Elixir Festival 2024: enjoy an uplifting evening of Anatolian music from singer-songwriter Olcay Bayır

Singer-songwriter Olcay Bayır is one of the UK’s foremost artists of Alevi and Kurdish origin. Her the Anatolian songbook is inspired with the rich musical tapestry that spans Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Greek, fused with the sounds of the Mediterranean and Balkans, including flamenco and rebetiko.

Live at Paddington’s Grand Junction at St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Olcay will be performing a mix of new and old songs that will carry the audience far away to the mountains and plains of Anatolia.

Olcay will be joined on stage by Burak Ersöz  (drums, percussion), Cenk Şanlıoğlu (guitar), Doğu Ekin (kopuz, saz, fretless guitar), and Levent Canen (bass guitar).

The concert is part of this year’s Elixir Festival which runs from 12 April to 2 May 2024, celebrating arts, music and storytelling from the Middle East and North Africa. Elixir Festival is produced by Grand Junction in association with Arts Canteen click here for more details.

About Olcay Bayır

In 2019, the Guardian’s music critic Robin Denselow described Olcay as “one of the finest, most intriguing singers on the British world music scene ….”

Originally from Turkiye, the now London-based artist combines Anatolian folk traditions with dynamic grooves and funky rhythms, singing in Turkish, Kurdish, Armenian and Greek.

Olcay was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2015 Songlines Music Awards for her debut album Neva. She is also a recipient of a PRS – Women Make Music Award.

Born in southeast Turkiye, not far from the Syrian border, Olcay moved to London with her family as a teenager in 1998. Her soul, however, remains rooted in the Anatolian musical tradition.

Olcay’s immense vocal talents led her to study operatic singing, but she realised that classical music was not her path. Instead, she brought the power of a trained voice to the music of her homeland in her first album Neva [Harmony] (Riverboat, World Music Network, 2014) that was sung in the multiple languages of her native Anatolia.

Her second album Rüya [Dream] (ARC Music, 2019), which featured her own compositions, was again well received by the music press. She has since released a 4-track EP during the pandemic that was funded by Help Musicians UK.

Olcay is currently working on her new album, which will be released on ARC Music later this year.

Event Details

Title: Olcay Bayır – Elixir Festival 2024

Date: Friday 19 April 2024

Times: Doors open at 7pm; the concert starts at 8pm and runs for approx’ly 2 hours

Venue: Grand Junction at St Mary Magdalene’s Church, Rowington Close, Paddington, London W2 5TF

Admission: £17 (plus £2.12 booking fee). All tickets are unreserved seating, allocated on a first come first served basis. Please arrive early before the concert starts if you have preferred seats.

The bar is open from 7pm and bar serves a selection of craft beer, wine, soft drinks and snacks that can be taken to your seat.

Tickets: buy online from Eventbrite – click here