednesday, April 8, 8 PM, Harvard University, Holden Chapel, Cambridge, MA
Thursday, April 9, 8 PM, Smith College, Sweeney Concert Hall, Northampton, MA

2014

FALL 2014

DÜNYA’s Documentary Film Screenings*
WHAT A WORLD
with Robert Labaree
Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol
Cem Mutlu
Brenna MacCrimmon
Phaedon Sinis
and Mal Barsamian
including special appearances from Cemal Kafadar

What A World offers a captivating look at DÜNYA which has explored a wide range of music from around the world since its founding in 2004. The film shows the ensemble performing an amazing concert of music from 20th century Istanbul while interviews with the band members reveal their diverse backgrounds as well as insights about the surprising cultural and musical links between Boston and Turkey.

*The events feature a brief talk before the screening as well as a Q & A after.  

Location, Date/Time, Price
Friday, September 12, 7:00 PM - Emerson College, Bright Family Screening Room, $10
Friday, November 7, 7:00 PM - MIT, Chipman Room (6-104), FREE

 

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol & Whatsnext

photos

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol will present his unique jazz band which pairs Turkish instruments such as zurna (double reed wind), ney (end-blown flute), kös (large kettledrums) and nekkare (small kettledrums) with a 6-horn jazz combo to perform his film inspired and innovative Turkish music influenced compositions in order to promote his new album.

featuring,
Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, piano, keyboards, continuum, zurna, ney, voice
Jerry Sabatini, trumpet, flugel horn
Jeff Claassen, trumpet flugel horn
Mark Zaleski, alto sax., clarinet
Aaron Henry, tenor & soprano sax.
Chris Gagne, trombone
Jared Sims, baritone sax., bass clarinet
Utar Artun, piano, keyboards
Phil Sargent, electric guitar
Fernando Huergo, electric bass
Bertram Lehmann, drums
George Lernis, kettledrums, frame drums, percussion

On this tour Sanlıkol will also premier his new keyboardless synth, the Continuum Fingerboard, which allows him to play the microtones of Turkish music in jazz. 

Locations, Dates/Times, Prices
Wednesday, October 1, 8:00 PM - Scullers, Cambridge, MA, $25
Thursday, October 2, 7:30 PM – RISD Auditorium, Providence, RI, $20, on the day of the concert $25
Friday, October 3, 8:00 PM - Le Poisson Rouge, New York, NY, seated $25/standing $20

 

A FASIL FOR A PHANARIOT BEYZADE
as part of the 2nd Boston Byzantine Music Festival 

photos

DÜNYA ensemble will perform Phanariot songs as well as Ottoman classical music notated by master 19th century Greek Orthodox cantors from the collections entitled Euterpe (1830) and Mousikon Apanthisma (1856/1872). Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol carefully selected compositions that are historically unique or were written by Greek-Ottoman composers in order to create what may have been the kind of a recital that was enjoyed by a Phanariot Beyzade (a Greek-Ottoman prince) in 19th century Istanbul.

Location, Date/Time, Price
Saturday, November 15, 7:30 PM - Hellenic College Holy Cross, Maliotis Cultural Center, $25 when purchased in advance
For more information about the festival and in advance purchases click here

 

A SPECIAL FUNDRAISING DINNER WITH TURKISH FASIL

Join us on this very special night where three members of the DÜNYA ensemble will perform Turkish classical and folk music in its most infectious form where audience interaction is expected. The benefits from this concert will be used toward the Spring 2015 programming of DÜNYA.

Location, Date/Time, Price
Saturday, December 6, 8:00 PM – Filarmonica Santo Antonio, 575 Cambridge St. Cambridge, MA, $40
Open buffet dinner is included in the admission fee. There will also be a cash bar for liquor.
Due to limited seating RSVP required!
Please email serapkantarci@gmail.com for reservations

 

SPRING 2014

Dün gece seyrim içinde / Last night I dreamt of…:
TURKISH SONGS OF PROTEST

program       photos

featuring,
Beth Bahia Cohen, yaylı (bowed) tanbur/violin 
Burcu Güleç, voice
Robert Labaree, çeng
George Lernis, percussion
and
Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, voice/ud/ney/saz 

Five musicians of the Dünya Ensemble on vocals and a wide range of traditional instruments offer a lively and varied program: blunt women’s complaints from the countryside, songs which mingle the religious and the secular, songs which express longing and intimacy across ethnic and religious boundaries, “blasphemous” (and therefore politically incendiary) songs by heterodox Sufis, and songs of unconventional love. This is public and private music, for entertainment, contemplation and devotion, expressing explicit border-crossings that defy official or societal norms: “protest music”, in the largest sense.

Locations, Dates/Times, Price
Thursday, March 27, 8:00 PM - New England Conservatory, Jordan Hall, FREE
Sunday, March 30, 7:30 PM - Boston College, Gasson Hall, FREE
Tuesday, April 1, 8:00 PM – Tufts University, Distler Hall, FREE

 

Whatsnext
CD Release Concerts

photos

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol will present his modern jazz compositions for big band as well as compositions specifically influenced by Turkish music for the jazz combo from his new album.

Locations, Dates/Times, Prices
Thursday, April 3, 7:30 PM - Regattabar, Cambridge, MA, $20
Saturday, April 5, 9:30 PM - Drom, New York, NY, $10/adv. $15

2013

FALL 2013

From the “jazz” of Istanbul to the “blues” of Anatolia

This concert will include folk, religious and popular music from Anatolia, interwoven with classical Ottoman music and urban popular music from different centuries.

Location: AIC Center Boston, 38 Newbury Street #702, Boston, MA
Date/Time: Saturday, September 21, doors open at 7:30PM
Suggested donation: $15

 

Ottoman Art and Entertainment Musics:
Phanariots, Cantors and Dance

program

A concert exploring works by Greek-Ottoman composers, transcriptions by Greek Orthodox cantors and urban entertainment music from 17th through 19th centuries.

Location: Harvard University, Holden Chapel
Date/Time: Saturday, December 7, 6 PM
Price: $15, Harvard Students $10

 

From the Byzantine Echos to Ottoman Makam

A concert featuring DÜNYA musicians as well as Greek Orthodox cantors performing Byzantine and Ottoman music together.

Location: CUNY, Elebash Recital Hall
Date/Time: Monday, December 9, 8 PM
Price: FREE

 

SPRING 2013

Istanbul: East Meets West
Europeans and Ottomans Listen to Each Other, 1500-1700

program

How is it possible to convey through music something of the complex interactions and tangled identities of these two regions over even two centuries? As the repertoire on this program demonstrates, the concoction of fact, imagination, paranoia, dogma, pragmatism, fantasy, curiosity and misinformation which falls from the pages of letters, diaries and consular reports in this period is matched in the musical documents on both sides. A central figure of this program is the famous Ali Ufki. Included in his collection were numerous pieces which he identified as “European”. We have put pieces excavated from Ali Ufki’s one-of-a-kind collection together with other pieces from western sources to reveal how, in these early modern centuries, The Other was deeply rooted in everyday lives and imaginations on both sides.

Locations, Dates/Times
Thursday, January 24, 7:30 PM -  The First Religious Society, Carlisle
Friday, January 25, 7:30 PM - The Congregational Church of Weston
Saturday, January 26, 7:30 PM - The Salem Athenaeum
Sunday, January 27, 4 PM –  Ascension Memorial Church, Ipswich
Monday, January 28, 7:30 PM – Christ Church, Cambridge

 

STREETS OF ISTANBUL / iSTANBUL SOKAKLARI

with special guests: Brenna MacCrimmon and Phaedon Sinis

A concert exploring one hundred fifty years of music from Istanbul’s many music venues:
tavern and Sufi lodge, salon and cinema 

program       photos

Locations, Dates/Times, Price
Sunday, March 3, 8:00 PM -  Jordan Hall, New England Conservatory, FREE
Monday, March 4, 8:00 PM - Salem State University, $10/$5 stdnts & snrs. FREE w/Salem State student ID
Tuesday, March 5, 8:00 PM - Dartmouth College, FREE
Friday, March 8, 8:00 PM -  Sweeney Concert Hall, Smith College (7:30 PM pre-concert talk), FREE
Saturday, March 9, 5:00 PM – Holden Chapel, Harvard University, $5 for Harvard Undergraduates, $10 for the public (this event will be a seminar-recital)

FALL 2017

Devran

DEVRAN:
Music of Islam, Turkey & Renaissance Europe 

In response to the stereotyping of Muslims in today’s politics, Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol employs music to bring together cultural expressions of Islam and Europe, highlight the diversity of Boston’s Muslim community, and further conversation among Muslim and non-Muslim Bostonians. The concert’s centerpiece is DEVRAN, Sanlıkol’s unique new intercultural choral work combining Muslim texts, Renaissance choral style, and Middle Eastern elements into an artistic whole. DEVRAN will be premiered by the NEC Chamber Singers, led by Erica Washburn, and DÜNYA, will perform traditional Turkish Sufi music and Ottoman Jewish music led by the composer.

  • The first performance takes place following a symposium on Music and Morality at New England Conservatory on 11/9 at Jordan Hall and the second performance takes place on 11/12 at First Church in Roxbury with a panel discussion prior to the concert moderated by WBUR’s Louise Kennedy (details below). The panel will include Ali Asani, Professor of Islamic Religion and Cultures at Harvard; Robert Labaree, ethnomusicologist at NEC; and Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol.

Location, Date/Time, Price: 
November 9, Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St., Boston, MA, PRE-CONCERT TALK at 7:00pm, CONCERT at 7:30pm. FREE
November 12, First Church of Roxbury, 10 Putnam St., Boston, MA, PANEL at 2:00pm, CONCERT at 3:00pm. FREE

This project’s community partners are New England Turkish Student Association (NETSA) and The Inayati Order of Greater Boston 
NEFA_black_RGB_small_0This program was made possible with funding by the New England Foundation for the Arts’ Creative City Program, with funding from The Barr Foundation and with additional support from The Boston Foundation. 
___

6adjustedMehmet Ali Sanlıkol Trio  

Grammy nominated composer and DownBeat’s September 2016 Editor’s pick Jazz pianist Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol performs his unique blend of energetic and innovative Turkish music influenced contemporary Jazz before he travels with his trio to Paris to perform at Jazzy Colors festival. Sanlıkol will be accompanied by George Lernis on drums & percussion, and James Heazlewood-Dale on bass.

Location, Date/Time, Price: 
November 17, Somerville Community Baptist Church, Somerville, MA, 8pm, $15

DÜNYA on NPR

Listen to this episode of New Sounds where the host, John Schaefer, presents An Afro Semai from Resolution by Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol & Whatsnext? 

Listen to this episode of New Sounds where the host, John Schaefer, presents DÜNYA’s A Story of the City: Constantinople, Istanbul

 

Listen to Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol explain Muslim diversity through his jazz compositions

Listen to Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol discuss his sociopolitical impressions of Turkey in 2014 as well as introduce his jazz orchestra album

Listen to Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol discuss DÜNYA’s A Story of the City: Constantinople, Istanbul double CD set

 

Listen to Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol discuss the diversity of Islamic Culture and his jazz orchestra CD, Resolution 

Listen to Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol discuss Othello in the Seraglio and the Muslim identity in Boston

Listen to Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol and Robert Labaree discuss Othello in the Seraglio

Listen to this 7 minute-long piece on Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol’s jazz orchestra CD, entitled Whatsnext?

Listen to Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol, Cem Mutlu and Robert Labaree discuss DÜNYA and their recent double CD release, A Story of the City: Constantinople, Istanbul

 

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol and Theodoulos Vakanas discussed DÜNYA’s Music of Cyprus CD on NPR’s Here & Now with Robin Young in 2007

Online

Cultures mingle in new coffeehouse opera in Rockport this weekend
by Gail McCarthy

Gloucester Times, June 8, 2016

Worlds collide in a coffeehouse opera this weekend that weaves a tale inspired by William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Othello” with a Turkish twist and…

READ

 

More reviews of Othello in the Seraglio here 

Reviews of Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol & Whatsnext? here

 

Rooted in world music
by Erica Thompson 

The Boston Globe, May 29, 2012

Who: Mehmet Ali Sanlikol, What: Sanlikol is the director of DÜNYA, a nonprofit organization concerned with developing and learning about world music. DÜNYA took the stage at…

READ

 

Early Music Groups Gear Up for Alexander the Great 
by Alexander Varty

Georgia Straight, April 11, 2012

Advance word on Alexander the Great: Hero, Warrior, Lover is that it’s a collaboration between an acclaimed early-music group, the Boston Camerata, and an equally admirable Turkish-American ensemble, Dünya. The truth is a little more complex than that…

READ

 

The Music of Istanbul’s Inhabitants – a journey in time
by Aaron Howard

Jewish Herald-Voice, December 29, 2011

Many people know that Istanbul was the capital of the Ottoman Empire for five centuries. But, most forget the city also was capital of the Roman (Byzantine) Empire before that for 10 centuries. Thus, if one wanted to explore Istanbul’s many-layered communal history through music, you’d have to start with Greek Orthodox Church and Byzantine secular music. Then, one might visit Crusader songs…

READ

 

Dunya Ensemble Traces 1000 Years of Istanbul Music on a Massive Double Album
by delarue

Lucid Culture, November 30, 2011

Boston-based Turkish music group Dunya Ensemble has two new double albums out. The first of these is the lavish A Story of the City: Constantinople, Istanbul, a dreamlike, surreal and sometimes ghostly creation…

READ

 

A Masterful Voyage through the Musical History of Istanbul
by Aromero

World Music Central, October 18, 2011

One of the most interesting releases scheduled for November 2011 is the two CD set titled A Story of the City…

READ

 

Dunya
A Story of the City: Constantinople Istanbul
by David Luhrssen

Express Milwaukee, October 9, 2011

Istanbul, or Constantinople as it was known for much of its history, was always one of the crossroads of the world. As the place where Asia meets Europe and the Black Sea flows into Mediterranean, the city was the capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires…

READ

2012

FALL 2012

A BILINGUAL MEVLID:
Süleyman Çelebi’s masterpiece in Greek and Turkish

Recognized as a classic of Turkish literature, Vesilet’ün Necat, or more commonly known as Mevlid-i Şerif is a long poem commemorating the birth of the Prophet Muhammed written in Turkish in 1409 by Süleyman Çelebi (1351-1422) in Bursa. It is often chanted on special occasions such as the birth of a child or as a commemoration of the dead. Musically, mevlid is a solo form, improvised and unaccompanied, usually performed in conjunction with Koranic chant and informal group singing of devotional songs (ilahi). The mevlid was translated into other languages of the Ottoman Empire, especially in the Balkans where the translations became just as popular. Tonight after a talk on the topic one section (bahir) of the mevlid will be chanted in Greek and another section will be chanted in Turkish. Before and in between the sections DÜNYA musicians will perform Sufi devotional songs in both languages.

Location: Harvard University, Barker Center, 12 Quincy St. Cambridge, MA
Date/Time: Wednesday, September 19, 6pm
Price of admission: FREE

 

Songs of the Fertile Crescent

DÜNYA will perform traditional Turkish music and Ottoman classical music portraying women following the world premiere of a suite of arias from the new opera Territories. The concert will be followed by an onstage discussion. The event is part of the five-month festival The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art, and Society, a program of the Institute for Women and Art at Rutgers in partnership with the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, the Arts Councils of Princeton and West Windsor, and the East Brunswick, New Brunswick, and Princeton Public Libraries.

Location: Princeton University, Wolfensohn Hall, Institute for Advanced Study, 1 Einstein Dr. Princeton, NJ
Date/Time: Thursday, November 1, 8pm
Price of admission: FREE

 

Mehter, Zildjian and the American Big Band

At this lecture-performance Dr. Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol (author of The Musician Mehters) will first talk about the Mehter ensemble (the so-called Ottoman Janissary Bands), Zildjian family, the role of cymbals in mehter music, connections between mehter music and jazz, and new compositions for hybrid mehter/jazz bands. The talk will be followed by a live music portion. During the live music portion traditional mehter music and an original composition for a hybrid band, featuring mehter instruments as well as typical instruments of the jazz band, will be performed.

Location: New England Conservatory, Williams Hall, 290 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA
Date/Time: Tuesday, November 27, 4pm
Price of admission: FREE

 

SPRING 2012

A Concert for Turkish Earthquake Relief

DÜNYA performs Ottoman court, Sufi and entertainment music. Followed by reception with Turkish refreshments. All proceeds to benefit relief efforts.

Location: Brandeis University, Slosberg Recital Hall
Date/Time: Saturday, January 28, 8pm
Pre-concert talk at 7pm
Price of admission: General: $10, Students: $5

 

İki Cihan Arasında / Between Two Worlds: Turkey’s West Within
program       photos

Folk, classical, religious and popular music of the Ottoman/Turkish tradition, interwoven with classical Ottoman music newly transcribed from 19th century Greek sources, early European music and newly-composed polyphonic makam compositions.

Location: Boston College, Gasson Hall, Room 100
Date/Time: Thursday, February 23, 8pm

Location: Tufts University, Distler Hall
Date/Time: Friday, February 24, 8pm

Location: Bates College, Chapel
Date/Time: Monday, February 27, 7:30pm

Location: New England Conservatory, Jordan Hall
Date/Time: Wednesday, February 29, 8pm

 

DÜNYA Contemporary Jazz Concert Series

Join us on these special nights where musicians from the DÜNYA collective will perform Jazz and original music by Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol fusing makam (Middle Eastern modal concepts) and Jazz.

Location: AIC Cultural Center, 38 Newbury St. Suite 702 (7th Floor)
Date(s)/Time: 
Saturday, March 3, 8:30pm
Saturday, March 24, 8:30pm

 

ALEXANDER THE GREAT: Hero, Warrior and Lover

In collaboration with The Boston Camerata

Alexander’s deeds, both real and legendary, inspired bardic poetry and song in pre-Christian, Christian, Jewish and Muslim societies alike. The second of DÜNYA’s east-west collaborations with The Boston Camerata brings together these diverse traditions in a performance of old and new music and improvisations based on sources from classical antiquity, from medieval Europe and from West Asia.

Location: Christ Church Cathedral, 690 Burrard at West Georgia, downtown Vancouver
Date/Time: Friday, April 20, 8pm
Location: Seattle, Town Hall
Date/Time: Friday, April 21, 7pm

 

SPECIAL EVENT

Musicians from the DÜNYA collective will debut Palindrome, an original jazz composition by Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol with Turkish classical music influences, with an open-to-the-public performance on May 19th.  After almost a decade, along withPalindrome, Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol will have his original compositions scored for a jazz combo of 6 horns, rhythm section and Turkish music instruments performed again.

Location: AIC Cultural Center, 38 Newbury St. Suite 702 (7th Floor)
Date/Time: Saturday, May 19
Wine and Cheese Reception at 7:00pm
Pre-Concert Talk at 7:30pm
Concert at 8:00pm
Price of admission: General: $15, Students/seniors: $10

Why are we called a Musicians’ Collective?

At the core of DÜNYA, even before musicianship, lies friendship. DÜNYA’s many ensembles are nothing but friends of DÜNYA coming together to make music. Some of DÜNYA’s friends will tend to appear in more productions along side our core ensemble, composed of myself, Robert Labaree and Cem Mutlu. However, there will also be DÜNYA productions such as A Story of the City: Constantinople, Istanbul in which as many as 35 musicians (friends) will collaborate. Yet even though some of the cast members in such a production may be participating at a DÜNYA event for the first time, they will immediately become a member of the greater DÜNYA family.

DÜNYA has a core ensemble and many circles of friends. Each of our productions will present a musical theme and, depending on this theme and the kinds of instruments required, our core ensemble will be joined by a number of our friends. That’s what makes us a Musicians’ Collective.

Mehmet Ali Sanlıkol